Author Archives: megadolen

An interplay of colours, textures and designs – Glass mosaic art by Anjali Venkat

anjali copy smallWe checked in with Anjali Venkat, a glass artist who will be demonstrating glass cutting and teaching glass mosaic during the Maker Faire Singapore on 11 & 12 July. Read on to find out more.

Brief Introduction
Anjali Venkat is a glass artist with an eclectic sense of art and design.

Incorporating the unusual into her work, she tries to give a new twist to the ordinary in every one of her pieces. Blessed with the opportunity to travel the world, she takes inspiration from the sights, colours, crafts, and people around the world.

She constantly tries to learn new techniques and incorporate them into her evolving artistic arsenal. She has trained in Traditional Glass Mosaic at Ravenna (Italy), Hot glasswork at the Corning Museum of Glass (New York), Glass blowing at Oslo (Norway), and Tiffany-style lamp making at Perth (Australia). Currently, the techniques she practices involve the use of mosaic, kiln-formed glass, Up-cycled glass bottles, as well as other media like wood, paper and plastic.

Joy of Making Glass Mosaic

autumnleaves smallThere is something about the interplay of the vibrant colors, textures and designs of glass, which has a mesmerizing effect on all of us. In making a mosaic there is an unlimited choice of materials, size, texture and space. It is engrossing, challenging and at times downright difficult, but ultimately making mosaic is rewarding and therapeutic.

Advice for New Hobbyists

Materials and tools used to make basic mosaics are easily available- one can even make mosaic with broken crockery and bottles at home. All one needs is the Tessera (glass, tile, broken plates etc), Glue, a Substrate (a rigid base on which to mosaic) and Grout (a cement like filler, easily available at building material shops)

To cut the tesserae into desired shapes one has to use special nippers, cutters etc.

treeoflife small

Views on Maker Faires

The Maker Faire is a good platform for both makers and others to interact. Not everybody is open to the idea or has the opportunity to actually make things with their hands. This provides a unique space for giving into ones free wheeling imagination and learning a lot in the bargain.

Check out this page to find out more about Anjali’s workshops!

Enabling text editing for the visually challenged – A project by David Effendi

When I first look through the ChorusText website and YouTube video, I found the concept pretty interesting. ChorusText is a device endeavoured to facilitate text editing for the visually challenged, by making it sight independent. For a better understanding of what ChorusText is about, check out this video first before reading on David Effendi’s replies to our email interview.

MFS: What makes you create the ChorusText?

David:Computer text editing, as we know it today, is a sight-led activity. For those without sight or with only very little remaining, it can be a challenge. Yet, text-editing is a very important part of our daily life, so it is a problem.

I simply want this problem nailed. I really hope that in 20 years’ time, this becomes a non-issue, there’s a completely sight independent (and Libre!) alternative to edit text effectively.

It is crucial for it to be open-source, and prioritize “Education” over everything else, including over “Economy”. I believe by making it open-source and as easy as possible for people to tinker with, we can push the limits much further, collectively. Ideally ChorusText becomes “that next project” after one has gone through an “Arduino Starter Kit”.

The “Libre” part has got to be there as well. It is not an entertainment device or game console where one seeks to get some amusement out of, but rather a device to help a person stay functional, without which s/he would be at a disadvantage compared to the rest of the population. A device to help level the playing field should be universally open and avoid lock-ins as much as possible.”

MFS: When did you first build it and how long did you spend doing it? How did you start?

David: “The initial spark of idea was in Feb 2014, and it was very different from the current state. At first I wanted to use a headtracker IMU, but there are several shortcomings with it (straying, can’t stay fixed at a point for a prolonged period, prone to unintentional inputs etc).

After more brainstorming with friends, I remembered that Sparkfun has this motorized slide potentiometers and it was demonstrated in one of their “New Product Friday Videos”. That would solve the problem of straying, fixation, and unintentional inputs). And so I continued with the sliders. Real work began in May 2014.”

