Checkin’ In: Eccentric Genius Kaden Harris

Craft & Design
Checkin’ In: Eccentric Genius Kaden Harris

Way back in MAKE Volume 01, we ran a Made on Earth feature on Kaden Harris and his awesome desktop creations. Shown below, at left, is the 18-inch floating-arm trebuchet, and at right is the 17-inch guillotine.


In 2007, he wrote a Make: Projects book called Eccentric Cubicle, an entire volume of “office accessories from a parallel universe.” Never again does your desk job have to be dull with, say, a BallistaMail “projectile-to-peer intercubicle messaging” device at your disposal:


We checked in with Kaden this week to see what eccentric creations he’s been wizarding lately. This is what he wrote:

“I’m building physically larger pieces. Currently I’m working on a Babbage gamelan mechanism for an exceptionally forward-thinking Nashville sessions pianist, and doing final finishing on an insanely complicated front door for a guy’s house in San Jose.

Once those are out the door I have a backlog of odd mechanisms that have been sitting in a folder in R&D for at least 2 years. They need to exist, so that’s the next objective. Most of the stuff waiting on the shelf is musical in nature, either electromechanical instruments and controllers or physical audio processors and effects. This is a pretty fortuitous state of affairs, cuz I’m playing in an extremely tech-intensive rawk band at the moment, which will be the perfect proving ground for the builds. Funny how life works out like that, innit?

Patti [Schiendelman] and I launched the Genteel Recessionista just a few weeks ago, and we’ve already coalesced a bright and active commenter community. We’re trying to encourage people to get out of their caves and reconnect with their neighborhoods during the recession, because the strength and lore of a real live community is a powerful, powerful survival tool. Plus, someone usually has beer.”

Thanks, Kaden — that is some seriously sound logic! Be sure to check out Kaden’s many offerings at his site Eccentric Genius (which features a nice eye candy gallery of his creations) and the new Genteel Recessionista blog.

If you want to get eccentric in your cubicle, get your hands on Eccentric Cubicle in the Maker Shed!

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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