Dale Dougherty, a popular lecturer on the TED
series and editor/publisher of MAKE
magazine, will be visiting Grand Rapids on Tuesday to see firsthand
what he has only heard about so far: the striking growth of the
region's tech-design-arts community.
And he wants to meet you.
Dougherty will be holding a town hall gathering from 6 to 8:30 p.m. on
the main floor of the GRid70 building downtown (70 Ionia SW) to meet
inventors, artists, designers, musicians -- anyone who views the
creative process as both work and play -- and extend to them an
invitation to participate in the Maker Faire Detroit 2011
When a nationally recognized figure such as Dougherty visits Grand
Rapids just to find out what's going on here, it can mean only one
thing: our reputation has preceded us.
We have arrived.
So let's pack the room, and live up to the image we've created that West Michigan is pulsing with creative energy.
That, and consider sharing your talent at Maker Faire Detroit, a
wonderful celebration of the do-it-together spirit held on the weekend
of July 30-31 at the Henry Ford Museum. It's free to share your project
and tips with thousands of people at the fair if you are accepted as an
Everything is fair game: robots, textile arts and crafts, vintage
computers and game systems, rockets, food and beverage makers,
fix-it-yourself projects, electric and human-powered vehicles, music
performance and participation, metal casting, green tech, puppets and
kites, biology/biotech and chemistry projects. If you've made something,
the folks at MAKE magazine are all ears.
As an exhibitor last year, I know firsthand about the playful way that
Maker Faire Detroit celebrates art and invention, everything from an
18-foot-tall statue of Red Green made from duct tape that shoots flames
out of its mouth every time it belches -- just like the real Red Green
-- to a Twinkie-mobile that launches the pastries from an air gun.
For anyone who has ever wanted to compare notes with someone else on how
to solve a problem, the DIT spirit that permeates the event is
We are blessed in Michigan to have one of only three Maker Faires held
throughout the country directly sponsored by MAKE magazine, which sends a
small army of staff to put on this amazing event. The magazine has been
holding a Maker Faire the past six years in San Mateo, Calif. with
great success, and they passed over Chicago and Boston to hold the first
in the Midwest last year in Motown.
Maker Faire Detroit is taking applications now online at Call for Makers
, and the deadline for submitting your idea or project is June 1.
Matthew Gryczan is West Michigan editor of Crain's Michigan Business, a
contributing writer for MAKE magazine, and principal of SciTech
Communications LLC. He demonstrated his gyrocar and hydraulic ram at the
Maker Faire Detroit last year