MFS: Were you working individually or as a team? What kind of challenges did you face?

David: “There’s a friend (Dr Corey Brady from Northwestern University) who helped with laser cutting the acrylic enclosure. Having a full protective enclosure really brings it up a notch.

Before that, all the sliders and components were mounted on 3 small acrylic plates joined together to form a surface, cables were hanging underneath them and it was pretty fragile. Even moving it from one table to another could result in connections coming loose and the device dysfunctional (and I’d be scratching my head for the next 15 mins trying to figure out which cable came loose:) ).

But with a full protective enclosure, I could bring it to Jakarta and back, without any problems at all. This gives me something solid that I can bring with me to a table, put it down and let people try when I ask their thoughts/opinions/ideas.

Previously I sent the design files to Seeed Studio for laser cutting, and unfortunately they can only cut acrylic up to 20cmx20cm at that time (But as at now, Seeed’s laser cutting service is able to cut up to 30cmx30cm). The current design needs 30cmx30cm, which Dr Brady’s machine can do. Dr Brady has been kind enough to help with the project using his own resources, but I need to find a local (Singapore) source for laser cutting in the long run.”

MFS: Is the current version the final version or is it still in prototyping stage?

David: “It is still a prototype ( and I think it will remain a prototype for a long time as there are more features I’d like to implement ). Unless “magic” happen through Google Summer of Code, or the project attracted an army of developers or something similar to that effect :)”

MFS: Is this open source or will this be a commercial item for sale?

David: “This is open source. One of the main reason why I am doing this is so that doing text-editing is no longer a challenge for the visually impaired. And I think having an assistive device that is open source and “Libre” can help bring this about better than if it was commercial.”

MFS: You mentioned in your website that the ultimate goal is for ChorusText to become an online, collaborative text editing platform, that is enriched with social and chat functionalities. Can you explain what you mean by this?

David: “I’d like to implement some kind of chat functionality into ChorusText, where the user can simply turn a knob to “Chat” mode, and he can send and receive text messages to his friends, using the keyboard and the sliders.

Hopefully this helps mitigate the problem of social isolation which affects many visually impaired people (If we can’t see, we don’t travel to see our friends as much. If we can’t travel, at least we can send messages over the internet) Now I am looking into Telegram messenger’s API to see if integration is feasible.

Also, it is possible to “send” physical movements over the internet ( a servo connected to a plastic hand that would rise up to give the user a “virtual hi-5″ for example ), but the trick is to do so in a friendly and safe manner.

Maybe, we can turn the knob to “Collaborate” mode and edit a document / text together ( like etherpad-lite or google docs, but updates happen one sentence at a time, instead of one keystroke at a time ).

Any new sentence sent in by a user can be pushed to all users editing the text. Who knows what could happen when we bring minds together like this? (This is kind of experimental though.)

From some discussion, there is also an idea of developing ChorusText into a device to access Wikipedia’s content, using MediaWiki API. I think this is very interesting and worthwhile too, so turn the knob to “Wikipedia” type in some search words and the search results will be available via the sliders.

There’s also a much better sounding text-to-speech engine called MaryTTS, and it would be great if we can use it or offer the user a choice of TTS engines. The current one is eSpeak, which is very lightweight and robust, but not as pleasant-sounding (monotonous and roboty, but I think it’s nicely geeky :) )

Also, from discussions with people I met in GNOME Asia Summit, there were some ideas about desktop integration. Right now, there is already has a screen reader on the Linux GNOME desktop that will speak out the text on the screen / under the mouse pointer. Let’s add on to that by sending the text to ChorusText in addition to the screen reader, so the text is also available via the sliders.

It would be even better if we can tap into keyboard to input events, so following each keyboard keypress, a character can be sent to Chorustext such that the contents of the currently focused textbox is the same as what’s on the device. I think this is by far the most interesting idea, but need more time to explore, especially as this falls outside my domain knowledge.

