Tag Archives: DIY

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!

 

Introducing our Makers – Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014

Just earlier this month, we held a family workshop as a lead up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 that will take place at Senja-Cashew Community Club on 26 & 27 July. We would like to showcase some of the makers from that workshop who have contributed their time, effort and other resources to share their making knowledge with members of public, and who will be joining us at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014 itself.

The first maker that we would like to introduce is Mr Ng Pan Yew.

Activity booth at 5 April family workshop

DSC_0010If you were with us during the family workshop, you will likely remember Mr Ng Pan Yew’s busy activity booth where you can solder your own wireframe models. Mr Ng expressed his initial concern about the participants’ interest in his station activity, but his worry was soon allayed when the young participants and their parents slowly streamed to his station. In fact, he observed that some parents were even more excited than their children!

This was when Mr Ng realised that activities which allow participants to be involved will tend to draw the crowd. He commented that this would guide him for future workshops.

Yes, Mr Ng had intended to return for another round of workshop leading up to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2014. Do look out for it!

Here is a showcase of the wireframe models.

DSC_0008

About Mr Ng Pan Yew

Mr Ng Pan Yew, a 52-year-old research assistant, is new to the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, and had only heard about it at the beginning of this year through his ex-colleague. With background in communications and electronics, Mr Ng enjoys hands-on activities and experiments. He described himself as hardworking but not smart, and as someone who will persevere to complete a project. Mr Ng should probably also add on “humour” to his self-description, as he described how indulging in these electronic hobbies had made him feel like 25 years old instead.

The SMMF14 showcase

Mr Ng shared his fascination with the vibrancy and attractiveness of Marina Bay’s cityscape, and his view that the iconic buildings and landmarks had overtaken Sentosa as Singapore’s main place of interest. Hence, that inspired him to make a mini Marina Bay acrylic model (the Merlion, Singapore Flyer and Esplanade, etc) to be placed at home. To inject life to the acrylic model, he added LED lighting and programme them to operate in sync with your choice of music.

When asked about the project, Mr Ng shared that although he had tried to look for people to build the model together, he couldn’t find any. He opined that it was hard to find like-minded people who likes hands-on hobbies. Well, I am guessing Mr Ng might probably be surprised when he meet these like-minded people at the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire! If you are one, do remember to look out for him!

The interview with Mr Ng reminded me that there might be many more makers and hobbyists who have not heard of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire and the opportunities that exist to showcase what they can do. We hope that the Singapore Mini Maker Faire can continue to be that platform and allow more like-minded hobbyists and makers to get to know each other, work together and come up with more marvellous projects.

Want to see a preview of Mr Ng’s mini-LED light display of Marina Bay area? Check out this video that he has done up, together with his daughter who aided in the sub-titles.

Be a Maker: Lets make a carnival game

Experimentation, collaboration, and play are the cornerstones of Karkhana, a Nepal maker group. They believe in breaking new grounds and nurturing a new generation of makers.

There is now an opportunity for children aged 6 – 12 years old to attend a workshop on 3 May (Saturday), 10am – 12pm at Science Centre Singapore to make a carnival game. Through this workshop, the participants will learn about the Design Cycle TMPI (Think, Make Play, Improve).

Interested? Sign up at http://makerworkshop1.peatix.com/

New Picture (2)

Were we “loud” enough for you this year?

A month ago on the 4 & 5 August 2012, the Science Centre Singapore organised the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire.

Stephen February – Urban Microfarming using Hydroponics

It was a bang. We had over 20 maker booths, 6 vendors, two fully packed days of workshops and talks, plus lots of visitors.

The venue was packed and activity-filled.

Everybody were full of anticipation; the organisers to see the birth of the inaugural event here in Singapore, the makers to showcase their makes, the volunteers to be part of the team, and the visitors to find out what a Maker Faire is all about. Some were even keen “followers” of the Maker Faire culture in the United States and were all excited about it. Overall, it was all excitment in the air.

Launch of the inaugural Singapore Mini Maker Faire!

The event was launched by Professor Lim Tit Meng, Chief Executive, Science Centre Singapore.

The launch was truly amazing, not only because it was done with an in-house confetti cannon launch mechanism, but because of the warm spirit in the air. Everybody crowded enthusiastically near the stage and it felt like a countdown to a family party.

