Barcelona Makers Unite!

Barcelona Makers Unite!

mmf barcelona bartendro at mfba

We’re excited to announce that coming up this weekend, on June 29, is the first ever Maker Faire in Spain: Barcelona Mini Maker Faire. The Faire will take place on Calle Bailen between Ausias Marc and Ali Bei, as well as indoor within the facility of MOB (Makers of Barcelona) on Calle Bailen 11 on Saturday from 10am to 8pm. A wide variety of makers will be sharing their projects, from 3D printer to jewelry to robots and beyond. They’re even hosting a Carrera de Robots (robot race), where you dress up as a robot and race!

Product specialist Ian Collingwood, one of the main organizers of the Barcelona Mini Maker Faire, gave us insight on the Barcelona maker scene:

When you tell someone you live in Barcelona you normally get one of two responses. If they’ve never visited, they’ll tell you how much they’ve heard about the city and how badly they want to come and check it out. But if, on the other hand, they’ve actually been here and experienced it, they’ll share with you (at length) their burning desire to somehow, someday find a way to come here and live out their days soaking up the city and all its boundless creative energy.

As a result, Barcelona has become a magnet for creative folk from all over the world. It’s a city with an immensely rich artistic and creative heritage and a tradition of breaking boundaries with new ideas — Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, Antoni Gaudí, Joan Miró, and Pau Casals have all contributed to making Barcelona a city with a global reputation for design, architecture, art, and music. This global reach is reflected in our growing maker scene and indeed is reflected in the team responsible for putting together the first ever Maker Faire event in Spain.

We’re a group of nine volunteers, hailing from China, Romania, Italy, Wales, Brazil, Spain, and the Basque Country. We’re coders, architects, UX people, and entrepreneurs, and all of us are makers, naturally. We are putting on the event to bring together the hidden makers of Barcelona, who, until now, may not have realised just what a vibrant scene we have in this beautiful city.

In putting on the event we’re also tapping into an established local culture of “do it yourself” that stretches back decades, if not centuries. As the capital of the Catalan region, Barcelona has a history of producing strong, self-organising movements dedicated to bringing about a positive change in the world. The devastating effects of the economic crisis (over 50% youth unemployment) have only strengthened this tendency among Barcelona people to get up and get busy fixing what needs to be fixed — without waiting for anyone to give them permission.

Over the past few years we have seen several makerspaces emerge, including FabLabBCN (at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalunya), Betahaus BCN (an outpost of the German Betahaus gang) and of course, MADE BCN, our newest makerspace, which lives in the very same building that our Mini Maker Faire will take place. (In fact any profits from the event will go towards improving the facilities at MADE).

Besides all this, we have, for more than a decade, been proud hosts of the Mobile World Congress, the largest gathering of mobile technology providers in the world, and in 2013 we host the Smart Cities Expo. Barcelona is also the Mobile World Capital, affirming its status as THE global hub for developing network-connected systems that will improve the lives of city dwellers worldwide.

Local makers involved in our Mini Maker Faire, (which takes place on 29th June at MOB on Carrer Bailen 11, Barcelona) include PLYUMP, a 3D printer that uses egg whites and Nutella as feedstock; Lüme, who create colour-changing jewellery; Lhings an open source platform for connecting Internet of Things devices to the world; and a number of wonderful musical projects like unoStringSynth, an Arduino-powered Theremin/Guitar mashup. And of course we couldn’t miss out on a mention for the Junk Raft Armada, a motley crew of Maker Pirates who’ll float their raft (made entirely from scavenged waste materials) several hundred kilometres down Spain’s largest river and out to the Mediterranean sea and beyond (with a fair wind and a little bit of luck).

Here’s a video they put together explaining to the community what a Maker Faire is:

Below are pictures from a sampling of presenting makers.

The Bartendro cocktail-dispensing robot from Party Robotics (also pictured at the top of this post exhibiting at Maker Faire Bay Area last month in California):
mmf barcelona bartendro

The Elektroxoc electric chopper:
mmf barcelona elektroxoc

The Junk Raft Armada:
mmf barcelona junk raft armada

Through the Laser Mirror by Guillaume Emont:
mmf barcelona laser mirror

Lüme clothing, which is programmable via a cellphone app, by Luis & Elizabeth Fraguada:

unoStringSynth by Òscar Martínez Carmona:
mmf barcelona unostringsynth

Hypernoika Laser Paint:
mmf barcelona LaserPaint06

All the information you need to attend the Faire is on the Barcelona Mini Maker Faire site. Next month, the second Maker Faire in Spain will be hosted in Bilbao on July 13 and 14.

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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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