National Week of Making: Why We Make

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Written by Alex Morrison, Maker Education Coordinator

As National Week of Making comes to an end, Alex Morrison—our maker education coordinator—weighs in on why we make.

In Space 8, we’re not afraid to admit that we can make mistakes. We’ve made 3D prints that look like bad hair days, circuits that never move or light up and woodworking projects that look like Dalí paintings. We’ve discovered halfway through a project that we’re actually using the wrong material and it’s safe to say, we don’t always get things right the first time.

However, just because we don’t get a project right doesn’t mean we failed. It doesn’t mean we give up. We keep making something over and over until we feel proud of the work we’ve accomplished. Personally, I am proud of a bicycle powered bike lathe I built for SXSW Create, and it still doesn’t work!

Bike Lathe
My bike lathe!

In our maker space, we use tinkering and building as tools for growth and to gain a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us. When we invite our patrons into Space 8, we’re inviting everyone of all backgrounds and abilities into a safe, non-judgmental space that focuses on trying and making as an act of empowerment. When we make something from the ground up, whether it works or not, we become inventors, artists, problem solvers and experts. When we experiment, tinker and collaborate, we ignite a curiosity that we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

This is why we make.

This week was an incredibly important week for makers everywhere. National Week of Making is a movement encouraging Americans to engage in maker projects and DIY activities across the country. At Thinkery, we celebrated with special activities and guests all week long.

Week of Making- Chiptunes
Chiptunes with Austin group Chalkboards.

During National Week of Making, we invited four community groups to come and talk about their innovations and their failures. Chiptunes group Chalkboards showed us how to reprogram Game Boys to make music. Lady Cans FRC taught us how to make robots that save the environment. We used tools with Yellow Bike Project to repair cranks and bicycle hubs. Bibliographia brought their print press train for hands-on screenprinting lessons. All these projects, organizations and makers themselves are so completely different from one another, but their commonalities lie in their passion for experimenting, trying, making new things and always wanting to collaborate, learn and grow.

Learning about bicycle maintenance with Yellow Bike Project.
Learning about bicycle maintenance with Yellow Bike Project.

At Thinkery, we’re here to help our patrons grow into the unbelievable, unstoppable people we know they are. From developing motor skills in Early Learners to exploring the science behind nutrition in Kitchen Lab to using advanced tools in Space 8, we want makers small and tall to walk out of our doors ready to take on a part of the world they’d never thought about before.

Week of Making at Thinkery
National Week of Making at Thinkery.

While every week at Thinkery is a celebration of making, it’s important to be reminded of why we make. We make because “good enough” is not enough. We make because the world is full of possibilities. We make because we want to make a difference. Come see what you’re made of at Thinkery!

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