So what’s a makerspace? (Also called a hackerspace, a backspace, or a hacklab) It’s any sort of creative space where people gather to make stuff and share ideas about making stuff. These labs, often equipped with tools and materials, allow users to practice a 21st-century sort of DIY.
Photo by Scott Beale
Wikipedia.org defines them as “A location where people with common interests, often in computers, technology, science, digital art or electronic art, can meet, socialise and/or collaborate. Makerspaces/Hackerspaces can be viewed as open community labs incorporating elements of machine shops, workshops and/or studios where hackers can come together to share resources and knowledge to build and make things.”
Hackerspaces.org, a wiki connecting makerspaces around the world, defines them as “community-operated physical places, where people can meet and work on their projects.”
Adam Savage is part of the team at Mythbusters. But, what most people might not realize is that he is a true “maker.” That TV show is not just a job, he loves to create. The video below is of a talk he gave at a Maker Faire a few months ago. As he says “It doesn’t matter what you make and it doesn’t matter why, the importance is that you are making something.”
If you are a maker, a craftsman(or woman) or someone who knows the satisfaction of working with your hands, you will enjoy this movie. It shows very smart and hard working people doing difficult work. The kind of work many of us avoid doing. But, this documentary is a striking example of why we NEED skilled trades people and why they are a crucial part of the success of America. These are the people that MADE this country, they are the innovators, the creators of companies and they are disappearing! At the very least, you will understand how these hard working people make all of our lives better. Everyday, we want things cheaper and easier. But there is only one way to get quality, and that’s when a skilled person creates quality. These people are talented artists. It’s not just skill, but creativity, common sense, and thousands of hours of “doing it.” The saying goes that “if you do what you love, it’s no longer work.” The movie shows some eclectic art done by tradespeople. But consider that the Curiosity Mars Rover was also built buy passionate and very skilled people.
Yes, parts of this movie are a bit depressing, but that’s the reality of hard times. But keep in mind, that the trades are not just plumbers, carpenters and electricians. There are machinist, fabricators, and entrepreneurs. Even if you have no desire to be a tradesman, many of these “hands-on” skills are vital for all of us to know. Being able to fix your possessions and take care of your home is a great way to save money. In the case of engineers, having hands-on skills is critical. Because when you “engineer” something, not only does someone else have to build it, it has to be “engineered” right. The only way to know if it’s done right, is if you have experience doing it yourself!
This first video features an introduction to the film by Mike Rowe (of Dirty Jobs fame).
The movie does have commercials, but well worth watching to the end. These folks truly are artists.