Attending the 6th Annual Maker Faire Shenzhen was a pretty awesome experience. It had been two years since my last Maker Faire Shenzhen, and I was thrilled to see the number of hands-on activities, female makers and their projects and families attending the event. This year, the Maker Faire Shenzhen organizer, Chaihuo Makers, partnered with Shenzhen Polytechnic to locate the event on their beautiful campus. This partnership is especially important as it underscores Maker Faire’s roots in education and learning as well as Maker Faire Shenzhens’ focus on professional makers with the Maker Go Pro theme. The 3 day event was free to attend and started on Friday with an impressive Opening Ceremony. Enjoy Shenzhen Polytechnic’s Maker Faire Shenzhen 2017 slideshow.

As with any Maker Faire, receiving a Maker of Merit Blue Ribbon is a special moment for makers, and a way for our team to acknowledge outstanding projects. The final list of Blue Ribbon winners for Maker Faire Shenzhen is being put together, but I am pleased to share a few that I acknowledged onsite.

Pleased that I was able to meet Wenwen Xie and experience the magic of MakerBeta, a maker community that releases creative project videos weekly.  They were getting attendees hands on and making at Maker Faire Shenzhen and definitely a favorite exhibit.

As I was wandering around the event, I was lucky to meet the designer of the interactive area at Maker Faire Shenzhen. This area included “Bloom”; “Virtual Graffiti”; “Mechanics Workshop by MG MakerSpace” and “Sew Cool”.

Professor Taotao Xiong, Industrial Design at 深圳職業技術學院/ ShenZhen Polytechnic (SZPT) happened to be in the area while I was talking to the makers and he introduced himself to me. We talked about the collaboration between Chaihuo Maker Space and Shenzhen Polytechnic and more. I was so impressed with him, and his passion and spirit around #making, @MakerFaire and the future that I awarded him a #MakerofMeritBlue Ribbon Winner Maker Faire Shenzhen!

I then got to meet the Dean of the Industrial Design Department and the Vice Dean of Business Administration (Wesley) — Huang Wri Xian — they are big supporters of Maker Faire. Great news for the future of Making in Shenzhen!

The “Sew Cool” Workshop by Spin Master Global was a major hit.  Many, many young makers got hands on and learned how to sew without thread using these Spin Master threadless sewing machines.

“Dream of Falling into a Dream Structure,” created by Ty Chen, is a wonderful, ambient experience that allows participants to take a break from reality and relax. He combines carpentry, electronics and music in this favorite piece. This project was inspired by Burningman and he plans on relocating the piece to x.factory for more to enjoy and experience.

Ty Chen, maker of Dreamcatcher

In addition to getting to “Meet the Makers” and check out performances, a 2-day Maker Forum was happening onsite. The Maker Forum was broken down in to 4 content areas; Visions into the Future,  Making in Industries, Platform Builders and Maker Education. Maker Forum was open to all attendees and had 26 presenters (including myself), of which almost half of the presenters were women, and several from the expanding global maker network. It was two full days of presentations, conversation, networking and inspiration about the future of making in Shenzhen.

And, a highlight of my trip was participating in a “Women Maker” Meetup at the close of the event. I got to meet with 13 very inspirational women and discuss the future of making and how they are supporting each other and plans to continue their work moving forward. Brava!

Thanks again to the Maker Faire Shenzhen Team — including the Chaihuo team, the teaching staff at Shenzhen Polytechnic, and an amazing group of volunteers from  Seeed Studio and the school’s volunteering club — they did an amazing job, and have opened the possibilities of making to thousands!  We so appreciate all that this team has done! Congratulations!