Written by Guest Writer: Katie Koffler, Making Spaces Project Manager
The weekend of Maker Faire, October 13, 14, and 15, was like listening to the most wonderful jazz. Everything came together – sounds from everywhere, different instruments all playing at the same time – and it all made sense.
Maker Faire is called ‘The Greatest Show (and Tell) on Earth,’ and is a family-friendly festival of innovation, creativity, and resourcefulness, and a celebration of the maker movement. This was Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s third, consecutive, full-sized Maker Faire and, in my humble opinion, our best yet!
For the weeks leading up to Maker Faire, MAKESHOP and the Art Studio had been working together to design an installation called ‘Circulate’. The idea was to take the practices from both MAKESHOP and the Art Studio and create a cohesive installation that would welcome and engage visitors in hand-on activities.
On Friday, more than 2,000 students from schools around Pittsburgh came together to get an interactive sneak peak of makers and their projects at the Faire’s Remake Learning Education Friday. Students were the first to get their hands on the dynamic world of Circulate, and the installation continued throughout the weekend.
What does a collaboration created by more than 15 staff and thousands of visitors look like? What does it feel like? What does it sound like?
It looks BRIGHT. It’s neon and pink and orange and it glows. There are circles everywhere. It looks like connection and homes and it is BIG.
It feels like wet papier mache used to form stalagmites, paper strips used for paper chains and cool, pink flagging tape connecting hoops made of black irrigation tubing.
It sounds like tribal drumming as many hands beat on the ends of cardboard tubes covered in tape, each tube producing a slightly different timber.
It sounds like questions and ideas and excitement.
It feels like that, too, and we loved it.
Nearly 12,000 making enthusiasts took over Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and Buhl Community Park October 13 – 15 on a beautiful fall weekend in Pittsburgh! Thank you to all who made Maker Faire Pittsburgh 2017 such a wonderful success. Special thanks to our presenting sponsors Make: Magazine, Chevron, and the Grable Foundation, and awesome community partners and collaborators Assemble, Zero Fossil, Remake Learning and Nova Place. You can see the compete sponsors list here.
We’d love to get your feedback on this year’s Maker Faire Pittsburgh. Just complete the survey(s) below that fits your role in the Faire and you’ll have a chance to win a Hummingbird Duo robotic kit from Birdbrain Technologies.
Check out a photo collection from the Faire here. And please keep sharing your photos with us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram using @makerfairepgh and #makerfairepgh17.