Since I’ve seen Jay Cousins‘ prototype of a wallet he made from self-produced bioplastics a few days ago, I’ve been enthusing about it. Jay kindly offered to run a workshop to teach some of us how to do the same thing. A bunch of people showed up to work with the material Jay had prepared. Below you’ll see some pics to get an idea of general goo-eyness as well as the results.
In case you’re wondering: Nope, it’s not a product you’d want to buy and rely on just yet; and nope, that’s not the point of the exercise. This is a very early prototype where the goal is to learn (about the production process etc) rather than the result. Could my first go at the wallet fall apart? Yes, anytime. But it’d still be totally worth it since I’ve learned a fair bit. And should the thing decide to fall apart next week, it wouldn’t matter: I could just cook up a new one, probably better than the first. (I might even get the stitching right.) Open design, anyone?
Lately so much has been going on in Berlin that has to do with the whole field of open design, tinkering, DIY – and last week was another highlight. I had the chance to drop in at the Open Design Workshop at Betahaus. (Sadly I could only pop in for a few minutes, but that was enough to see – among many other things – Jay Cousins cooking up bioplastics from some starch and Martin Bauer doing some serious laser cutting. Awesome stuff, all of it!) It was the latest, but certainly not the last congregation of the whole cluster of tinkerers and makers and builders in Berlin. It’s a trend that has been going on for awhile, and all over the world, but it seems that Berlin is a very fertile ground for this kind of maker culture. (We also noticed that by the massive positive feedback as we were putting together the atoms&bits Festival last year.)
The Open Design workshop was a part of Social Media Week and organized and attended by a very diverse and cool group of people, all of which are extremely fine folks (and some of which are close friends of mine, so I’m totally biased here).
Erik Nap and Arne Hendriks (http://waag.org) are representatives of Waag Society who’s hosting Amsterdam’s Fablab. Bas van Abel is representing Creative Commons Nederland, where he coordinates the open design program.
This is great stuff indeed. Props to the organizers, and thanks for the videos!
ITP is a program at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, and it looks simply awesome. Taken directly from their own mission statement, the ITP’s mission is “to explore the imaginative use of communications technologies — how they might augment, improve, and bring delight and art into people’s lives. Perhaps the best way to describe us is as a Center for the Recently Possible.”
Twice a year, the students showcase their works, most recently (yesterday) it was ITP Springshow 2009. I’m very glad I could make it there. The vibe is just great, it’s creative and it oozes innovation. The folks studying there are a mix of artists, tinkerers & hardware hackers, it seems.