Discovery and education have never been more exciting.
Everything about the annual Palm Beach Mini Maker Faire is about being hands-on, getting to know creators, and inspiring others, especially children to make and explore. It is for anyone who embraces the do-it-yourself (or do-it-together) spirit and wants to share their work with an appreciative audience. Working mostly, in the digital world, we really had to think about what we were going to bring to the table.
Hosted by, and held at, the South Florida Science Center and Aquarium, the mission of the Maker Faire is to gather curious people of all ages who enjoy learning from fascinating designers, crafters, scientists who love sharing what they can do. Dubbed the greatest show (and tell) on earth, the event featured 3D printing, arts and crafts, electronics and engineering, science, technology, metal, wood, fabrics, and much more. The AR Design band was on hand to demonstrate what we make, and we thought of a very unique and engaging way to do so.
The Booth That Was Rockin’ & Rollin’!
For the attendees of Maker Faire, our band produced a rock shop. The idea was to have an interactive and artistic workshop where kids could draw and design their own record album, then we would actualize it digitally. We wanted faire-goers to get a sense of the process of design by making it accessible, presentable, and fun.
The eye-catching visual inspiration was displayed in actual records, including a Bob Dylan album, and printed collection of other examples, including The Velvet Underground’s iconic album art of Andy Warhol and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. We wanted to give the young and young-at-heart a starting point for their own albums.
Nearly all the kids who approached and participated in our album design exercise had some sort of clear idea of what they wanted, liked and disliked. It was the adults that decided to try their hand at designing the covers that had the back-and-forth of indecision. Yet, it was funny to see how kids didn’t even know what albums were, they gazed upon the vinyl records as artifacts from a bygone era of history, with their parents standing by their side trying to explain that music didn’t always just show up on your cellphone.
From decorating a piece of paper, the participants sat with a member of the band and turned their ideas into digital concept on the computer. As crowds gathered and other patient participants waited for their turn, they could view the process on a big television screen. This made the their eager minds want to join in the fun even more. With each finished design, we would print out the artwork, cut it to size, and then sheet it into a faux record sleeve, as a takeaway gift to hopefully embolden them in the ways of design for the future (or just hang on their bedroom walls).
The Magic of Maker Faire
By signing up to be involved in the Maker Faire, we were looking forward to participating in an imaginative community event, as well as returning the favor to South Florida Science Center for their strong involvement in our event, Create Day. But in the end it came down to us being inspired by the curiosity and imagination of each and every kid who approached our booth.
To see their excitement at using the gradient tool gave us immeasurable pride and delight. In image editing software, gradients are gradual changes of color or tint that sweep over an image or a portion of an image. And the tool is something we use every single day. To the kids, it was magic.