During President Obama’s Inaugural Address, lots of people got jazzed, and many tweeted about supporting, celebrating, and being “”the risk takers, the doers, and the makers of things.” MAKE Magazine is building the Maker Faire and the most recent issue of the magazine about the transformative power of DIY — to innovate,to satisfy, and to solve problems.
In the intro to the issue, Editor Dale Dougherty, makes the big but cool claim that “makers offer one of the best hopes for the future.” He has a list of things people can do to “Make Things”; improve “Energy Usage” (monitoring and improving home usage; make “Transportation” smarter and better for us (bicycles, electric cars, reduced transport overall); better handling of “Food and Water” (raise your own chickens!, cook (gasp!)); and do more “Learning”. I hope the list gets viral (I don’t want to do two scans), but it’s worth re-typing the “Make Things” list:
Make things that people want
Make things so that you don’t need to buy them
Start a business that employs people making things
Make things closer to where they’ll be used
Repair things instead of replacing them
Harvest usable components from devices and redeploy them
Get to know your local salvage yard and recycling center
For a while I have been, not obsessed but itched, by the notion that environment and sustainability has a big maker hook. In an age where men can no longer tinker with their cars (they’re too chip-based, and the engines are increasingly black boxes), focusing on their power supply, tweeking their environment, making their stuff last longer and hacking it to work better, could be a satisfying alternative.
Sadly, for me, the first place my head goes is my last trip to a hardware/home supplies store and my urge to buy a sewing machine and make pillows and curtains, cuz I hate buying that stuff. Ah save . . . I also had the urge to hack motherlovin’ sh*t out of solar panel backup systems at Home Depot. (Flickr link provided as proof that I had this impulse BEFORE admitting to the sewing one. Excessive swearing purely out of compensation, of course.)