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Biggest Maker Faire in southern hemisphere to be held in Adelaide

Arts

THE biggest Maker Faire in the southern hemisphere will be held in South Australia this weekend.

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More than 7000 people are expected to attend the event on Sunday, November 6, at Tonsley – a former Mitsubishi car plant that has been transformed into Australia’s first innovation district.

Organised by the South Australian Makers, the faire will feature about 125 creative displays, a chance to meet makers, ask questions, and see old crafts and new technologies side by side. There will also be opportunities to get hands on at workshops and a world-class speakers program.

Adelaide has held Mini Maker Faires in 2013 and 2015, moving up to a full-scale faire this year following the success of the two previous events.

South Australian Makers Chair Alison Kershaw said the event had grown much faster than expected, which was “a fantastic problem to have”.

“There is a Mini Maker Faire in Sydney and Melbourne but they’re still quite small and I think South Australians are interested in making and tinkering and exploring the possibilities of new technologies and old technologies,” she said.

Thirty-two large scale Maker Faires occur in cities around the world including – Detroit, Atlanta, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, and Shenzhen.

The maker movement is a trend where people create and market products that are assembled using unused, discarded or broken electronic, plastic, silicon or raw materials from a computer-related device.

The original Maker Faire was held in San Mateo, California, in 2006 – the 2016 event attracted 1300 makers and 150,000 attendees. The World Maker Faire in New York has grown in five years to 900+ makers and 90,000 attendees.

Kershaw said highlights of the Adelaide event would include displays by the Dalek Builder’s Union of Australia, the Quilters guild of South Australia, Medieval tools, Lego exhibits and a tabletop robotics competition.

“People are doing some amazing things in their sheds and their work rooms and we really want to celebrate that,” she said.

“Australians also have a big tradition of the bush mechanic – we’re a long way from the rest of the world so quite often we come up with our own solutions – we’ve got a real creative and inventive spirit and I think that’s really reflected at the Maker Faire.

“We have some very old technology but we also have some robots and drones as well so we want to celebrate the link between the old and the new and tell the story of the link between the creativity that’s out there.”

Renewal SA project director for Tonsley Daniel Redden said the precinct’s award-winning environment achieved a balance between professional collaborations and unique community events such as the faire.

“Maker Faire Adelaide at the Tonsley Innovation Precinct is the perfect place for inventors, tech enthusiasts, craftspeople and scientists to demonstrate their wares this weekend,” he said.

This is a Creative Commons story from The Lead South Australia, a news service providing stories about innovation in South Australia. Please feel free to use the story in any form of media. The story sources are linked in with the copy and all contacts are willing to talk further about the story.

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