Monthly Archives: May 2014

Crochet. Knitting. Yarnbombing

crochet

Crocheting a 3D butterfly

Crocheting has always been close to my heart, something which I learnt from my Godmother and from my Primary School’s Art Club. I always find it therapeutic. However, I do not have much friends who share the same hobby and I also crochet less as I started picking up other hobbies later on in life.

Hence, imagine my excitement when I got to know makers [through the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF)] who also crochet and knit. For example, we have Ling Ling (SMMF12 & SMMF13 Maker), Huey Ling (SMMF13 Maker) and Agatha (SMMF13 Maker) who crochet different kind of things using different kind of materials.

Last year, Ling Ling even took it a step further and ran an “Intro to Crochet for Beginners” workshop during our Singapore Mini Maker Faire!

How the SMMF yarnbombing project was started

Pittsburgh Andy Warhol bridge

Pittsburgh Andy Warhol bridge which was yarnbombed (http://knitthebridge.wordpress.com/) (Photo credit: Christina Saucedo)

I first heard of yarnbombing last year, around the time when we held our second Singapore Mini Maker Faire. The vibrant colourful yarnbombed trees and giant structures online caught my attention. The shared yarnbombing projects also captured a bit of attention on our Singapore Mini Maker Faire Facebook Page.

But it was earlier this year when yarnbombing was brought up again. Agatha was inspired by a yarnbombing project in Hong Kong and re-ignited the discussion again. A few of us were enthused enough to start moving into action and before you know it, the first yarnbombing project under the Singapore Mini Maker Faire was initiated.

The yarnbombing project would not have been possible without the strong ground-up initiative and support. Agatha shared how she has got to know Mona and a few other ladies from the sewing community, and how there was a good response to the suggestion of yarnbombing.

Mona, currently an active quilter, works closely with Agatha to spearhead this yarnbombing initiative. She shared that she had volunteered to arrange for a craft meetup for the followers of “The Sewing Network”, a Facebook group for those who are interested in sewing and needle crafts.  During the discussion about the exact crafts that could be brought to the meetup, the yarnbombing idea popped up and grew.

It is always nice to know how ideas fall into place nicely like that. :P

The yarnbombing begins…

With Agatha and Mona helming this project, a date for the first yarnbombing session was fixed very quickly for 1 May, Labour Day public holiday at Science Centre Singapore.

Yarnbombing (1 May)

Yarnbombing (1 May)

The initiative moved in an organic fashion. When we first met, there were only 14 of us, including two young children of Kiruthika, the lead organiser of this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Most of us did not know each other, and we spent some time introducing ourselves while we crochet or knit. It was a cosy and fun session.

The group decided that we will use one of the railings at the turnstile area to be our pilot yarnbombing spot.

We crowded around the choice location and quickly set to work, choosing the pieces to combine around the railing. Before we know it, the job is done, and we had an impromptu yarnbombed railing at the front of the Science Centre!

Yarnbombing 1 May II

A project under the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (Photo Credit: Kiruthika)

Then the group asked “What’s next?”. One suggestion was to yarnbomb the animatronic dinosaur in front of the Centre. We went to take a look, and once again very quickly made plans for a giant scarf. Everyone were excited to meet again for the next session and we set the next date on the spot, 24 May. The next few weeks saw furious knitting and crocheting by the many enthusiasts and there were a lot of sharing of progress online.

24 May morning was a busy morning. Twenty volunteers turned out to assemble the granny squares into a scarf which ended up to be 6.2metre by 0.4 metre long! We were all truly amazed by the efforts both by those who contributed their granny squares and those who turned up to help with the assembly. It was heartening to also see some volunteers who came to learn and contribute too, one male volunteer included!

yarnbombed dinosaur

We were also glad that the yarnbombing project received media attention and subsequently reported in Straits Times Life! and Zao Bao after the event. Besides giving attention to the yarnbombing project, it was great that they also highlighted the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. Hopefully with the media attention, we can garner more interest both in the Phase 2 of the yarnbombing project (we are moving on to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire venue!) and the Faire itself!

Interested in yarnbombing or to learn knitting or crocheting? We welcome you to join us at the Senja-Cashew Community Club on 22 June, 10am – 12pm where the next phase will be embarked. If you are able to join us or wish to contribute 4 x 4 inch granny squares, do contact Agatha and Mona through the Yarnbombing Singapore Facebook Page or email to yarnbombingsg@yahoo.com.sg.

How do you sell the things you made? – A sharing by Seah Ying Cong

Laughter (small)Seah Ying Cong, 21-year-old Co-founder and Operations Director of Glints, will be sharing his sales tips to makers at this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and how to adopt a customer-centric approach to produce development.

In our interview with Ying Cong, he shared his previous experience in entrepreneurship and why he wanted to get involved in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Read on to find out more.

About Ying Cong

Ying Cong shared his interest in entrepreneurship and how he learnt through business plan competitions. He started a social enterprise but it did not work out. His success came about when he started Glints, an internship portal that recommends candidates for internships based on skills and personality, which he described to have obtained a pretty sustainable growth path.

Getting involved in Singapore Mini Maker Faire

Last year, Ying Cong got involved in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through his friend Qin En when they came together with another friend to co-deliver a presentation and a workshop on product sales to our makers. Ying Cong shared that when he first heard about the event, he was excited because he likes to build his own things in his free time and he felt that 3D printing will have an impact on how we consume and buy goods in the next decade.

