January 29, 2023
A mini maker faire is a local community-organized version of the larger Makerfaire that gathers makers from different fields ranging from electronics and robotics to art and design to showcase and celebrate the spirit of DIY. Ogaki city in Gifu prefecture has been organizing mini maker faires biannually since 2010, and this year marked the 7th Mini Maker Faire in Ogaki city.
Exhibits ranged from the digital to the analog, created by a wide range of makers of all ages. From a skater musician who combined his passions into a skateboard instrument, to a father who created a party light trampoline for his children, the faire showcased the magic of DIY creation in bringing even the most fantastical ideas to life.
This year’s OMMF was divided into two spaces, the third floor showcased many digital projects, while the first floor housed many non-electronic projects such as unusual analog instruments and even a 1/1 model of a model jeep kit. This was also where the SPCS booth was located, alongside the Bioclub booth.
SPCS (pronounced species) is a series of programs that aims to explore design and new forms of expression with the help of nature. Through workshops and prototyping, participants can view once unpredictable and uncontrollable biological phenomena through a new lens.
Find out more about SPCS here: https://fabcafe.com/jp/labs/kyoto/spcs/
Season 1 of SPCS explored the big question “What is Life?” with bio-artist George Tremmel through DIY bio workshops. By the end, participants were to come up with an idea for a work of art, using the DIY bio skills and hints from the workshop, and combining it with their own interests and passions. Their ideas would then be presented at OMMF, or exhibited if they had reached the prototyping stage.
Kazutoyo Takada works as a STEAM education developer at Panasonic on weekdays and enjoys a cup of tea outdoors in his free time. When he first learned about kombucha scoby (the Japanese name for kombucha literally translates as tea fungi) he was more fascinated about the idea that pouring tea into a cup made of scoby would mean dousing it in a growth medium, rather than the sustainable properties of scoby leather. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a cup regenerate as you drink from it? This is only his first prototype and we look forward to one day enjoying a tea ceremony with his scoby teaware.
Product designer Shinya Hasebe designed The Playground for the believably intelligent slime mold. How slime mold moves in search of food has attracted attention in a variety of areas, such as in design and behavioral analysis. However, most of these interesting experiments have been conducted on flat culture mediums.Together with another member from season 1 – Hiroshi Mitachi, founder of Shinkougeisha, Hasebe explored a variety of methods to create a three dimensional medium the slime could grow upon. This included 3D printing, injection molding and sculpting with wire mesh and covering the structures with agar as a medium.
In the prototype’s current iteration, the slime mold was found to move very little and would not enter the “playground”. What will become of Hasebe’s prototype after this?.
Hasebe creating a SPCS sign over the SPCS booth using his AR experience called World’s Palette that was a finalist in the NEWVIEW AWRDS2021
Fungicha is a project aiming to connect with nature by collecting, cultivating and making tea from mushrooms. The team put together a mini incubator and a cold brew mixing machine for OMMF. At first glance, what seems like a single wooden board turns into a cold-brew machine, with the help of magnetic mixing pellets.
Exhibitors were also given the opportunity to present their projects on the first day of OMMF..
You can find SPCS’s presentation recorded below!
As in-person events start to make a comeback after the pandemic, we are once more reminded of the wonder and excitement that comes with actually experiencing things for yourself. Witnessing the enthusiasm of creators who created simply for their own enjoyment or curiosity reinforced the importance of DIY making.
SPCS Talk Event Vol 1 is happening soon!
Kaomai Estate 1955, a resort facility on a former tobacco factory site in Thailand that is being transformed into an ecological schoolhouse. Founder and project manager Chak Chen and landscape designer Patchara Khongsuphol will visit Japan to introduce their latest efforts and discuss the future of ecotourism, intervention and biodiversity restoration in once-disturbed land.
Find out more about SPCS and get involved here: https://fabcafe.com/labs/kyoto/spcs/
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