Maker Faire Singapore 2016 launched with a mechanism and banner truly representative of the Maker Faire Spirit made by Makers present in the Faire. Once the Minister for Communication and Information, Dr Yacob Ibrahim gave the signal, the self-balancing vehicle was released and it pulled along the clothed banner. This ingenious device was created by allowing the metal gear to balance the vehicle’s centre of gravity. It enabled the two-wheeled vehicle to travel down a thin rope (to a certain angle) without falling off of it.
Visitors were in for a delightful surprise as they were greeted with a crocheted Merlion made from 2,200 crocheted squares contributed by the community with donators hailing from Singapore, Malaysia to the UK. This Merlion crochet was the centrepiece of Yarnbombing SG’s Magical garden and was designed by Yarnbombing’s very own members. Visitors were lucky to experience the cute yarn bombing animals, flowers and brightly coloured mushrooms decorating the Maker Faire’s entrance.
Visitors collected their Maker Faire Singapore passport and map at the registration booth and were off to peruse the many booths that catch their eye. A constant flow of visitors was seen at the various Every Day a Learning Day booths where visitors were able to make their own creations and bring them back home. The Every Day a Learning Day booths included the Light Puppet Theatre, String Art, Soldering, Paper Quilling, Yarn Bombing, Blink a Bottle and Curious Design Network.
At the Light Puppet Theatre booth, visitors learned how to make their own puppet theatre with simple materials such as cardboard, satay sticks, tracing paper, LED lights and batteries. They were entertained by the different shadows that can be made from a single light source.
At the Soldering booth, visitors got to try using the soldering tools to make their own keychain which has lights on it. Children and adult alike were able to learn about simple circuitry to make the lights of the robot light up.
At the String Art booth, visitors used strings to make some interesting designs. They were diligently making these intricate and delicate designs at the booth.
At the Paper Quilling booth, visitors decorated bookmarks using coils of paper glued into beautiful shapes. It was great to see the many different and unique designs made by those stopping at the booth.
At the Yarn Bombing both, visitors got to make flowers using yarn.
At the Blink a Bottle booth, visitors used basic decoupage to make pretty little night lanterns. Visitors were entertained by these creative devices.
Lastly, at the Curious Design Network booth, visitors designed a notebook for their loved ones.
Visitors, young and old were impressed at how easy it was to make such creative and beautiful art pieces using simple materials and were happy to acquire a new skill such as soldering, yarnbombing, paper quilling or decoupage.
There were six different zones: Thinkspace, Labs Central, Families and Young Makers, Dark Zone, Craft Zone and Tech Zone. Visitors of different age, gender and interests were able to enjoy themselves as there was such a wide variety of booths available for them to see.
Visitors interested in crafts were in for a treat at the craft zone because there were many makers showcasing a variety of crafts. There were also workshops available for the public, such as silkscreen printing, napkin decoupage, glass painting, sewing and more. Walking along the zone, you could see visitors sitting in the corner of the booths making roses out of plastic spoons, painting their favourite designs using silkscreen and participating in string art. Visitors were able to buy some of the handmade crafts made by the makers too. Many of the makers engage in upcycling projects too. Upcycling is the process of turning unwanted things into useful things. Some of the upcycling projects include using milk cartons to make a coin purse, using toilet roll to make a stationery holder and more.
Young makers and families of makers exhibited their projects too. Many of the young makers came up with the idea themselves. Julianne, a 12-year-old homeschooler from Malaysia was one of the many young makers who exhibited their products at Maker Faire 2016. She started making jewellery at a young age and has even started her own online business selling her products. It was heartwarming to see makers being so creative and making such wonderful projects at such a young age.
Thinkspace zone was a great place to go when visitors wanted to churn their imaginative juices. At imagin8ors, participants were able to make their own puppet and play out creative stories with their loved ones. It was a joy to see the hand-puppets and the members of Imagin8ors bringing out the smiles of even the shyest of children as they start their own play. Creative stories came to life at the claymation workshop held by the Imagin8ors where the participants created their storyboard and actors. They were able to direct their own movie by learning the techniques of stop motion videos. Ground Up Initiative, indeed brought the Kampung Spirit down to Maker Faire 2016 as visitors had the opportunity to learn old school activities such as calligraphy, weaving, kite making etc, as well as modern day activities such as electronics workshops and upcycling of recycled waste materials.
Dark zone was the place to go to enjoy displays that glow in the dark from lasers, LED-filled bottles to a lighted display of Sentosa!
Visitors who love technology were able to immerse themselves in many of the projects that makers in this zone have created, such as Robots, Self-Built 3D printers, Kits, Arduinos, IoT kits and Virtual Reality. We were happy that many makers from overseas specially came down to Singapore for Maker Faire. Among these makers were CAVEDU Education from Taiwan, Seeed Studio from China and Cytron Technologies from Malaysia.
At the Lab Central, Makers combined the different elements of Making and Tinkering to present to visitors amazing projects. Among many of these projects were the Tinkercademy’s Mars base Lockdown, in collaboration with cardboard sculptor Bart, which is an escape room activity where visitors had to solve a series of electronic puzzles in order to receive clues which will help them escape.
Another interesting showcase we saw was the cotton candy shooter brought in by One Maker Group (OMG) among other projects by OMG such as the misbehaving umbrella and the hovercraft. Both children and adults were so excited about it.
Maker Faire Singapore 2016 was such a great success, thanks to all the makers and the public who took time to come down to SUTD to join in these 2 days of fun. We would like to thank all the makers and community partners who made the Faire a success and helped in the exponential growth of the Faire. We hope to see you again in the future editions of Maker Faire Singapore.