The trio received a good turn-out for their workshop and they also took time to explore the maker booths, when Ying Cong was awed by the Ironman suit. At the same time, he also observed that there was a saturation of makers doing 3D printing. While that was of interest to him, he expressed that he hope to see more diversity in the type of maker booths.

While he declared that he is not actively plugged into the maker movement, he is aware that it is gaining currency and traction, especially with the increasing popularity of Arduino amongst certain local enthusiast groups. When asked on his expected take-away from his participation this year, he felt that there is value that they can bring to the makers from a business point of view, and he looks forward to meeting interesting people and checking out cool gadgets that other participants made.

Don’t miss the chance to speak with Ying Cong personally at his workshop though! More details will be out on the Singapore Mini Maker Faire website www.makerfairesingapore.com.

 

Introducing the next maker – Gabriel Perumal

The next maker we would like to introduce is Gabriel Perumal.

DSC_0003s

Gabriel Perumal (Extreme Right)

“It is an honour and a calling to be a maker.”  This was Gabriel’s ending line to my email interview with him. It is telling of his pride to be known as a maker.

Despite that, Gabriel described himself as an average youth. He graduated with a Diploma in Clean Energy and he is currently a full-time National Serviceman.

Gabriel loves electronics. His passion for electronics and his belief to educate electronics to young children has driven him to be actively involved in the Maker Movement since his first involvement last year. Gabriel first learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through William Hooi, a fervent activist in the local (and sometimes regional) maker scene. He had since regarded William as a mentor who had guided him in his maker journey. Gabriel  shared with us how he began his maker journey at the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) booth area at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013. He made a Musical Plant using piezo sensors and Arduino, and it played music upon the touch of a leaf! To Gabriel, it was an awesome experience meeting makers with similar passion and devotion.

This year, Gabriel will be setting up his own Maker booth. At his booth, he would like to conduct two mini workshops, the first being an electronics workshop where children will use Tiny Lights Kit, an electronics kits that he came up with. Tiny Lights Kit is an electronic kit with tiny colourful LEDs, and children will learn to fix a basic LED (Light Emitting Diode) Switch Circuit on a tiny breadboard. The inspiration of this Kit came from a LittleBits, a cool electronics kit designed for kids age for 7 and up. Gabriel was inspired to design a similarly fun yet more affordable kit. He also duly credited his friends Zhen Hao and Arshad for contributing to the plan and the design of the kit, at an affordable cost of just SGD10. The second mini workshop is on introductory Arduino programming as it would be complementary to the hardware workshop. The target audience is similarly children. Gabriel highlighted that he would like to see parents accompany the children at these workshops and take the chance to bond with them. Honestly, I was surprised to hear this from a 21-year-old, but what a nice thought, isn’t it?

Although the actual Singapore Mini Maker Faire is taking place only in the month of July, many of our active Makers were already actively involved in the lead-up workshops. Gabriel is one of them. On 5 April, Gabriel took part in one of the lead-up family workshop, and ran some electronics activities for the participating families. When asked on his takeaways, Gabriel shared on his sense of mission to help bring out the potential in children in the field of electronics and technology. He believes that such engagement will leave an impact in the lives of the children later on. He also wished that more technological companies can come forth to sponsor the events or provide their technological expertise to inspire and educate the next generation. We also hope to see that happen!

When asked about future plans, Gabriel shared his dream for electronics education to be made compulsory in schools and for his electronic kits to be used widely in Singapore in future. For now, he would start off with a “Startup” Electronics Made Easy (EME). We wish Gabriel all the best in materialising his dream. For a preview of what you will see at Gabriel’s booth, check out this youtube video which he put together.

This year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire will be even more meaningful to Gabriel as he will be turning 21 years old on the first day of the Faire. What an awesome way to celebrate! If you see Gabriel on 26 July, do not forget to wish him “Happy Birthday!”

Curation begins!

thank you

We are excited to see all the applications coming in for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. Thank you for your interest!

To all makers who had submitted your applications, the curation is in progress and we will be in touch with you very shortly!

Hands-on activities for the month of June!

Like the idea of family bonding over hands-on fun with clay, electronics, paper circuits or other activities to “wow” your children?

Leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 26 & 27 July at Senja-Cashew CC, Science Centre Singapore has organised a series of hands-on activities since the beginning of the year. Bring your child to join us on 7 June (Saturday), 10am – 1pm, and immerse into a morning of creativity.

Interested? Sign up at https://www.regonline.sg/makerworkshop2

June SMMF

About DIY Biohacker Malthe Borch and Labitat

A group of about 15 Science Centre Singapore staff came together for a sharing session by a DIY biohacker Malthe Borch from Copenhagen on 30 April 2014.

Malthen Borch

It was interesting to learn why Malthe had chosen to be an independent biohacker to conduct his own biology experiments using materials which could be bought from supermarkets, about the DIY hackerspace, Labitat that he co-founded and works in at Copenhagen.

We were shown plenty of photographs in the sharing session, giving us some ideas of the kind of DIY laboratory equipments that were used and how they incorporated technology such as Arduinos in their biohacking, and the ethics and humanity issue his group faces when they carry out their biology experiments.

Besides sharing about the biohacking scene in Copenhagen, Malthe also talked about his experience working at the Hackterialab at Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

During the Q&A session, there were further discussion on the practical issues of running a biohackerspace, funding etc, and Malthe also offered some suggestions on the kind of biohacking projects that we can consider here in Singapore.

It was an interesting hour of sharing and discussion, and it certainly gave us some insights for biohackers-wannabes here! If you are interested to find out more about the Malthe and Labitat, check out their website here at https://labitat.dk/