 The launch was also nicely accompanied with the impromptu launch music by Jolyon, one of our Makers! :)  

Jolyon with his Jolyonophone

Personally, I think it was an eye-opening experience. It felt as if I were at a country carnival. Every booth was fun and interesting. You can find ingenious makes and concepts, and you can find the gadgets that you need to do the same thing!

Veera from SL2 helping a little boy lifting DIY weights!

You get to produce music using bananas (with the use of the makey-makey), see a blimp fly all over the hall, see water rockets shooting all over the place just outside the hall and many others. More photos are available on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SingaporeMiniMakerFaire.

Joel Tong with his Gyrating Electrical Enigmatic Blimp

Before the event even started, many of you were already busy tweeting and posting Facebook posts about it. Thanks to all your active participation, the event even caught the interest of some local papers and some of the makers were interviewed.

It was an enjoyable two days. Thanks to you, the first ever Singapore Mini Maker Faire had indeed made ourselves heard. If we were not “loud” enough for you this year, come help us make the event “louder” the next time round!

P.S:- Did the Faire inspire you to make something? Did you embark on any project after that? I did, and you can read about it here. Cheers.

RS Components: DesignSpark – Demonstrating the Raspberry Pi!

DesignSpark by RS Components is a progressive engineering community dedicated to providing an interactive outlet to the engineering world that will be featured at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire this year!

About DesignSpark

DesignSpark is an online engineering community sponsored by RS Components that provides a gateway to online resources and design support for engineers. Created two years ago, DesignSpark.com is an interactive environment for all types of engineers to express their ideas, share their knowledge, and learn from others. Upon free registration to this conducive community, one also has free access to the award winning PCB Design Tool, thousands of free 3D models, and the eTech (a digital and tablet edition electronics magazine), all of which will be featured at DesignSpark’s Mini Maker Faire booth and workshop, so be sure to check out these free DIY tools to amplify your engineering experience!

Raspberry Pi: A Demonstration

The Raspberry Pi is a credit-card sized bare board that operates many of the functions of a PC, featured by RS Components DesignSpark. Add a keyboard, a mouse, and plug it into a TV, and then it functions just like a basic computer! These days, with society’s ever progressive technology it is almost impossible to see the computer at its bare working basics; however, the Raspberry Pi allows us to take bring technology back about 20 years to its bare essentials. Aspiring engineers everywhere are now able to learn about computer programming interactively—using the Raspberry Pi system, students are able to program their own codes and see how the computer responds to them. It’s all about discovering the world of computers in its most simplistic and beneficial form! DesignSpark will be demonstrating the Raspberry Pi at the Mini Maker Faire, so stop by at the faire to check out this new and innovative way to learn engineering!

DesignSpark is Amplifying Ideas

Upon speaking with the members of the DesignSpark community, I found the organization to be very dynamic—DesignSpark is dedicated in inspiring engineers to fuel their passion and in turning ideas into realities. In both their booth and workshop, they will demonstrate how their free design tools, such as the DesignSpark PCB and the 3D cad model can help makers turn their conceptual ideas into a concrete design. The tools DesignSpark is presenting will break the barriers in designing and spark new ideas for inspired makers everywhere! Currently, DesignSpark is working on the DesignSpark PCB verion 4, which will be the introduction of industry open source hardware platform to its community members. DesignSpark is certainly enthusiastic about sharing knowledge and creativity to help the maker community of Singapore thrive!

Come experience being a Kampung Maker!

Sixteen makers and 6 discovery zones with an interesting myriad of hands-on activities! – This is my brief introduction of the booths of the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012.

Looking forward to see the cool stuffs that the SL2 makers are going to showcase? Come check it out with me for a sneak preview now!

About Sustainable Living Lab (SL2)

The Sustainable Living Lab (SL2) is Singapore’s first semi-outdoor kampung (village) lab and prototyping facility that enables local innovators, organisations and students to serve their communities and the bottom-of-the-pyramid better. SL2 is located at the Sustainable Living Kampung, a space created by Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), a non-profit community in Bottle Tree Park in Yishun.

Meet the Makers

Ibnur – SL2’s co-founder. A community-oriented innovator at GUI, Ibnur believes in the kampung spirit of ground-up innovation to solve sustainability challenges. He had been a maker/inventor since a tender age, having been influenced by his grandparents and parents whom he cited as “amazing individuals [who] have been the fountains from which [his] ideas flow from and also reminders for [him] to serve greater purposes in life”. His engineering education also provided the opportunities for several of his inventing and prototyping experiences such as antennas, sensors, filters, food dryers, bio-chips and ‘invisibility cloaks’ (Urgh, don’t we all think of Harry Potter when we hear “invisibility cloaks”?) 

