Maker Faire Kyoto 2021: DIY Desktop Tunes, Molecular Gastronomy, Papercraft Robots…This Weekend

Maker News
Maker Faire Kyoto 2021: DIY Desktop Tunes, Molecular Gastronomy, Papercraft Robots…This Weekend

The city of Kyoto is renowned for its many temples, the artisans who have flourished there since its heyday as the Imperial capital, its intellectual culture, an inventive and refined cuisine, and the many traditional festivals that mark its calendar. Since 2019, Maker Faire has joined that annual lineup, revealing the city’s thriving culture of innovation, quirky underbelly, and modern takes on its traditional crafts. This weekend, Maker Faire Kyoto returns to put the delightful creations of the city’s maker culture on display and to celebrate work from innovators around Japan.

Although originally scheduled as a two day in-person event with a virtual component, this year Maker Faire Kyoto 2021 will take place entirely online and is available for exploration worldwide. The event kicks off on Friday, April 30th with a talk—Make and Face—lead by Shigeru Kobayashi from the Institute of Advanced Media Arts and Science (IAMAS) and Takuma Oami of FabLab Sendai, that looks back on and explores the open-source response to Covid-19 focusing on how these actions can inform future community innovation efforts. The talk will stream live on YouTube on Friday, April 30th at 19.00hrs JST (6 am EDT / 3 am PDT) and continue afterward on Clubhouse.

Hear more from Shigeru Kobayashi, who is also the producer of the Ogaki Mini Maker Faire, about the possibilities of new hybrid landscapes for events in our conversation with him last October on Plan C Live, at Maker Faire Kyoto 2020, and his presentation at Virtually Maker Faire.

For Saturday, May 1st the fantastic production team at Make: O’Reilly Japan has curated a virtual smorgasbord of presentations and workshops. You can access all the content on YouTube HERE starting at 1 pm JST on Saturday, May 1st (9 pm PDT / 12 am EDT). Check out all the full program of makers HERE.

Makers can also participate on that day by sharing their projects via Twitter in special time categories with the hashtags #MFKyoto2021 and #workannouncement. The production team has also created a handy “coloring page” schedule (download here) to guide participants to the correct time frame.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the scheduled exhibits.

DIY MUSIC on DESKTOP : 17: 00-18: 30 JST

Hexagonal diodes playing soothing sound and light, beads and retro video games, DIY musical instruments, a gathering up of pieces of stars from an exploding universe and assembling them in a new universe. Also joining are sound artists Hong Kong-based Jasper Fung, who uses everyday objects that create new listening experiences, and Taipei-based Yenting Hsu who use field recordings to reflect the relationship between sounds, environment, individual/collective memory, and the surrounding world.

Hexdiode on Music | necobit
・ Playing game music with a music box-with iron beads | Bistro Nagata
・ Transient Spikes | Jasper Fung・ Year to return home
| Oshimatakuro ・ Planet / Relight + MUSIC
Re: P-Code on (YOUR) DESKTOP !! | HAUS ++
・ 2TELEPHONES | Utanitsugumasa

Molecular Gastronomy, Japanese-style! 14:00-14:20 JST

Shinichi Ishigae, molecular cooking instructor and frog, (alongside makers Shinichi Ishikawa, Mayuko Ishikawa, Akira Kuwahara) introduce a “mysterious” new book for those who like to eat, those who like to cook, and those who are not interested in cooking, please join us “while remembering the rice you ate yesterday.”

Children’s Programming Park : 14:30-15:00 JST

A virtual park for kids to “play” in and practice programming.

Create a Papercraft Makey Robot! Details HERE.

From the birthplace of origami comes the cutest paper robot around! Makey appears at Maker Faire venues and on posters and websites around the world. There are big blow up Makey’s and little 3D printed ones, but this one created by the Make: Japan team can be folded from paper without glue, tape or scissors! In addition to being available for purchase through Maker Faire Kyoto, after the event the drawing of the paper craft will be released on “Creative Commons ( CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 ) where you can download to print on paper or cut it with a laser cutter. Even get Makey into cosplay!

Make a glowing jellyfish workshop! 15: 20-15: 40 JST (Archive view available)

The Otome Denki Club will hold an online workshop to use LEDs to create glowing jellyfish. You can learn how to make an LED shine using a button battery, how to play with the jellyfish, and I build a home aquarium or use a bottle to make an interior!

Participants can also Make an Awesome paper Airplane with John Collins!, create mochi, learn about the Seeed, Inc. “seeduino” microcontroller and VR factory tour, and Sony’s Neural Network Console. Check the full schedule!

And, since it’s Maker Faire Kyoto, there is also an open category contest for works related to Kyoto, including electronics, robotics, FOOD, craft…whatever signifies Kyoto to the maker! Please post a project in the “shape” of Kyoto that you imagine on TWITTER at #MFKyoto2021, or something that expresses “Kyoto” in an existing project. Three winners (of a Maker Faire Kyoto tote bag) will be selected based on the responses on Twitter and the evaluation of the production team on the Make: Japan blog after the event. You can find information on the posting timetable HERE.

Congratulations to the Make: Japan team for changing it up on the fly and working with their community to curate an awesome show for the world to enjoy!


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Jennifer Blakeslee keeps the Global Maker Faire program running smoothly and has been a maker at Maker Faire since 2011. Among other things, she really likes to travel, write, cook, hike, make big art, and swim in the ocean.

View more articles by Jennifer Blakeslee