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Calling on makers in Ann Arbor and Detroit

Calling on makers in Ann Arbor and Detroit

I will be in Detroit and Ann Arbor, Michigan next week talking about MAKE and meeting makers. If you’re in the area, and you’d like to talk about MAKE and Maker Faire, or tell me about projects that you’re doing, come by GO Tech June 9 at 7pm or the Ann Arbor District Library June 11th at 7pm. Both of which are open to everyone.

On Tuesday, June 9, I’ll be at the June GO Tech (Ann Arbor, MI) meeting at 7 pm. The meeting will be held at A2 MechShop is at 240 Parkland Plaza, Suite B (in the back), Ann Arbor, MI 48103.

This will be an informal, interactive discussion. I hope to learn more about local makers and their interests. I will share some of the experiences from our recent Maker Faire. I expect the question to come up: how can we have a Maker Faire in the Detroit area?


GO Tech (formerly NotBAGO) is a meeting for Ann Arbor area readers of Make Magazine, Circuit Cellar, Home Shop Machinist, Kevin Kelly’s Cool Tools, Slashdot, etc. That is, people who are interested in and make things using technology, whether that’s a metal cutting lathe or a Python script. A kind of generalized mixture of CerealBar, Dorkbot, Oxford Geek night, and Portland Machinist Guild. We have machinists, electrical engineers, software folks, industrial control types, and so on. We share projects, information about tools and ideas, and connect with like-minded people.

Link to GO Tech Group.

On Thursday, June 11 at 7 pm, I’ll be giving a talk on Make’s current issue “ReMake America” and the value of DIY culture at the Ann Arbor District Library. I’ll show a video from this year’s Maker Faire. The address is 343 South Fifth Ave., Ann Arbor, MI.

In between, I’ll be going to the Henry Ford Museum. At this difficult time for the American auto industry, I expect to learn a lot by looking back at its origins. I am dismayed by the factory closings and the number of workers who no longer have jobs there.

If you have any MAKE-related recommendations for the Detroit or Ann Arbor area, please let me know.

8 thoughts on “Calling on makers in Ann Arbor and Detroit

  1. justDIY says:

    Hey Make. What’s up with having both meetings during the work week? Michigan’s economy is kinda in the sh***er right now, so we’ve all got one or two day jobs to work at and not a lot of disposable income.

    I’d love to come to one of your meetings if you want to hold it on the weekend… It is a five hour one-way drive for me to get to Ann Arbor, and I can’t afford to take the day (or more likely two) off work to go in the middle of the week.

  2. youevolve says:

    I, too, cannot make it to any of the GO Tech meetings, though I do follow their mailing list. There are many of us in the backwoods and islands of northern Michigan who long to be a part of such events. It is nice to see such an active group bringing attention to Michigan.

    I cannot say this loudly enough. Bring Maker Faire here!

  3. justDIY says:

    How about Maker Faire: Gary Indiana? I’ve noticed Make likes to have their fairs close but not too close to a large metropolitan area. Austin but not SA or DFW, San Mateo not SF or LA.

    Gary is a suburb of Chicago, but it also close to Detroit.

    The logistics of presenting at a Faire half way across the country or further just doesn’t work out, but I’d gladly rent a booth at one held in the Midwest… something I can drive my own vehicle to in 10 hrs or less is crucial.

  4. Dhaykus says:

    How about a Maker Faire in Ann Arbor? It’s close but not too close to Detroit.

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DALE DOUGHERTY is the leading advocate of the Maker Movement. He founded Make: Magazine 2005, which first used the term “makers” to describe people who enjoyed “hands-on” work and play. He started Maker Faire in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006, and this event has spread to nearly 200 locations in 40 countries, with over 1.5M attendees annually. He is President of Make:Community, which produces Make: and Maker Faire.

In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a “Champion of Change” through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He believes that the Maker Movement has the potential to transform the educational experience of students and introduce them to the practice of innovation through play and tinkering.

Dougherty is the author of “Free to Make: How the Maker Movement Is Changing our Jobs, Schools and Minds” with Adriane Conrad. He is co-author of "Maker City: A Practical Guide for Reinventing American Cities" with Peter Hirshberg and Marcia Kadanoff.

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