Ibnur, together with Veera (below), had worked on projects that tackled issues in rural India, winning him UNESCO-Daimler Mondialogo Engineering Awards. Striving to nurture innovation across villages, he now co-leads the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2).

Veera – SL2’s co-founder. Veera has been making knickknacks and doodads for as along as he can remember. A kampung tinkerer at Ground-Up Initiative (GUI), his maker journey started with Meccano and Lego kits. Taking up Design & Technology as an O Level subject, he had ample opportunities to hone his skills in wood and metal working which served him well as a Mechanical Engineer in the National University of Singapore (NUS) where he designed and built solar pond dryers, flying wind turbines and miniature toothpick furniture.  Like Ibnur, Veera spent some time in the Silicon Valley gaining him valuable exposure to the overseas “garage culture”. On returning to Singapore, he co-founded the Sustainable Living Lab with like-minded maker buddies to develop the kampung culture of innovation in Singapore.

Huei Ming – SL2’s co-founder. Huei Ming is also presently a teaching assistant for the Engineering Science Programme at NUS where he is implementing a new design project for engineering students to construct their own low cost scanning tunnelling microscopes and guiding students on existing engineering design projects involving the fabrication of microfluidic devices and constructing wi-fi antennas.

There are 13 other makers (Zi Jing, Eugene, Yoga, Lianhan, Bart, Robin, Poh Hong, Melanie, Sullivan, Sid, Joyce, Natalie and Leonard) who all have a nice profile each created under the SL2 website (http://www.sl2square.org/category/news/singapore-mini-maker-faire/). Do check them out and see if you can spot them during the Faire this weekend!

What are they showcasing?

SL2 will be bringing some of the coolest stuff made by their kampung innovators out from their lab in Yishun. This includes bamboo amplifiers for the iPhone (which had an interesting name of iBam and iBam2), keychains & luggage tags made from decommissioned fire hoses, awesome cardboard sculptures put together by their cardboard designer extraordinaire, Bartholomew Ting, cool flatpacked cardboard furniture, cardboard building blocks, home brew kampung fitness equipment, water rockets and even PET bottle gardens and novel home gardening systems. You can even try out some tools and equipment at their mini wood working shop.

“MAKE” Cardboard Sculpture (Photo credit: SL2 Facebook page)

 SL2 is also promising interesting workshops to make your own play-dough, catapult, mini building blocks, water rockets, compost and cardboard sculptures which will engage your mind, body and soul!And that is not the end, as SL2 brings in games that would incorporate these DIY toys. I can already visualise lots of excited children!

Advice

SL2’s founding team was very humble when we asked them for advice for budding makers. They felt that their team is still young, and they do not have much wisdom yet to share as they are still walking the Maker path.

However, they shared 3 maxims which they live by and practised in one form or another at the Sustainable Living Lab (SL2):

Firstly, “If it ain’t fun, it ain’t right.” Secondly, “No prototype, no talk.” And, lastly, “Don’t just make your product, make your story.”

Maker Scene in Singapore

On the maker scene in Singapore, they would like to believe that there are many others in Singapore who share similar aspirations, as they felt that Singapore is in dire need of makers who are creative, hands-on and take risks, so as to build a Singapore that is vibrant, dynamic yet responsible and sustainable. The Maker scene is still young, so they do not know of many yet. They hope that through the involvement in the Singapore Mini Maker Faire, they could get to know more amazing ground-up innovators.

They added that our local maker scene can be likened to a baby Pheonix hatchling. It is not something new in Singapore, but more as something lost in our present young generation that is now in revival. They felt that it is important to rebuild the hands-on culture which was common in the days of our grandparents, where the kampong spirit prevails, where people spend more time together outdoor doing meaningful stuffs together.

To stay tuned to the SL2 stories, check out their Facebook pages on: www.facebook.com/sl2square and www.facebook.com/groundupinitiative. But first and foremost, come by the Singapore Mini Maker Faire at Science Centre Singapore this weekend (4 & 5 August).

Introducing the Portabee – You can now have your own 3D printer and bring it along everywhere!

