Last year, Maker Faire Barcelona up-leveled to a full-sized featured Faire, showcasing the creative genius of more than 100 makers and drawing the interest of an impressive 10,000 attendees. The vibrant maker community in Barcelona is continuously building momentum and showing no signs of slowing down, fueled by this annual gathering that has been bringing area makers together for the fifth year in a row. As Maker Faire Barcelona director Mariona A. Ciller notes, “We’re giving visibility to an immense local community that tends to stay in their garages producing. We’re connecting business, makers, citizens of all ages with the Maker Movement and giving them new ideas of how cities can produce locally and connect globally!”

This year, Maker Faire Barcelona takes place on June 16 + 17 at the Pavelló Italià, and the organizers are expecting 15,000 folks to come out in support. There will be 100+ exhibitors, and since many of them are communities and makerspaces, there will be an estimated 200 projects on display.

The theme of this year’s Faire is an invitation, exclaiming, “Let’s make the city of the future!” And if anyone is well equipped to make the city of the future, it would be a community of makers. As with all Maker Faires, there are a wide variety of projects on tap, but in particular, there will be a whole array of projects celebrating sustainability, projects that address topics such as aquaponics, hydroponics, robotics microfarms, and open source beehives. We’ll take a look at a few.

Maker Faire Barcelona is good vibes all around, a reflection of the warm and generous culture of Spain. Soko TV did a good job of capturing the spirit (and food!) of last year’s Maker Faire Barcelona in this recap video:

Maker Faire Conversations

Before we look at some of the makers who will be exhibiting, one intriguing new format slated for this year’s Faire is called Maker Faire Conversations.

This year we want to offer to the Maker Faire Barcelona community a dynamic format of interaction from the work of remarkable people who are reinventing how we learn or make tools, who are making space exploration accessible for everyone, who are reinventing time, or who are making us think about and protect our digital civil rights.

The Maker Faire Conversations will connect a global leader in the field of knowledge of time, space, robots and more, with a local expert that is making it happen in Barcelona. This is a format for the public to engage in the conversation, where everyone will be able to talk to them, and to interact in an open discussion about the state of the art of making, and the future of technology in society, cities, our planet, and outer space.

Maker Faire Conversations will be held Saturday, June 16th at the CaixaForum, with the first session at 12:00 and closing remarks at 18:00. Here are the conversations set to take place:

  • Alexander Rose (The Long Now Foundation) + ​Tomas Diez (​IaaC ​- Fab Lab Barcelona​)
  • Ariel Ekblaw (MIT Space Initiative) + Milena Orlandini (Fab Lab Tinkerers​ – ESA-BIC)
  • Mitchell Baker (Mozilla Foundation) + Alistair Alexander (Tactical Tech)
  • Gael Langevin (inMoov Robot) + Carme Torras (IRI CSIC-UPC)
  • David Cuartielles (Arduino) + Guillem Camprodon (IaaC ​- Fab Lab Barcelona​)
  • Richard Stallman (Free Software Fdn) + Francesca Bria (Ajuntament de Barcelona)

Fertilecity Project

A multi-disciplinary, collaborative project, Fertilecity, in the words of project director Joan Rieradevall, “analyzes urban vertical rooftop agriculture integrated in buildings from the standpoint of sustainability and technology, with the aim of harnessing the metabolic fluxes of our city, such as rainwater, residual heat, and diffuse CO2 emissions, to produce food in our cities.” The project is a collaboration between three organizations: ICTA at the UAB (specializing in environmental assessment), UPC (specializing in engineering, architecture, town planning, energy, and construction), and IRTA (specializing in agronomy).

Open Source Beehives

OSBeehives is on a mission to support bees by building a global network of beekeepers that can identify the causes and solutions for colony health deterioration, using state-of-the-art digital signal processing and AI to detect problems early, helping you understand the state of your bees and intervene before its too late. OSBeehives is founded on the principles of citizen science, open data, and healthy beekeeping.

Plastic Smoothie

Plastic Smoothie is a collaborative project with a very simple goal: giving plastic waste a new life. The project provides an accessible and creative way to recycle plastic in a maker environment.

Project philosophy:

  • Affordable: The project aims to use readily available electrical appliances for most of the project due to the reduced cost and availability.
  • Accessible: The machines should be easily found in stores or online and their use shouldn’t be difficult.
  • Open: This project is shared under a Creative Commons license and anyone can be part of it.

Aquapioneers

It’s not magic, it’s aquaponics! By using digital fabrication to combine an aquarium and a garden, Aquapioneers has created a compact and efficient aquaponics garden that allows you to effortlessly grow your favorite herbs all year round in the middle of the city.

Mass Distribution of (Almost) Anything

Mass Distribution of (Almost) Anything is a trans-media exhibition, presented by Fab Lab Barcelona. which explores the return of manufacturing to cities, enabled by global data networks. Is distributed design and manufacture a possible solution to our current planetary crisis?  This downloadable and open source exhibit is part of the Distributed Design Market Platform project.

ROMI Robotics for Microfarms

ROMI is a integrated, multi-scale project that aims to adapt and extend state-of-the-art land-based and airborne monitoring tools to handle small fields with complex layouts and mixed crops, by integrating robots for multi-scale crop monitoring.

All the information you need to attend Maker Faire Barcelona (it’s free!) and help shape the sustainable city of the future is on the website!