Author Archives: megadolen

“Making is caring.” – Elda Webb

“Making is caring.” – Elda Webb

I had an interesting chat with Elda to learn why and how she became involved in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

During the chat, she returned several times to the point that making should be a way to solve a problem, so that it is purposeful. She attributed her belief to the Mexico culture in which she was brought up in, where people are creative in coming up with solutions to problems.

To Elda, making is actually a way to care for others. I thought that is a nice perspective and it gives a different meaning to the act of making. Have you also made something because it is needed by somebody else? Are you also motivated in the same manner to make things? How can you make things to improve the lives of others? Elda made me think deeper into this.

Getting involved in Singapore Mini Maker Faire

Elda became involved in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire since its inauguration two years back. Searching online on 3D printing stuffs then, she found a link to our website. She signed up as a volunteer for two years and it is exciting that she will be conducting her first workshops on design thinking this year. Speaking with Elda, I learnt that she had her fair share of hesitation about the sharing, hence the delay in coming forth to conduct workshops for our event.  This hesitation is definitely not an act of selfishness but a lack of confidence. But confidence can be built up with encouragement, and she felt that everybody need someone to assure them that they are doing well.

During our conversation, we chatted about how common this thinking is amongst some makers, and how she wanted to help people build confidence by introducing a set of design thinking steps which could serve as some form of guide. First, she wanted to break the barrier of the mind, and show that everybody have the potential to be a designer. This is something she would like to achieve with her workshops.

“Everybody need someone to assure them that they are doing well”. – Elda

The way forward

Elda is of view that the momentum for the Maker Movement in Singapore has been built up and should continue to roll, and it is still important to build greater awareness as there are still many people who are not familiar and receptive to the idea of making. On her own, she has plans to continue her workshops so that she can continue to inspire people to make and design solutions to problems. It is really cool to know she has such plans!

Interested to attend Elda’s Design Thinking workshops on 26 July, 1.00pm – 2.30pm or 27 July, 10am – 11.30am at the Senja-Cashew CC? Simply email  the.curious.design.network@gmail.com for registration details.workshop Logo

Using Arduino to improve others’ way of living

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Did you notice a group of students showcasing their arduino-related projects at last year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire?

There was an Android phone-controlled RC Car running around right in front of it and there was an interesting “Home Automation using Smartphone” project.

The same group from the Arduino Club of ITE College East, led by Mr Arthur Pedida, will be participating at this year’s Faire again, but this time, they will be showcasing new hardware electronic projects using Microcontroller such as PIC and Arduino, and different types of “Mobile Robot” which could be controlled using Smartphones and Personal Computers via the Internet.

Experience at Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013

artMr Pedida shared that it was exciting and eye-opening for his team to meet other Makers showcasing their projects, thus allowing them to broaden their ideas in building new projects. It was also a fun experience for them to interact with other Makers and members of public, especially the challenges that they experienced from planning to construction to testing.

Discussing challenges is something that Mr Pedida has highlighted as sometimes visitors can help the team discover solutions during the process of the sharing. Hence, Mr Pedida felt that this should be encouraged.

Arduino Club

Jannah ITE College East Arduino Club President, Nurul Jannah Bte Mohamed will be leading her club members at their booth, together with Mr Pedida. He shared with us that Jannah is currently a 2 nd year Student of Nitec in Electronics specialized in Mobile Devices and she is actively involved in Arduino as her CCA. She also participated with her group at the “Assistive, Rehabilitative & Therapeutic Technology” competition jointly organised by the Singapore Therapeutic, Assistive and Rehabilitation Technologies Centre and the Centre for Enabled Learning in March this year, receiving a Merit Award for their project. Jannah will be showcasing her project which helps elders with disability to control their appliances without the need of touching any switches.

Interested to speak with Mr Pedida and Jannah regarding their projects and challenges they faced? Check out their booth at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC on 26 & 27 July!

About Pooja, Bookbinding and a Collaborative Installation

I had an interesting chat with Pooja on the afternoon before she went back to New York for her break.

Although Pooja ran a workshop on concertina-spine binding last year at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2013, I had no chance to meet up with her and speak with her. I had written a blog post then to introduce her based on some email exchanges, so this time round, I was glad to be able to arrange a chit-chat session.

Pooja offered to use a co-working space she has reserved. It is called Grey Projects and the location was at Kim Tian, Tiong Bahru. It is a nice quiet place and it also happened to be the day before an exhibition of self-published books that the Grey Projects has planned. So, thanks to Pooja, I had a quick glimpse of this interesting exhibition’s behind-the-scene preparation!

Opinion of the Singapore Maker Movement

As it is Pooja’s third-year experience at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire (she was a visitor in the first year!), I was rather interested to find out her view of the maker movement here in Singapore. Compared to when Pooja first came to Singapore, she felt that the maker movement here had became more organised. She observes more ground-up efforts, more meet-up sessions, more people trying their hands on DIY stuff. She remarked that it is a dramatic development.

When asked whether there is any community that she thinks we can still reach out to, Pooja gave an interesting reply. Instead of highlighting a hobby group (which I was expecting), Pooja replied that we should look into programmes that can reach the senior citizens and the National Servicemen, based on her own observation at the classes she conducts for the National Arts Council (NAC). She elaborated that these two communities seem to have a lot of interest to pick up new skills. So, for makers out there, keep a look out for chances to reach out to these two communities!

Portfolio-making workshop

image_3Pooja will run a workshop to create a cloth-covered portfolio for holding stationery, drawings, photographs and so forth, using luscious book cloth and beautiful Japanese Chiyogami papers.