All these are very interesting and definitely worthwhile exploring.

But it also means that we are on the crossroads now. After getting the device to handle reading, typing, importing and exporting, multiple paths lie ahead but there remains only one developer. This is another reason for making ChorusText “Education First”, open source and as easy as possible for other people to study, modify and take it to wherever they want.”

MFS: Also, can you share whether you are based in Singapore or are you based in Indonesia? Are you able to share on the making culture at where you are, if not in SG?

David: “I am based in Singapore. For the past few years I had not been very active in the local makers community, because my son was still very young. But now he is older and I can afford to be more active (very much looking forward to it! :) ).”

MFS: Have you attended the Maker Faire in SG before? How did you learn about it?

David:This is actually my second time. Last year I showcased ChorusText too but I was in the pcDuino booth. I was introduced to Liu JingFeng, the founder of pcDuino (by Dr Brady), who came to Singapore for the Mini Maker Faire 2014. He invited me to showcase pcDuino in his booth as I am using pcDuino for ChorusText. I am really thankful especially since I missed the 2014 call for makers.”

MFS: What do you hope to go away with from the event?

David:Meeting people, brainstorming, raise awareness, and who knows, hopefully more people are interested to take a look at ChorusText such that the number of developers grow. :)

ChorusText is an open assistive device for people with low-vision / blindness, that lets them explore and edit text by means of touch and hearing. As you can tell from David’s sharing, his objective is to enable visually challenged people to be able to communicate through ChorusText and use the device for collaborations. If you are interested in David’s cause, check out his booth at Maker Faire Singapore which will take place on 11 & 12 July next month!

 

Have you seen these barang-barang?

Phoebe is a second-time participating maker. I recalled Phoebe’s booth being very crowded last year as many checked out her handcrafted leather items, the on-the-spot workshops, and the “barang-barang” (“Things” in the Malay language) she was selling. I also found myself drifting back to her booth again and again (also manned by Phoebe’s mother and son, a helpful young boy), and eventually I bought an awl which I wanted to use for bookbinding. Unfortunately, I’ve not embarked on my bookbinding project yet.

Mini Shoe Workshop in progress at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 (Photo: Barang Shop)

Mini Shoe Workshop in progress at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 (Photo: Barangshop)

How it all started

Phoebe shared that she has been making all kinds of crafts and stuff ever since she was 4 years old and started selling them as young as eleven! She has a love for making and have tried many crafts and hobbies, including pottery and woodworking. She is also a shoemaking trainer at TaF.tc (The Academy of Fashion Professions). Wow!

However, at this stage in life, her focus is on designing and making jewellery, shoes, bags and accessories, creating DIY patterns for sale and conducting workshops. Like last year, Phoebe’s booth will showcase her handcrafted items, some patterns and supplies for DIY fans.

Joining Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014

Phoebe told us that she actually saw the promotional poster for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 after the event, so she made up her mind then to take part as a Maker in 2014.

Phoebe’s recap of her experience – “It was an interesting 2014 as we saw many who were interested in making their own leathergoods. Hope to see more this year who would try out shoe making as well  with our new shoemaking kit to be launched at Maker Faire Singapore 2015.”

Like last year, Phoebe hope to raise the public’s appreciation of handmade products and also encourage people to DIY. It’ll be interesting to check out the shoemaking kit!

Thoughts about the Maker Movement in Singapore

Phoebe felt that in the not-so-distant past, most people viewed handmade/homemade as cheap and poor quality as they are made “by hand”. People perceived machine-made items to be of “good” quality. Now, more and more people realise and appreciate that handcrafted items can actually be better as opposed to factory-made. There is value added for artisan made products. And this in turn stimulates more interest in people to be makers too. We may have a long way to go in comparison to the USA or Australia, but we are strolling our way there.

