It’s been a (very busy) week since the inaugural and totally freakin’ amazing Toronto Maker Faire and I’m still pumped up from the experience. Here’s a 147-pic photo-essay of the experience of the show. Going to follow it up with a later post of the totally unexpected and killer urban exploration opportunity afforded by the Brick Works.
If anyone got video of Project Loud Monkey please contact me. Due to a combination of sleep-deprivation and maker euphoria I completely missed the video boat.
Had to ditch the Friday reception for makers and volunteers as I had just got back from 4 nights in Miami on a business trip. But early Saturday morning, my brutha Dave White and I loaded up Project Loud Monkey into the cars and headed out…
to the east side of T.O…
near Bloor and the DVP…
at the Evergreen Brick Works. A former brick factory saved from extinction and put to social good like Maker Faire.
There’s an amazing installation piece right off the parking lot…
with live bits and water channels for rain. Check out the amazing rust patina.
Found our table, and with the help of the dynamite volunteer staff, we moved outside to the courtyard to minimize the impact to other makers from our devastatingly loud contribution.
Our pals from Site 3 were key players in the event.
Unloadin’ the project through the back door.
from under the trestle.
Set up in no time…
and Dave was cranking out Project Loud Monkey buttons and stickers like a machine gun.
My idea was to experiment (as always) by creating a mini-brand for our project, hence Project Loud Monkey was born. Worked as a good differentiator between what we *are* as makebright and what we *contributed* for this show.
Storozuk’s contribution of the Hulk Gloves proved to be the crown jewel of the project.
Buttons! Gave away all the swag for free. The crowd loved it, so it was totally worth the investment of time to do the designs and punch it out. Experiment: success.
My Wacky Sound Generator (left) met up with Nicholas Barker’s WSG (right) in a much much neater case…
with a much more robust construction (soldering! now there’s an idea).
Nicholas also busted out…
which when switched on, just switches itself back off. It’s 2 orders of magnitude more fun in real life than in any video. Solarbotics gear motor with a cam used here.
So began our weekend-long engagement with the people who like fun as much as we do: kids!
On to the stickers. Thanks to Ben Brown for the sticker and button tools. BEN!
These are not just Hulk Gloves: they are smile generators.
The rain from Friday dried up, leaving…
a picture-perfect weekend for the few of us in the open air.
Next time I’m building a step. I didn’t count on 30% of our fans being 3 feet tall.
Kids totally get this. Put on gloves, pound gloves, make deafening noise.
Only grown-ups asked us “Why are you doing this?” “What does it mean?” “How did you think this up?”
Kids already know those answers…
and toys are a very familiar interface for them.
Fortunately we met lots of big kids like us who got it, too.
Site-3’er and volunteer extraordinaire, Seth Hardy rocked the gloves many many times.
Recruits! The button maker is *as* cool as our whole project.
At some points I think we had 10+ kids rockin the Monkey at once. Oh yeaaah.
I did some beat-boxin just because I could. Not well, but fun.
Dave’s first realization that there are 15 more hours of this tremendous cacophony.
James were representin’.
The cool thing about the way we wired up the RCA jacks is that kids as young as 3 yrs old totally knew how to work it.
Hey, we weren’t the only makers in the house…
hacklab, our buddies.
with the articulated laser on a train controlled from an iPad.
James Arlen, bringing maker goodness from Hamilton’s think|haus.
Ashley’s project let us play Obama sound bites on the keys.
kwartzlab had a lot of tables…
and surplus liquid nitrogen from their ice cream making demo.
The smart guys from Montreal’s foulab had a teletype cranking out tweets.
‘Twas cooler out of the sun.
Interesting artifacts of the…
Brick Works. Old sinks here as a wall.
Doug’s frozen shoe from the nitrogen dump.
foulab let you push the plunger on this detonator dynamo thing to see how much juice you could create.
KW’s amazing Bernie Rohde working on the LED brain for his latest piece. Check out Bernie’s eloquent description of his making in Ryan Varga’s brilliant video of this event.
My pal, Nat, demo’d her…
Bluetooth-connected LED purse notification. Emails to her BlackBerry in her purse light up the externally-visible LEDs built into the purse. What a clean build. Great job.
If you think this looks cool in bright sunlight, you should see it when the lights are low. Magic.
Gems, and the…
Really good energy from all the makers. Everyone was so friendly and positive. Fantastic.
Along with the smiles, we got some great Hulk faces.
The Heart Machine, part of an installation piece from Burning Man last year that was created by some T.O.-based burners.
Cutest encounter of the weekend, and I don’t often use the word “cute”.
Brought tools and materials to demo alterations of toys, but we just ended up talking to visitors and makers the whole time or making noise of our own.
Karl and Darryl made the drive.
RAMAN! (right) biked over from his new place downtown.
It was pretty easy, but often required to encourage people to not just watch but get engaged.
This dude could really play. A few surprises like that over the weekend.
A rare quiet moment at the table.
Not sure what pranksterism or mail-merge-fail gave makebright a nametag under “Nara Wrigglesworth”, but that’s the name Dave now uses to check into hotels.
Ran out of stickers on Day 1. Very popular. Printed and cut another whack for Sunday.
Site 3’s Marc had this really cool mylar solar reflector drum that once you put a vacuum on it would pull the…
mylar film taut, leaving…
a shiny smooth surface that I suspect is a catenary curve that approximates a paraboloid, that can then…
light stuff on fire at its focal point.
That was a wrap for Day 1.
Dave, still hearing 8-bit noise in his head hit the road for Waterloo, while I…
with friends for…
the lightning talks.
Who knew Alex Leitch of Site 3 could sing so beautifully? [no actual singing transpired, but it really looks like Alex is belting out Freebird]
Our choices of backgrounds to shoot the speakers: wicked backlight, or…
mixed bag of stuff + profile only from the speakers.
Alex lined up a whack of interesting speakers. I loved this guy’s drawings of proper bicycle brake pad alignment.
The preservation of this site snagged some awesome pieces of machinery.
where The Heart Machine looks even better by moonlight.
and of course, where there are Site 3 makers, there is…
Followed the next day by more Hulk Glove shenanigans.
This canvas is only blank…
if you can’t see infrared light. Interestingly, my Nikon D90 took the first pic, and due to it’s IR filter we just see the blank canvas, as did my naked eye. But the following 3 pics of the 3 canvasses with my BlackBerry showed…
the images made by infrared (or IR) LEDs shining through the canvas from behind. Neat.
Rob Cruickshank of Interaccess is a totally cool dude.
He built, among many things, this piece that spins a typewriter ball that gets flashed with an LED strobe that appears to freeze the letters. He had a lots of noisemakers including a 556-based noise maker and other cool electronic noisy bits. Rob invited me to the Handmade Music gig happening at Interaccess later that night, but I didn’t have the gas. Need to get back to Interaccess for one of their open nights. Queen W and Ossington is a cool area so you don’t have to twist my arm too hard.
Great chat with the makers from Aesthetec, Mark and Ann, about their unique interfaces.
Among other things, they’re building robust installations for museums. This is a paint with light rig, where the “brush” is an IR LED that is tracked behind the screen by a camera and then the brush stroke is rear-projected on to the screen. Dipping the “brush” in a “paint can” would allow switching colours.
A really pro-looking UAV.
And, finally, Ben from kwartzlab, and…
Michel from foulab, owning the Hulk Gloves.
There were tons of other makers, a great crowd, and outstanding organization and execution by the Treehouse posse and other volunteers. A real pleasure. Massive makebright thanks for the event, and thanks to all who *participated*.