Maker Faire San Diego Celebrates the Human Experience Behind the Projects

Maker News
Maker Faire San Diego Celebrates the Human Experience Behind the Projects

For the past four years, makers in the beautiful city of San Diego have been gathering to share their projects and enthusiasm in historic Balboa Park. At last year’s Maker Faire San Diego, 25,000 community members came out to show their support. This year’s installment is set to take place October 7 and 8 and will showcase the creative, innovative projects of more than 200 makers. Organizing team member Stephania Villar shares:

San Diego is full of makers who don’t realize they’re makers! In the past few years, we’ve seen many innovators and tinkerers start self-identifying as makers, growing the sense of community and spreading the word of the Maker Movement. Many of our past exhibitors have also launched new products after beta testing and exhibiting their ideas at the event. And every year, we see a huge host of new makers. We’re still growing!

There’s something special about San Diego, a huge city with a small town vibe that’s open and relaxed. The surf town vibe carries over to our maker community, where we’re passionate and thoughtful about our projects but very comfortable and welcoming with new folks wandering in and out, experimenting with different techniques and labs, and we’re happy to help you find your niche.

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In true San Diegan spirit, the focus of this year’s Faire is the amazing humans behind the projects. Villar explains:

One of the biggest changes this year is logistical. We’ve condensed and rearranged the event to make it easier to get around. This year, we’re also focusing on the Human Made experience. The San Diego Museum of Man will feature Blind Makers and The Living Library, where you can “check-out” a person for a conversation. Tommy Edison, the Blind Film Critic, often answers questions about being blind, but during Maker Faire San Diego, he’ll be asking questions in a special set of interviews, asking makers about their projects, who they are and why they do what they do with the caveat, “Explain it to me like I’m blind.” This will be a great exercise in inclusivity and give makers the opportunity to talk about projects or ideas they can’t show. We have Karolyn Smith, a veteran and PTSD survivor who’ll be talking about her making experience. We’re hoping to not only talk about incredible projects and technical subjects, but really delve into the human experience and get to know the makers themselves.

Check out the full lineup of participating makers, as well as the robust schedule of workshops, demos, performances, and talks for all the details. Speaking of maker-made, we love the Maker Faire San Diego poster series, made by local artist Michele Arrieta. We also love Makey’s sneaky appearances in each. Check them out.

San Diego Maker Sampler

Whether you’re into robots, model boats, art, crafts, light painting, you name it, Maker Faire San Diego has it. Here’s just a small sampling of the awesome projects and makers you’ll see this weekend.

North American Model Boat Association

The North American Model Boat Association (NAMBA) is a non-profit association of radio-controlled model boat clubs and will be displaying large RC race boats and talking about racing and warship combat.

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San Diego Sabers

As San Diego’s premier lightsaber training combat group, the San Diego Sabers promote and teach lightsaber combat and dueling skills, helping each other learn and grow through acceptance, respect, and a positive attitude. Members will be providing stage demonstrations of full-contact lightsaber combat sparring.



SunJack creates portable solar power and accessories for outdoor recreation, travel, and emergency preparedness. Based in Los Angeles, SunJack successfully launched on Kickstarter in 2014 and have scaled to receive numerous accolades since.

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Juliet Martyn of LostTeaGarden makes one-of-a-kind costumes for fashion dolls and repurposes toy horses into decorative works of art. With a diverse background in the fine arts including drawing, painting, ceramics, and fibers, she’s been sewing for fashion dolls for over 10 years and has been creating costumes for people for five.

Evolution RV Tiny Home on Wheels

Evolution RV - Tiny Home on Wheels

Learn how to make a customized RV/tiny home on wheels that can be transported on a standard trailer. It features sleeping space for four, kitchen, and living and dining spaces. Evolution will demonstrate how to create interior elements such as the loft ladder.

Light Painting Stick

The Light Painting Stick is an RGB LED light stick that allows you to create abstract and photo-realistic images onto your long exposure photograph, take long exposure photography to a new level.

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Cardboard Combat Bots

Cardboard Combat Bots

Come watch a cardboard combat bot competition and maybe even make your own bot, brought to you by the San Diego Makers Guild. The Guild is committed to fostering the maker community and to promoting, showcasing, and encouraging adoption of making by individuals, public, and private institutions with the goal of advancing education, innovation, commerce, and lifelong learning.

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At the intersection of music, comedy, and technology is AudioBody’s performance, an explosive mix of circus arts, relentless comedy, full-body contortion, juggling, LED light shows, and live, up-beat, electronic music! The AudioBody duo is made up of brothers Matt and Jason Tardy, whose multifaceted training and over 23 years of experience in the performing arts has brought them all over the U.S. and abroad.

BeWilder Woodworks

BeWilder Woodworks

The trifecta of mountain, desert, and ocean is the inspiration behind the woodburned pieces made by artist Uliana D’Oro of BeWilder Woodworks. Her works are made in California using classic pyrography on reclaimed wood from New York.

Mario Kart

Mario Kart

Vince Idos’ Mario Kart creation was inspired by one of his favorite video games and his love for cosplay. There’s no denying he’ll be spreading smiles at Maker Faire San Diego.

For all the information you need to join the celebration this weekend in Balboa Park, head to the Maker Faire San Diego site!

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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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