Want to check out Phoebe’s Barangshop booth at Maker Faire Singapore this year? Make your way to 15 Tampines Street 11 on 11 and 12 July! Barangshop can also be found online at http://barangshop.blogspot.sg/

Check out this Quirky Butt-Activated Selfie Booth!

It is probably not difficult to be intrigued by the title of this showcase by Saad Chinoy.

Saad Chinoy is not new to the Maker community. For me, I remembered him from the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) space two years back at *SCAPE. He was explaining his caffeinator (something he built and which he described as his obsession), and giving treats of DIY cookies and drinks. This year, Saad is back to entertain the crowd with his “ButtActivated Selfie Booth”.

In Saad’s own words, the “Butt-Activated Selfie Booth” is an IKEA-Hack with cardboard, duct tape and many cable-ties featuring “the-world’s-most-energy-efficient-high-resolution-analog-selfie-screen”. This booth lets you take a selfie with a touch of a butt and with a count of three, and photo-bombings are highly encouraged!

How did the idea come along?

It started in response to a call for makers for the Singapore Maker Festival. As the idea puts a smile on people’s faces, Saad decided to give it a try and build it. It was also in line with an image crowd-sourcing project that he was working on as part of his work, bringing what he does at work closer to what he does outside it.

This was Saad’s artist impression of the selfie booth.

selfie booth illustration

These are the actual photos.

The creator can always spot the imperfection but to the onlooker, it is simply awesome. Of course, we noted that lots of effort went into prototyping, improvising and iterating.

How does it work?

Check out these precious work-in-progress photos that Saad revealed to help us understand the inner workings.

inner workings inner workings2

Saad also shared that the selfie-booth made its way to the RaspberryJAM#9 meetup as it runs on RaspberryPi and was written in Python code which Saad described as “awfully untidy hacky self-taught”.

Improvisation

Through the meetup, Saad received feedback which led to him spending another caffeinated night upgrading the electronics to a RaspberryPi2 (faster and better) for IDA’s TechSaturday as part of the HackerSpaceSG booth, appearing as “SelfieMirror” rather than “SelfieBooth” (see photos below). Interesting, isn’t it?

mirror mirror2

More photos can be found here:- https://instagram.com/selfieboothsg/

When asked if there is a video to show how this booth works, Saad shared that while a video works best that way, it also takes away the surprise through self-discovery. As much as I wish to see a video, I must say that I couldn’t agree any lesser with what he said as well. Now, I’m really looking forward to discover the magic of the booth myself! In Saad’s words, this could either be #ridiculouslySimple or #simplyRidiculous :)

Selfie Booth for Maker Faire Singapore

As the Selfie Booth has made its round like a travelling exhibition, it faces the challenges of maintenance, which Saad is taking time to work on whenever he is not working (a familiar situation most hobbyists find themselves in). In addition, he is also looking at decorating the booth exterior with “random acts of artsy-vandalism that can take place during the course of the Faire”. Wow, that sounds like an open invitation!

About Saad

Saad shared that he can’t really pin point when he first started making, but tinkering has always been part of his childhood. He shared that coming into public view was the scary part, i.e. to showcase what you made to people. It was great to hear that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013 was his first step for that. How many of you also share this thought before? If you still do, take Saad as an example. Come forth and share your creation. It just gets better.

I couldn’t help grinning at Saad’s Syllogism (or #SillyGism) that he ended our interview with – “The world depends on technology. Technology depends on the Geek. The Geek depends on caffeine. Therefore, the world depends on coffee.” Well, that’s one coffee-obsessed geek for you.

Introducing Hangmade by Gladys

Gladys is the creator of Hangmade by Gladys. Before she started Hangmade by Gladys, she used to do cross-stitch for a number of years, and tried out painting while living overseas for close to 6 years. She creates patchwork bags and other hand-sewn articles, primarily stuffed animals, cushions and cushion covers, but lately tote bags and bag accessories as well. Choosing the fabric, creating the pattern, cutting and sewing everything herself, each item that she creates is unique.