First of all, if you have not heard of a 3D printer, it is a mechanism which allows you to print 3D stuffs (as the name suggests). What is different about the Portabee DIY 3D printer is that it is light at 2.8kg and can easily collapse in a matter of seconds and fits into a laptop bag, making it transportable anywhere! Get that visual image in your mind?

Portabee

In an interview, Kiam Peng from Orangeknob shares with us more.

 How they got started

 It all started as a project to make it easier for them make 3D prototypes. Kiam Peng and his partners have been tinkering with electronics and musical-related stuffs such as electronic drum machines and effect pedals but they were at a discovery stage. However, when 3D printing came along, the initial plans were all shelved. They had bought a Thing-o-Matic, an automatic 3D printer by MakerBot. They then realised that Thing-o-Matic is associated with open source products and it inspired them to make a reprap. A reprap is short for Replicating Rapid Prototypers. Their intention was to make something that is more self-replicating, i.e. allowing the making of components which can be assembled into another DIY 3D printer. Voila! The rest is up to your imagination.

We were told that Orangeknob took about 9 months to be able to release their first printer, the Durbie. In that process, they faced challenges of a 9-to-5 job, getting support from people around them etc. The process might be difficult but it must also be rewarding for the Makers to see the fruits of their hard work.

 What will they be sharing

During the upcoming Singapore Mini Maker Faire on 4 & 5 August, Orangeknob will be managing a booth, workshops and presentations.

 At their booth, they will showcase their printers (Durbie, Portabee, Portabee-x) and some of their printed parts.

If you would like to have your own DIY 3D printer, get one before the Mini Maker Faire and learn how to assemble it during the workshop that they will be conducting there.

 They are also excited to share their experiences in coming up with such a gadget during their presentation, despite being “not very comfortable with public speaking”, according to Kiam Peng. They will share on how they went in the open source direction into the world of DIY 3D printing, the challenges they face and their future projects.

Encouraging Makers in Singapore

Kiam Peng shared that they were not aware of a Maker culture in Singapore. They were focusing more on the international markets but slowly meet more people and realised there are people who owned CNC machines and printers at home. They felt that technological advances had already brought down the cost of prototyping, and that the cost of a 3D printer is approaching the cost of a laser/ink printer! I find myself nodding in agreement. The thought is exhilarating!

Kiam Peng felt that the maker culture will spread as more people do it, in view of our close proximity with one another. We certainly hope so too!

Orangeknob is now working towards producing big printers and other niche printers. To learn more about them, check them out at the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012, coming to you in 2 days at the Science Centre Singapore.

Make your own portable handphone microscope

Next in line, the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 would like to introduce another workshop “Make your own portable handphone microscope”.

In this workshop, participants will be presented with a number of simple and cheap lens-bearing tools such as door-viewers and loupe, as well as small mirrors, LED torch lights, etc. Some of these could be taken apart and put together to create a new optical toy. According to the workshop facilitators, the main goal of this workshop is to create a microscope that could be easily fixed to your handphone. There will be handphones and webcams for use at the workshop but participants are strongly encouraged to bring your own camera phones that you would like to transform as you will be able to take your device home.

Food for thought: – How much can we enlarge our image? How good is the image? How do we use light? If the magnification is big, how do we hold the microscope?

Camera microscope

So, who are the brains behind this workshop?

There are a total of three persons behind this workshop:- Isabelle Desjeux, Marlou Jasmin Madrio and Leonardus Adi Prasetya Suherlan. Interestingly, the three of them got to know each other only during the briefing session for the Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 and the idea to conduct this combined workshop came out of this session! Leonardus even shared a pretty animated (though short) account of how it happened. :P

About Isabelle Desjeux

Isabelle Desjeux: artist (Masters in Fine Arts), scientist (PhD in Molecular Biology) and arts educator (Isadora’s Workshop).

Isabelle is a full-time artist whose art deals with the reality of working in a lab, blurring the boundary between the two fields. In her spare time, Isabelle also runs an art workshop that teaches kids to draw realistically, and observe the world around them. Her ultimate goal is to make children naturally enquire and ask questions.  

What inspired her?

Isabelle was exploring making portable microscopes for her new “Art and Science” space (L ‘Observatoire) and found that there are many things that one could learn from playing with lenses and cheap cameras. Hence, she thought it would be fun for children to have a go at making their own microscopes too! Besides making microscopes, she is also exploring projecting the images for participants to be able to share what they see down the microscope, in a simple and affordable manner. With the recent craze about the transit of Venus, she also started playing around with lucida-type of camera devices to explore better way of seeing and recording the world around us.