Her workshop will be held on 27 July, Sunday, 2.45pm – 4.15pm at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Senja-Cashew CC and you can find the registration site here.

Special Highlight : Bookbinding Day and Collaborative Installation

Besides conducting a workshop, Pooja is also participating in this year’s Maker Faire in two different ways. In three weeks’ time, Pooja will be part of the SMMF2014: Bookbinding Day where she joins Ian Tan, Mariko Watanabe and S T Leng in a series of bookbinding workshops to teach different bookbinding projects.

Pooja will also be embarking on an exciting project for all visitors of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, where everyone gets a chance to participate and create a “folded element” of a collaborative-sculpture book object. On the first day of the Faire, Pooja will be personally guiding interested visitors on the project from the opening of the event until 1pm. She will also be around on Sunday, both to conduct her bookbinding workshop from 2.45pm to 4.15pm and to conclude her collaborative project towards the end of the event. It’ll be another exciting component of this year’s Singapore Mini Maker Faire. If you are not able to drop by when Pooja is around, do not worry as we will also have volunteers who will help to guide you. Do come join us and have some fun creating!

Want to know what other things Pooja do? You can check out her blog here.

Introducing Mr Takasu Masakazu and teamLab (Japan)

“We don’t just read or write science fiction, we do science fiction.”

About Mr Takasu Masakazu and teamLab (Japan)

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The above is an introduction from Mr Takasu Masakazu on teamLab (Japan), an ultra-technologists group made up of specialists from various fields (programmers, hardware engineers, user interface engineers, mathematicians, architects, graphic designers, artists, editors, etc).

Designated as “Technical evangelist”, Mr Takasu shared with us his interest in both technology and art in both the eastern and western society. He also shared that at teamLab, it is believed that the Japanese society might still be perceiving the world differently from people from other countries, due to the late influx of western culture influence in Japan after the late Edo period.

Hence, the people at teamLab are interested to examine how different technology are being perceived differently both in and out of Japan, and create works through “experimentation and innovation”, making the borders between science, technology, art and design more ambiguous, making reference to the case of wearable technology, i.e.g Google glass and Necomimi, the brainwave cat ears.

So, are you wondering what science fiction the people at teamLab can make? Take a look at some of the projects that teamLab does:-

Can you imagine drawing a fish and turning it into a virtual and interactive fish that swims in a giant virtual aquarium?  Do you want to throw a digital Christmas tree from your phone to a gigantic Crystal Tree of Wishes? Watch the videos and be amazed at the beauty made possible with technology by teamLab.

Presentation at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire

At the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, Mr Takasu will present about Nico-Tech, a Japanese society enthusiastic about technology, and also demonstrate interesting presentation techniques used in Japan. He will also share more on Nico Nico Gakkai Beta which is a “Science Society”.

If you are interested to learn more about teamLab and the amazing stuffs that they do, watch out for more details of Mr Takasu’s presentation on our website and also check out the teamLab website. You may also get in touch with Mr Takasu via his Twitter, Facebook or Linked in accounts.

Otterly Fun with Clay

20140607_094441Most of us spend a lot of time in front of the computer each day, and find little time for any other matters.

Ong Sze Sze, our clay art Maker for Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014, shared that while she is not stuck by the screen, she enjoys making little toys or going outdoors for a stroll or to cycle.

She also enjoys thinking of new craft projects to embark on.

Why clay art?

Sze Sze shared that she started her love for clay figurines when she was in Primary 4, when she first saw a paperclay flowerpot at her friend’s place. She was astounded that it was handmade and henceforth opened up her mind about making her own toys, something particularly exciting for her since she was not allowed to buy a lot of toys as a child. She was further elated to find out that she can have plenty of fun making a lot of things with just 500gm of clay at only $2! It is a hobby that stuck with her until now even though the price of the clay has doubled since then.

Interest in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire

Sze Sze found out about the Singapore Mini Maker Faire online, through the main Maker Faire website. She attended last year’s event at SCAPE although she regretted having insufficient time to check out everything. With her limited time, she managed to check out several 3D printing and arduino-related booths. While she found them interesting, she thought they can also engage audience by printing items to tell a story or game pieces for a game, so that visitors can imagine more. It is a good idea and I think some of our friends doing the 3D printing are already doing something like this! Hopefully Sze Sze will get the opportunity to meet them.

Sze Sze’s showcase and workshops at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire

11641295563_50fccc9734_bSze Sze will be showcasing the Xmas Kids series, some animals and customised Lego figurines. She is also working on more figurines to be showcased at the Faire at Senja-Cashew CC as many of her previous makes were either sold or given away.

Besides showcasing some of her makes, Sze Sze will also be conducting “Otterly Fun with Clay”, a 90-minute workshop on both days of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire to make your own clay pet otter. The workshop places would be limited and it would be a perfect opportunity for you to get hands-on with clay crafting!

Aspirations for the local maker movement

When asked about her thoughts about the maker movement here, she is hopeful that it would one day grow to be as big scale as the original Bay Area Maker Faire, making crazy things on huge scale, such as a giant Rube Goldberg machine!

To find out more about Sze Sze’s clay work, check out her blog at sswoss.blogspot.com. Find out more about her class at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire here!

Mini Maker Faire Workshop for Secondary School Students

A few days after the yarnbombing event, we held a Mini Maker Faire Workshop for Secondary School Students conducted by Kiruthika, our lead organiser for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire. The workshop took place on 28 May afternoon at Science Centre Singapore.

Students from various schools came together and learnt how to make paper circuits and how to turn a laser pointer into a microscope. Sounds fun?

Here are some photos taken during the workshop!

 

Crochet. Knitting. Yarnbombing

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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.

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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!