The Maker Movement – Future Trends for the Here and Now

Many people have heard of the Maker Movement, but some may not know how far the movement has spread. The Maker Movement started gaining traction in 2005 but has been around forever as it is simply comprised of people who “make.” It became what we now know as the Maker Movement as more and more people became “do-it-yourselfers.” Fueled by new technologies and innovations, the movement is spreading like wild fire across the nation, resulting in Maker Education, Maker Spaces, and Maker Faires.

Maker Education

The “Maker Movement” is transforming education through its use of developing technology and hands-on “just do it” philosophy. Some may not think that 3D fabrication and robotics have much to do with science, but they are bringing “electronics, programming, and computational mathematics together in meaningful, powerful ways,” allowing students of all ages to learn by doing. Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary S Stager discuss further how the Maker Movement is affecting education and the many benefits it can bring in their article, “How the Maker Movement is Transforming Education.”

Maker Spaces

Another trend sparked by the Maker Movement is what is known as “Maker Spaces.” Maker spaces are popping up all over inside schools, libraries, and other private or public facilities. Some cities are even repurposing abandoned buildings to create Maker Spaces. These spaces are open to anyone who has a desire to “make” and generally are equipped with “3D printers, laser cutters, machines, soldering irons, and even sewing machines,” but it could also just have “cardboard, Legos, and art supplies” and still be a Maker Space. Simply put, a Maker Space can be anywhere people gather to “make.” (Makerspaces.com)

Maker Faire

Each year Maker Faires are held all around the world from California to Vienna. The Maker Faire is “part science fair, part county fair, and part something entirely new. It is a place were “Makers” from all different backgrounds gather to share their creations. A family friendly event, Maker Faires appeal to people of all ages. The next scheduled fair is in Austin, Texas on May 13 and 14, followed by one in San Mateo, California May 19-21 before the Faire hops across the ocean to Vienna, Austria the weekend of May 20th. For more information on how to attend, you can visit the Maker Faire Website.

What started as people gathering to create, using the new technology or not, has turned into a trend setting movement that is taking over, and they can pop up anywhere. Even the community library in Pickford, Michigan, a small rural town in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula near Kanava’s Michigan office, is actively looking to develop a tool lending library and a “makerspace.” From its involvement in our children’s education, to the repurposing of abandoned buildings, there is no telling where the Maker Movement will go next. Will it arrive in your community next?

 

 

 

About the Author ()

Kathleen Connors is a Program Associate with Kanava International, where she specializes in project support and research. With a Master’s Degree in English, she has over 10 years of experience focused on adult learning methodologies, including teaching teamwork and building leadership at the university level, and online learning.

Comments (2)

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  1. Elizabeth Hovey says:

    Thank you for this piece. I had no understanding of the Maker movement, and am really glad to. I am curious about Etsy (spelled right?) My daughter contends that she is buying clothes from the makers of them.

    On the other hand, she also intends to sell clothes that she did not make, (that she bought over the internet without trying on) and I imagine that Etsy is more of an online thrift shop than part of the maker movement. I love thrift, don’t get me wrong, but I would be happier supporting makers.

    • Kathleen Connors says:

      Elizabeth,

      We are pleased you enjoyed the piece on the Maker Movement and found its contents beneficial.
      In addition to our piece on this topic, you may find the article, “Artisanal Capitalism: The art and craft of business” interesting as it directly discusses how Etsy and the Maker Movement work hand in hand and how Etsy is “the leading business of the Maker Movement.”

      After some research into the Etsy selling guidelines, we found that “Etsy is a marketplace where…you can sell handmade goods, vintage items, and craft supplies,” but “reselling is not allowed on Etsy.” Etsy clarifies this by saying that reselling is considered selling something you did not make or design yourself and is only allowed in the vintage (20 years or older) and craft supply categories.

      From what we have read, Etsy advertises itself as a company devoted to supporting the Makers of the world as you had hoped and discourages any type of “thrift shop” sales. We trust this information clarifies any questions you had regarding Etsy and its relationship with the Maker Movement.

      We hope that you continue to find our blog useful!

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