Her word of advice

For makers, Isabelle advised that it is good to be ready to adapt any “recipe” you find according to what you have. She found it useful to seek resources from the internet, to find other people who might have the solution to your question, and improvise from there.

For “teachers”, Isabelle felt that one need not give specific instructions. On the other hand, she felt that it would be better to present your “students” with an open problem, some materials and tools. She highlighted the importance to be open about the outcome, and not to be fixated at getting a specific end-product. That way, people have the necessary “play space” and “play time” to come up with interesting stuffs!

On the maker scene in Singapore, Isabelle encourages everyone to keep an open eye on what people throw away as there is always a way to transform what other people do not want!

What’s next?

Isabelle shared that this workshop will probably be incorporated into the activities for her new “Art and Science” space, where tinkering will happen once a month.

About Marlou Jasmin Madrio

Marlou (better known as Marl) is a Systems Engineer working for NCS Pte Ltd, and had a myriad of career experience before moving to Singapore.

What inspired him?

Marl’s account of his life is a testimonial to his in-born maker spirit. Like Ken, the previous maker we introduced, Marl attributed his building passion to the encouragement of his father, whom he proudly shared was a talented automotive mechanic.

Marl reminisced fondly about his High School days when he built things when he couldn’t afford one. In Secondary School, Marl was already an electronics hobbyist. It was then when he already built his first Stereo Audio Power Amplifier which gave him and his family years of enjoyment. He also recalled his College days when he had the time of his life building a Jalopy of a Race Car which was a thrill to drive in. It also brought him fond memories of his late father building this car with him and attending races with him.

Making things in Singapore

In Singapore, he is avidly pursuing IT and open source.

Last year, he built a Lab Bench Power Supply for the Arduino, Phidgets and Beaglebone microcontroller platform. He also has an Arduino Mega microcontroller which he intended to use to build a trans esterification system for converting waste vegetable oil to bio-diesel because he love working on cars.

Marl also shared that he would like to start a “HomeBrew Club” in Singapore one day.

However, Marl said he had recently sidetracked to IT innovations both for his personal pursuits and for his work. For example, he is keen on Internet of Things (IoT) where everyday devices meet internet connectivity. He cited the example of modifying a washing machine to recover grey water which could then be used for flushing the toilet and to make the machine tweet you “your wash is done, Sir”. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

However, because he is pursuing these as a hobby, finances would be a hindrance. Marl wish to eventually own his own lab or workshop, which I guess would be the dream of most Makers.

His word of advice

Marl’s sense is that there is not much Maker culture here in Singapore. He is saddened by the fact that youths he met have no interest in making (including those who were taking Design & Technology programme) despite having access to tools and machineries.

Marl would like to advise all budding Makers to pursue their hobby with passion and a purpose. He felt that if a hobby can help to make this world a better place, it would be good for everyone.

Read more about Marl here.

About Leonardus Adi Prasetya Suherlan

Leo is an NUS Electrical Engineering student from Indonesia. His favourite tools are penknives and cellotapes (which he said can fix half of the problems around the block :P).

What inspired him?

Leo mentioned that he was inspired to do DIY work from his frequent trips to his Uncle’s place where he would be invited to build stuffs, from a telescope to a wooden gun to a clock that ran backwards. He grew up with the belief that one can make anything that one can imagine.

Leo joined the Mini Maker Faire with the intention to meet other Makers. He felt that since he shifted to Singapore, he had not been making. Hence, he seemed pleased to share that NUS has now started a Tinkering Club for student makers to meet, discuss and help each other with their projects.

Leo felt that there are many creative people in Singapore but there are not much platforms for these people to showcase their work. He felt there could be more competitions or Maker Faires to facilitate the Maker movement.

His word of advice

Leo’s word of advice to other budding Makers is to just start making. He suggested the website http://www.instructables.com for those with less confidence.

Isabelle, Marl and Leo are all looking forward to see the first Singapore Mini Maker Faire and meet other Makers.You may also check out Isabelle’s blog which also talked about the workshop. The workshop is chargeable at a fee of $5 per participant, payable on the spot as you register for the workshop. There are limited places for up to 10 participants for each day, so do register early when you are there!

Are you up to her Challenge?

Evon Tay, a graphic designer who has just graduated from the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) School of Art, Design and Media started a DIY Lifestyle Challenge as her final year project. But even after graduation, Evon has not put the project to rest. Find out why.