Screenshot_2015-05-15-08-03-36For one and a half years she has been selling her crafts, the first items were patchwork bags as a Christmas gift. Gladys attends bazaars and fairs to showcase her crafts for sale; as she does not have a shop, she uses her home as a base for delivering to customers who order from her. At the moment, she is showcasing her work primarily on Facebook HangmadebyGladys. Her own website is under development and will be hopefully up and running early second half of this year. Occasionally she puts items for sale at carousell.

She loves doing patchwork and creating other stuff from fabric as it gives her a lot of creative room to explore; it never follows a template to 100%, the process of creating something nice out of raw materials, something that people like and love. Getting positive feedback about her work is always encouraging and has made her pursue her craft.

As each item is unique, Gladys is often asked for customization of articles. The challenge here is to make sure that what the customer has in mind and what will be created is similar so that both parties end up happy. Sometime it does not work out so she ends up with a customized item in her living room waiting for a new home.

This is her second time participating at the Makers Faire. Gladys’ first experience at Singapore Mini Maker Faire last year was a very nice outing, a good opportunity to showcase her crafts. She met a lot of like-minded people and did good business; overall a very positive experience. For this year, Gladys has gone back to her favorite: owls. There will be mini owl bag charms, paper weights, pin cushions, cushions and patchwork owls in various sizes and patterns.

[Note: This write-up was contributed in full by Gladys herself. Thank you, Gladys. :)  ]

 

Alice in Crafty-land

Before my interview with Alice, I had checked out her website at www.scottiecrafts.blogspot.com and was totally blown away by her plastic spoon roses craftwork. Later on, I learnt that Alice has come up with the idea herself, and I was so impressed!

These are the roses designed and made by Alice. Do you like them too?

Plastic roses

Joining the Maker Faire

This will be Alice’s first Maker Faire experience, having being introduced by Mr Davy Young who joined us last year and who will also be joining in this year. A warm welcome to Alice!

How she begun

Alice recalled her first craft work to be curtains-making for her mother during her teenage days and making pom-pom ball characters to earn a craft badge during her Girls’ Brigade days.

But her real passion for handicraft started in 2003 when she attended the Perth Royal Show in Australia. She shared with us that it is an annual community event which showcases Western Australia’s agriculture and horticulture, arts and handicrafts, animals, photography, cooking demonstration, performances and competitions. That’s quite a range of activities, isn’t it?

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2nd Prize (Cross-Stitch) at Perth Royal Show Creative Craft Competition 2004

Alice took part in the Perth Royal Show Creative Craft Competition in 2004 and 2005 and bagged victories. Her cross-stitched cushion cover featuring Winnie the Pooh and friends won her the 2nd Prize in the first year.

3rd Prize (Parchment card) at Perth Royal Show 2004

3rd Prize (Parchment card) at Perth Royal Show 2004

In the second year, she won 2nd Prize for beading jewellery. She also won 3rd Prize for Parchment Crafts in both years.

Impressive!

Alice told us that the exposure to the wide variety of handicrafts on display at the Perth Royal Show left a deep impression on her and after that, she began to take handicraft lessons and make gifts for family and friends. She even trained in Australia to be a qualified Parchment Teacher, though she only teach for passion and leisure.

Despite having a full-time job as an administrative assistant in the hospitality industry, Alice received full support from her family, boss, colleagues and friends and was often recommended customers. Hence, her weekends are always occupied, either teaching crafts or creating new items. She also shared that it was through crafts that she made many friends in life!

Her craft works

Alice likes to try any crafts which are unique and interesting, and she knows a good variety!

