Situated at the confluence of four rivers, 100km northeast of Barcelona, lies the city of Girona, Spain. Renowned for its well preserved old town, Girona also has eyes on the future—and never more so than this week as it’s inaugural Maker Faire kicks off. Produced by the boundary-pushing production team at SokoTech, which has generated the wonderful Maker Faire Barcelona for the last six years, the 100 percent virtual Maker Faire Girona is an initiative of the Universitat de Girona Escola Polytèchnica Superior. Together they have harnessed cutting edge innovation and making at the frontier of arts, science, engineering, and technology in a program of presentations, workshops, performances, and virtual tours. The week long event has been curated into thematic groups of “conversations” across the five days: food, robotics, space, fashion, and biotech, as well as stand alone performances, workshops and tours.
Here’s a quick look of some of the fantastic sessions the team has curated for Maker Faire Girona. (Sessions have simultaneous translation in English and are available for registration on the website.)
On Wednesday, in a nod to Catalunya’s famed food history and role in the development of molecular gastronomy, Maker Faire Girona featured sessions on everything from the evolution of avant guard cuisine to low temperature cooking to food security from well known leaders in their field including Chef Paco Perez (Restaurant Miramar), Tomas Diez, Co-founder and Director of Fab Lab Barcelona, and Héloïse Vilaseca, Director of Innovation and Research and the La Masia R&D Center at Celler de Can Roca.
Would it be Maker Faire without robots? Of course, but Maker Faire Girona takes the robots out of the battle ring and explores the conceptual realms of human-robot interaction, the social impact of technologies, robotics in education and imagination, and (of course!) drones. Sessions feature new media artist and creative programmer Mónica Rikić and her recent project Mother of Robots and Illah R. Nourbakhsh , Professor of Ethics and Computational Technologies at K&L Gates Carnegie Mellon University and author of Future Robot, as well as leading local researchers Martí Sànchez-Fibla, Bianca Innocenti Badano, and Carolina Martí.
Looking toward the not so distant future, Maker Faire Girona spends Friday, December 4th, exploring space technologies. Sessions look at a wide variety of topics, including:
- The Democratization of Space Technology, Rafel Jorda, Founder and President of Open Cosmos)
- Hidden functionalities: Design for democratic equality in future space societies, David Colby Reed, Space Enabled Group Member, MIT Media Lab
- A Journey to Mars from the Utah Desert, Mariona Badenas-Agustí, Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences, MIT
- Can we create a human economy independent of the Earth?, Guillem Anglada-Escudé, Institute of Space Sciences CSIC and Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC)
- Spatial research to address sustainable development goals, Ignasi Ribas, Director of the Institute of Space Studies of Catalonia (IEEC)
Saturday, December 5th, yields a rich program that explores technological solutions for textile challenges. Standout presenters include craftivist, artisan, and digital strategist Zoe Romano of WeMake in Milan, Italy, who will also participate in next week’s Maker Faire Rome. WeMake is a hub of the following networks: Fabricademy, WearSustain, TCBL and she has been working on three EU-funded projects: openwear.eu, opencare.cc and digitalsocial.eu. Also, presenting is Aloma Lafontana who creates wearable sculptures and has fostered community collaboration through OSLO Barcelona, a workshop open to the public that catalyzes the creativity of many young contemporary artists in Barcelona.
In keeping with its university roots, on Sunday, December 6th, Maker Faire Girona brings together scientists working at the intersection of biotech and the arts and biohacking.
- Biology for architects, artists and designers, Nuria Conde, UPF Complex Systems Laboratory Director of DIYBIO BCN, SokoTech, Barcelona
- Precise engineering genomes and metagenomes, Marc Güell, Pompeu Fabra University, Scientific Founder of Egenesis Biosciences and Co-Founder of S-biomedic
- DIY bio @ Open BioLab Brussels, Tom Peeters, Brussels University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Brussels
- Stem cells: generating micro-organs to understand development and disease in humans, Núria Montserrat, ICREA Research Professor and Principal Investigator at the Institute of Bioengineering of Catalonia
Ensemble Topogràfic is a collective formed by Anna Hierro, dancer, and Carlos Martorell, sound and visual artist, with whom they experience the relationship between movement and sound through technology. They’ll perform Friday, December 4th @ 21:50 CET.
On Saturday, December 5th @ 19:50 CET Dr. Sam Aaron, the creator of Sonic Pi, an internationally renowned live coding interpreter, public speaker, and scientific communicator, takes the main stage. Sam has received two Google Awards for his open source work, was chosen by Fast Company as among the Most Creative People in the Business World in 2020 and Rolling Stone magazine described his performance at Moogfest as something that “goes beyond the present.” During the pandemic, he has been performing before crowds of thousands on Zoom.
On Sunday, December 6th @ 19:30 CET, duo Lolo & Sosaku investigate the possibilities of sculpture as an amplified terrain. Through the use of mechanical prostheses installed in the artist’s body and different motor mechanisms programmed into pianos and other objects, a video camera installed in the artist’s head invites us to make a sound journey, visual and performative.
The Maker Faire Girona team has created a dynamic workshop schedule that covers a wide range of emerging technologies and open source learning environments. Find a full listing HERE. Some fascinating standouts:
- Hacking public art with Scratch
- Videomapping or the magic of transforming a volume into light (Desilience, see video above)
- Creating virtual worlds with Cospace
- Learn IoT by measuring air quality
- How to design for digital manufacturing?
- Exploring Micro: bit. Creativity to improve the world
- Experimental flute for beginners
- Space mission design with OpenApp