Evon Tay

About DIY Lifestyle Challenge

DIY Lifestyle Challenge is a project looking at a series of alternative and sustainable lifestyle choices that urban dwellers can do on a daily basis.

Evon hopes to encourage people to be mindful and take responsibility about the way we live, and to cultivate a culture of self-reliance and creativity, so that our city can become greener, more vibrant and awesome.

She shared that she observed how Singaporeans live in a capitalistic and consumption-driven city, where people slog long hours to earn money, but eventually splurge them away by buying stuffs (that they might not necessarily need) in the name of “retail therapy”. To Evon, this is a vicious cycle which is both wasteful and depressing. Hence, she wanted to introduce an alternative way of living.

She started this project about a year ago and she hopes to be able to continue doing it for as long as she can, and that more Singaporeans can join in the fun and be part of a growing DIY community in Singapore.

The project has a website and a Facebook page.

More about Evon

Evon shared that she started making things purely because she did not have much money to buy things. She shared that whenever her best friends had their birthdays, she would jokingly make a paper mache version of whatever expensive items on their wishlist. The habit had since grown on her and she realised she enjoyed doing it as there is a satisfaction of seeing simple everyday materials being transformed into something cool/weird/funny.

Her view on the Maker scene in Singapore

Evon felt that there is a recent revival of appreciation for artisanal handcrafted work in general but she was not sure if that translates to an increase in the trend to make things. She felt that Singaporeans are practical people who would not like to waste time on things which they deemed to be not “productive” or useful. Making things from scratch is unfortunately one of them. She felt that in Singapore, the focus in life had always been on academic success, so making things or other creative activity would only be counted as a hobby. She felt this should be relooked at.

Her advice

To budding Makers, her word of advice is to keep learning and experimenting with new techniques and materials, and if the by-products turn out wrong, they could always be given away in the next Secret Santa gift exchange. Hohoho…

[Evon invites contributions and collaborations from anyone who wants their stuffs to be seen in the next issue of her zine, Adventures in DIY #2. If you are interested, email to hello@DIY-lifestyle.org. Do not forget to catch Evon at her Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 booth on 4 & 5 August and her presentation on 5 August. She would be showcasing her zines, hand-printed linocut stickers, hand-sewn and silkscreened bags and more!]

Do you know what is IKEA hacking?

Jules Ikeahacker – Yes, you are right. This is someone who hacks IKEA stuffs.

Singapore Mini Maker Faire 2012 is proud to introduce this exciting presentation that will take place on 4 Aug 2012. This is also her first live presentation on the topic of IKEA hacking.

Who is Jules Ikeahacker?

We were quite amused that she goes by Jules. Jules is the name of one of IKEA’s chair series. She said she chose it on a whim, when browsing through an IKEA catalogue and visualising herself sitting on an IKEA Jules Chair blogging (though she apparently didn’t have one!).

Jules Ikeahacker

 On a more serious note, we learnt that Jules is a copywriter from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As per our request, she sent us a photo for this blog. [What a contrast. I actually had a visual of Mr Phua Chu Kang (well-known local sitcom character – a building contractor with bright yellow boots) before this. Oh well, I blame the influence of local television programmes.]

How did she get started and what inspired her?

Jules started IKEAHackers.net (http://www.ikeahackers.net) in 2006, an act inspired from her internet finds of a few IKEA hacks while surfing for ideas for her apartment. She was intrigued and elated to be able to find these resources and decided to create a portal to gather all these ideas together. To date, she has posted over 3,000 hacks! Do check out the photos at her website.

 About the Maker Culture

Jules is of the opinion that there are still room to grow for the Maker culture in her country, but observed that there had been growth in the interest and trend among some Makers towards modifying their IKEA buys. She was excited to be part of the Singapore Mini Maker Faire to meet other Makers and IKEA Hackers, to get the word out and to inspire people to see the potential in their Billy bookshelves and Pax wardrobes and not settle for the same-as-everyone-else-IKEA.

Jules joked that one way to encourage people to make things would be to give people less money, but she felt there is a shade of truth in it because necessity is the mother of invention. She felt that the Faire would be a good start to encourage the Maker culture, or there could be regular small Maker groups to brainstorm and share stuffs they have made to keep the fire going. She pondered over possibilities of having common spaces at residential areas so that they could bring their stuffs over to tinker and DIY.

How about you? What do you think could improve the Maker culture in your country?