  • parchment
  • cross-stitch
  • beadings
  • greeting cards
  • scrapbooking
  • clay modelling
  • wood painting
  • spoon art
  • upcycling old arts into altered arts (converting desk top calendar into a post-it note pad cover or notebook cover, or cutting wine bottles and turning them into pen or candle holders)

Below were what Alice shared about the two crafts that she will be showcasing at the Maker Faire Singapore in July.

Parchment Craft

“It was at the Perth Royal show that the dolly lace picture frame caught my attention and was told that it was made from vellum paper. With simple tools, it will turn the vellum paper from grey color to white color. Amazed with the fine details on the dolly, I fell in love with parchment crafts. Later on, my teacher – Ms Christine Coppen encouraged me to take part in the Parchment Crafts Competition at the yearly event – Perth Royal Show. With her guidance and coaching, I come in 3rd prize in 2004 and 2005. After that I stop for a long period due to family and work commitments. Only in the recently years I pick up the skills again. I find that Parchment craft is very therapeutic and helps to calm down your mind too. You would not feel tired after working on the card for 2 hrs but a sense of great satisfaction of achievements.”

Photo_Collage_Maker_tTtNpp

It is a beautiful art indeed, and Alice will be demonstrating at the booth on one of the days for visitors to try out. I am sure others will be fascinated just like me!

Everlasting Roses made from disposable spoon

“I personally like roses and always wanted to make it with different materials apart from crepe papers, fabric, ribbon, leather, felts.  So I started my journey of searching online and gather ideas. I learnt the skills by myself through trial and error. Recently I make roses with mini dessert spoons and it is almost a year since I start this craft.

 Every now and then when I have new ideas, I will make the items with the consideration in mind that people would use them rather than a display item only. Or I should call it practical items.”

An awesome and creative idea, and I really love it! Alice will be conducting a 90-minute workshop on both days of the Maker Faire Singapore held at 15 Tampines Street 11 on 11 and 12 July. The workshop will be recommended for adults only. Do watch out for more information on http://makerfairesingapore.com

Maker introduction for Maker Faire Singapore – Mr Ng Pan Yew

Maker Faire Singapore logo with dateThe Maker Faire Singapore team has been excited about the elevation of our Maker Faire status from a “Mini” event to a “Featured” one. Leading up to the event that will happen on 11 & 12 July at 15 Tampines Street 11, we will continue our practice of showcasing our participating makers .

The first to be featured this year will be Mr Ng Pan Yew, coincidentally the first maker to be featured for Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 as well.

Recapping the year 2014, Mr Ng jokingly commented that he has over participated. Well, I think not everybody can do that, and it is in itself an achievement. Despite being his first year taking part in a Science Centre programme, Mr Ng has been most enthusiastic. He started with two workshops in April and June 2014, leading up to the Mini Maker Faire itself in July where he not only took a booth to showcase his works, but conducted two workshops as well to teach people how to make their own Kaleidoscope and Roly – Poly.

Mr Ng was very reflective of the activities he conducted. “Frankly speaking, my successful rate for lead-up event or mini workshop is only 50%”, he said. He explained that not everything turned out to be what he expected them to be. He noted the challenge to come up with interesting activities for 7-12 year-old children and to use materials which are easily available.

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Participating in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire became a family affair for Mr Ng. Together with his wife, Mr Ng and their two grown-up daughters carried out the workshops and explained to interested visitors about Mr Ng’s showcase at the event. Mr Ng also took the opportunity to thank his wife and two daughters, who assisted him patiently during his workshops, helping him with facilitation, photography and publicity. Such a sweet gesture!

Tips for new participating makers

We asked Mr Ng for advice for first time participants, and he encouraged new makers to try to form a team to work together as there are challenges working alone. For his case, he single-handedly take charge of 2D-drawing, laser cutting, laser engraving, electronics circuit design, PCB art-work and the sourcing of affordable resources. Mr Ng also highlighted that it is inevitable that hardware-intensive hobbies incur higher cost compared to software-based ones, so new makers would need to be aware of such cost issues.

What’s new?

