Monday, May 23, 2016

Bay Area Maker Faire 2016

This past weekend was the 16th annual Maker Faire in the Bay Area.  I got to go for the very first time and experience the madness.

The place was huge, and although I spent one and a half days there I feel like I only saw maybe 20% of the projects on display.  Granted, I spent almost all my time in the LED tent since that's where all the blinkiest rainbowy projects were.  But there sure was lots to see.

I hung out for a while with Nick Donaldson from Got Robots and his amazing hexapod Marauder.   Marauder is a roller skating, dancing, singing giant buglike creature and was far and away the most lifelike robot I saw at the event.  He was constantly surrounded by crowds of admirers and it was really fun to watch the kids react to him.

Inside the LED tent there were so many beautiful things to see.  My favorite was probably getting to watch the fashion show.  There were maybe 8-10 designers showcasing a really broad range of LED dresses and wearables.  I loved the Chinese lantern-inspired dresses -- they were incredibly detailed and unique.

I visited the FlowToys booth and got to play in the LED forest, and really enjoyed all the interactive installations.

But my favorite part was the people.  It was so exciting and inspiring to get to wander around and meet so many artists, inventors, innovators and creators in such a small space.  In one afternoon I got to see so much incredible LED artwor, watch a neon tube bending demonstration, feel the heat from large scale fire art sculptures, geek out with fashion vendors and jewelry makers, hang with robots and get hugs from incredibly realistic dragon puppets.   Really, the only thing missing was a mermaid presence!  Maybe I'll have to bring Glimmer out next year. 

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