San Diego’s Balboa Park Celebrates the Multicultural Maker Creativity of the Region

Maker News
San Diego’s Balboa Park Celebrates the Multicultural Maker Creativity of the Region

If you’ve ever been to San Diego, chances are you’ve been to Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban cultural park that is home to a number of museums, theaters, open spaces, walking paths, the famous San Diego Zoo, and of course the largest annual gathering of makers in the area, Maker Faire San Diego, taking place for the fifth year in a row this weekend, October 6 and 7, from 10am – 6pm. A partnership between the Balboa Park Cultural Partnership (BPCP) and the San Diego Makers Guild, Maker Faire San Diego features over 200 local and regional makers displaying their creations, mostly inside participating museums in the park, spread throughout 10 venues and two robust outdoor zones. The theme for this year’s Faire? People can do incredible things, if they let themselves do it. 

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Be sure to check out the hundreds of maker exhibits that await you and plan your day by scoping the map and schedule of events. Here are just a few highlights.


Comic-Con Museum

Comic-Con International is working on opening the Comic-Con Museum in Balboa Park! At Maker Faire San Diego, they’ll be presenting “Make the Museum,” an opportunity to allow fans to help create what they think the Comic-Con Museum should look like. Come help decide the look of the museum, exhibits, and programs!

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A bit more information about the Museum, via their site:

The Comic-Con Museum will be a year-round operation, manifesting the same values of accessibility, curiosity and appreciation that have driven the organization’s world-famous conventions. Through exhibits that refresh frequently and consistently, and programs that offer opportunities to learn, experience, and participate, the Museum will continue to build awareness and appreciation for the valuable contribution of popular culture. The Museum will be visitor-focused, whether a Comic-Con fan or a member of the general public and will provide engrossing experiences that engage curiosity and inspire learning.

Mexicali Pavilion

Working closely with El Garage Project Hub, a makerspace in Mexicali (Baja, Mexico), Maker Faire San Diego will have a truly binational zone, the Mexicali Pavillion, set up inside the San Diego Natural History Museum. Half a dozen makers from the Mexicali region will be in San Diego showing off their work, from robotics, engineering, and architecture to interactive art.


PVC Chair: An Open-Source, Low-Cost Pediatric Powerchair

When software engineer Dylan Vaughn’s eldest son, at the time just four years old, was diagnosed with having a progressive form of Muscular Dystrophy called Duchenne’s, he says, “I realized that one way I could try to help Connor, and others, was to bring all this new technology into the space of people with disabilities.” The PVC Chair is built out of easily sourceable components like PVC pipe and Arduino electronics.

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Swift Hammer Leather

Have you ever wanted to try your hand at leather crafting? You’re in luck! Swift Hammer Leather and Moonlight Wares are teaming up for a special leather-crafting demonstration. Come support local artists and try your hand at an ancient art form!


Emerald Sun Future City Project

Future City is a project-based learning program where students in grades 6, 7, and 8 imagine, research, design, and build cities of the future. From painting buildings to creating landscapes, students are able to reflect their vision of the future. Come meet the Future City team from San Diego’s Magnolia Science Academy and see their project.


Epic Queen

Epic Queen is a nonprofit in Latin America, mainly in Mexico, that seeks to close the gender gap in STEM by involving girls in STEM through the maker movement. They aim to teach girls that they have the power to be creators of technology, rather than just consumers.

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DIY Animatronics

Have you always wanted to build your own animatronic characters? Join avid haunter, writer, speaker, and builder Steve Koci to learn more. On display will be a variety of mechanisms and controllers available to meet the needs of builders of all skill levels. Steve is a writer for Nuts and Volts and Servo magazines.

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Taxidermy How-To

Learn how to taxidermy with Simone Pixley Weinstein, co-owner/manager of taxidermy to the Little Dame Shop! Taxidermy is an art form that is a unique form of expression. From start to finish, learn how to skin an animal and the process of mounting an animal. At the end of the workshop, participants will get a “How to Taxidermy” zine.



Unfolding Humanity

This 11-foot-tall interactive metal sculpture calls attention to the connection and contrast between humanity and technology, made by San Diego Geometry Lab. Its underlying design alludes to unsolved mysteries in mathematics and the shape of our universe.


Make Great Beer, Mead and Cider at Home

Learn to make beer at home! The QUAFF (Quality Ale and Fermentation Fraternity) homebrew club is a group of men and women dedicated to the enjoyment and promotion of homebrewing and beer evaluation in the greater San Diego area. QUAFF has been teaching people to make great beer, mead and cider for nearly 30 years. Stop by to see how easy it is to make a great beverage at home.

Russell the Electric Giraffe

Since the first-ever Maker Faire in 2006, San Diego hometown hero Russell the 16-foot robotic giraffe, has been thrilling crowds and playing music for the Faires he attends for 13 years in a row! Having been to the White House and Burning Man, Russell (and his creator Lindsay Lawlor) continues his adventures and is happy to be back home!

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For all the information you need to join the community in Balboa Park at Maker Faire San Diego, head to the website!


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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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