For the upcoming Maker Faire in July, Mr Ng is working towards expanding his acrylic showcase. While he will keep his previous display (Supertrees at Gardens by the Bay, Esplanade, etc), he will also be adding the Helix Bridge, the Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore River Bumboat and more!

SG50_MarinaBay

Interested to find out more? Mark your calendar for 11 & 12 July and drop by 15 Tampines Street 11 Singapore 529454 to speak with Mr Ng in person!

Heard of bio-printing?

frontIf you have never heard of bio-printing, or find it a very distant topic, here is your chance to know it better. Mr Fan Mingwei, Co-founder and Director of Bio3D Technologies (first bio-printing company in Singapore and one of the few in the world presently) will be showing one of their bioprinters and explain what is bio-printing at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend. Mingwei learnt about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire through a discussion at the Science Centre previously and he thought it might be a good idea to showcase this relatively new technology to Singaporeans. This would be the first time that he will be showcasing a real bioprinter at such a public event, and will even do some simple demonstrations. We are indeed honoured!

As this would be Mingwei’s first time participation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, he shared that he is looking forward to lots of fun and excitement learning about new and interesting works by different makers. He found it exciting that such a trend is picking up in Singapore and he hopes to see more people and organisation engaged in such a movement.

It would definitely be a rare occasion that one can see a real bioprinter and learn how it works. Don’t miss this opportunity this weekend at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire that will be held at Senja-Cashew CC!

What does art make you?

New Picture (3)“Art Makes Us” – What ran through your mind when you heard this?

Benjamin Low, who will be taking part in this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire (SMMF) with his friends Jacky Boen, Mithru Vigneshwara, Mui Rui Yi and Zac Ong, ex-classmates from LASALLE, introduced their team as “Art Makes Us”. When asked more about the team name, Benjamin shared that they coined this name during their studies of “Interactive Art” when they had to make use of coding or electronics in creating their projects. The name represents their collective interest in creating artwork and how they leveraged on their respective strengths in art direction, coding, hardware and sound/visual design.

This would be Benjamin’s second time at SMMF and it is wonderful that he has decided to bring his friends on board. Benjamin shared that his technical and arts academic background has cultivated his interest in doing projects that are multidisciplinary in nature. Indeed, his team’s showcase of “The Synesthete’s Music Machine”, a toy sound machine is exemplary of a multidisciplinary project and truly reflective of the spirit of their team. It translates images into sound, which is inspired by the idea of a synesthete – a person who is able to “hear” colours through an involuntary association of certain colours with certain sound, caused by a neurologically-based condition. Through his participation this year, he would like visitors to have fun experimenting with the sound toy.  Curious about this amazing machine? Don’t miss checking out the “Art Makes Us” booth this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!

Benjamin learnt about the SMMF through word of mouth. One aspect of the SMMF that he finds appealing is the community based nature of it as people get together to share their common interests. He hopes that the SMMF will encourage more people to get creative with their minds and hands, and more importantly, to have fun!

 

We are researchers but we are makers too!

At the Centre for Quantum Technologies (CQT) booth, you will probably find some really interesting tools and toys, things that are used in actual research in a Research Institute, but designed and built by the researchers themselves!

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Dr. Nick Lewty (3rd from left) and Prof. Christian Kurtsiefer (extreme right)

Last year, the CQT team had a blast at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire connecting with an interested audience, such that they are back for more this year. The team is eager to showcase the tools they built to aid in their research work in the lab.

In a way, the message I received through the interview is “We are researchers but we are makers too!”, and that researchers and makers share certain similar traits and skills, whereby research skills could be cultivated and developed through the process of making. Whoever you are, this is a chance to speak with real scientists and find out how they also DIY!

Interested to find out what the CQT booth will showcase? Here is a sneak preview:- Levitating magnets and home built lasers!

So, wait no further and come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this weekend at Senja-Cashew CC!