BENGALURU Maker Faire 2017
India has over the last decade seen a phenomenal outburst of makers mushrooming across the country. The community has been growing as a ‘voluntary movement’, however it has garnered support from institutions, independent organizations, corporates and the government who understand the value and help build a strong ecosystem for its sustenance.
One that started out as love for exploring varied topics of interest, materials, learning new skills, ‘making’ became the quintessential trait for progressive and disruptive innovators. This has been the global trend. However, India is paving its own way and pace given the challenges and scale.
The bright side of it all is that maker patrons understand that ‘making’ in the past was the order of the day in India where a strong history of artisans to scientists have been contributing to the maker culture. It is now that we have woken up to these terminologies and evolving with trending technologies to innovate for the future. It is becoming more and more important and relevant for agencies such as makerspaces and alike to play interlocutors to advocate a Description: Picture 1hybrid model in mind combining traditional techniques and modern making. This way the movement is encouraged to stay grounded and sustainable.
Introduction to Workbench Projects– An interlocutor/ facilitator for Makers
Workbench Projects (WP) is a makerspace/ FabLab/ public laboratory in Bangalore. It is a unique cross-disciplinary platform for public to toy with ideas, tinker with tools and machines to prototype and build for the future.
Having reclaimed a public space through a tendering process with the Bangalore Metro Rail Corporation, WP is the first of its kind to model a makerspace under a metro station in the heart of the city.
Education and empowerment at its core, it has created conditions and access to technology for girl students under its flagship program called ‘Girls Gone Tech’. Continually striving to bring disruptive practices in conventional setting it has on invitation conceivedimplemented and continually curates makerspaces for educational institutions. Besides providing a fully loaded digital fabrication facility for its makermembers, WP promotes projects with novelty to undergo patent filing.
Designing workshops for clients ranging from fintech to sustainability, manufacturing to software, WP is attune to the industry requirement to ensure best practices are shared and advocated for responsible innovation. Co-curating Enable Makeathon, a three month long initiative to building affordable assistive devices for the physically disabled in rural India in collaboration with the International Committee of the RedCross, Geneva, Association for people with Disability and IoTBLR, it is nowfurthering its efforts to build a makerspace in Bangalore dedicated to build products and services for the disability sector.
As a certified FabLab and a hub for makers, WP hosted the very first Mini Maker Faire in India in association with NASSCOM in 2015 and subsequently in 2016 with the support of the community and a few industry partnership WP hosted the Delhi Mini Maker Faire and Bangaluru Mini Maker Faire under the license from Maker Media, Inc. Continuing the commitment to stay true to the practice and engage the community and public at large this year WP has joined hands to host India’s first Maker Faire (10x) in the country by co-locating it with the state and department’s annual event Bangalore Technology Summit (formerly called BengaluruITE.Biz) on 17-18 November 2017 at Bangalore Palace.
Commitment to Makers through Mini Maker Faires
Workbench Projects has been an enabler for the maker community since December 2013. It not only facilitates build(s) and showcases but also has seized every opportunity to celebrate the movement in its entirety. Of the many platforms created, one that has made an impact with the public at large is the ‘Mini Maker Faire’ hosted independently last year at the Rangoli Metro Arts Centre. It was the first ever “Bengaluru Mini Maker Faire” that had an overwhelming public response. It established a wide platform that gave a countrywide participation.
Moving beyond the confines of our own city and a few other metropolis, this year in an attempt to reach far and wide we (Workbench Projects) are committed to organizing a well-thought out run up events to ensure a far more democratic participation is seen not only in the metropolis but as Tier II cities and towns at the field level.