Austria hosted its very first Maker Faire Vienna in 2016, joining the ever-growing number of major annual Faires organized in German-speaking countries. Just three years ago, the team kicked off with 240 maker exhibits. This year, there will be 900 makers sharing their builds and knowledge, and 15,000 attendees are expected. The theme of the biggest DIY festival in Austria? The Future of Building. Join them this weekend, May 5 and 6, as they transform their corner of Vienna into a maker metropolis, with an impressive array of maker exhibitshands-on workshops, and presentations, from the whimsical to the practical. We got in touch with organizing team member Leyla Jafarmadar to get the inside scoop on what to expect.

What makes Maker Faire Vienna unique?

There are a few aspects that make Maker Faire Vienna special: First, in addition to our local makers, we have lots of international makers presenting their projects, especially a lot of makers from the CEE countries [central and eastern Europe] who enjoy coming to Vienna. Second, Maker Faire Vienna always offers a mix of new technologies and traditional crafts, art and design which has always been a big a part of the Viennese culture and its history. And third, our venue makes Maker Faire Vienna very unique: METAStadt used to be a factory building where, up until the beginning of the 20th century, steam turbines have been produced. You can still feel the maker spirit there, which makes it the perfect location for Maker Faire Vienna.

What were some highlights from last year’s Faire?

Some of our highlights from last year were the Magic Candy Factory that let visitors create their own designs or print their own “Sweet Selfie” in eight different vegan candy flavours; The Herd of Mechanical Creatures by Foolpool, an installation of recycled bicycles that has come to life; and The Growroom, a 3-meter-high open source DIY vegetable garden developed by Ikea/SPACE10 specifically for urban spaces, to promote the local cultivation of vegetables and built for Maker Faire Vienna by Happylab, Austria’s first fab lab, using digital fabrication technologies.

You can find some great impressions of last year’s Maker Faire in this video:

What’s different this year? What are you really excited about?

Our focus this year is on the topic “The Future of Building.” We will take a look at the influence of the Maker Movement on the way we will build houses and live in them in the future.

There will be a keynote about the use of 3D construction printers and how they are already able to create housing infrastructure out of concrete in a quick an cost-efficient way (presented by Werner Bittner of Doka Ventures).

In the exhibition area, the project Vivihouse will share a new, ecological perspective on architecture and demonstrate how up to six-story buildings can be built out of sustainable material in open workshops by almost everyone. They will present their housing module for the first time at Maker Faire Vienna.

Also we’re very excited about our highlight in the outdoor area: Exoot‘s 1960s Citroën Ami 6 that transforms into a seemingly living vehicle. It talks, dances, and flirts with our visitors. The artistic aim of Dutch artist Tristan Kruithof is to recycle old-timers into interactive installations.

What are a few notable of the makers/workshops/talks attendees can expect to see?

Of course we have lots of amazing makers, so here’s just a small selection:

Precious Plastic and their local group in Vienna will show how plastic can be recycled on a small, local scale with home-made shredder, extrusion, or compression machines. It’s a global community of hundreds of people working towards a solution to plastic pollution. Knowledge, tools, and techniques are shared online, for free.

The Centenarian Washing Machine (100jährige Waschmaschine) is a project by an independent team of Viennese researchers, Permanere. Their goal is to build a fully functional, well-performing washing machine that lasts for 100 years or can be repaired for at least that long. They have developed two experimental setups that will be presented at Maker Faire Vienna.

With MAKERbuino, 19-year-old entrepreneur Albert Gajšak from Croatia landed a huge success. It’s an educational design shaped like a game console. The idea is to motivate kids to learn something new and enter the world of DIY electronics. Visitors can try out the DIY game console at Maker Faire Vienna.

Amalettomat is an automatic pancake machine, developed by Viennese maker Martin Zwinz.

Prusa3D celebrates its premiere in Austria with its new printer Prusa i3 MK3 at Maker Faire Vienna 2018. In his keynote, CEO and founder Josef Prusa will give insights into how he turned his small start-up into a big company that produces one of the most popular 3D-printers worldwide.

Happylab, Austria’s biggest maker community, invites visitors to participate in the Nerdy Derby, a car racing event for all nerds and people who want to become one. In a few easy steps, visitors can build their own car and compete against the others. The more-than-7-meter-long racetrack was created with the CNC milling machine at Happylab.

There will also be lots of hands-on activities for kids, in which they can explore STEM topics. For example, Viennese start-up Robo Wunderkind will invite big and small makers to their interactive playground and have fun with their robots that teaches kids how to code.

Thanks, Leyla! We’re sure this will be the best Maker Faire Vienna yet!

For all the information you need to join the fun at Maker Faire Vienna 2018 this weekend, head to the website!