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The São Paulo Maker Scene

Madison and I have both been to São Paulo, the largest city in the southern hemisphere, and we love it. In 2011 Madison traveled to SP for Carnival with the goal of staying there for two and a half weeks speaking only Portuguese. She’d been studying the language at university, and wanted to test herself. “I planned the first two days of the trip, and left the rest completely open-ended. I made some lifelong friends and managed to survive without speaking any English,” she said.

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The Buenos Aires Maker Scene

Buenos Aires… Where to begin?! This city moves with gentle grace despite its gargantuan size, the third largest metropolitan region in Latin America. It’s calm and quaint in corners, quilted with parks and public spaces, but beware  the buses; they’ll rip down streets no matter how narrow as if the pavement were on fire.

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The Jungle Boat

At the start of May, Madison and two of her fellow Kaospilots joined the Floating Fab Lab (FLF) team on an investigative excursion into the Amazon. They visited two villages near Iquitos, Padre Cocha and Manacamiri in the Maynas region, and set themselves the task of discovering how exactly the FLF will best be able to serve these and similar indigenous communities. A tentative approach is necessary for ambitious, modern projects such as the FLF. If the project busts in delivering education and new technology to people who never even completed primary school, their reception will not be great. That would be scary. It would feel like a cultural coup. And that’s why the FLF is taking its time with investigation, finding the best angle to bring their hopeful project to the world of these indigenous communities. Understanding the context of where they’re going and who they’re helping is key to being able to initiate positive change. The FLF project is undeniably a force for good, but there’s still a right way and a wrong way to go about implementing it. The appropriateness of their goals is important to understand.

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Fab Lab Santiago

I’ve never been to a city quite like Santiago, especially in Latin America. In this city, they clothe their stray dogs with a bright orange vest so they don’t get hit by cars at night. Cyclists zip by on well-demarcated bike lanes. Homosexuality is no big deal, and gay couples walk around holding hands. Street art, skate parks, a dozen universities all on strike for free education–this is a modern, even enlightened, city.

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Some Places to Ride your Bike

MadRim recently published an article in MAKE Magazin, our first appearance in German in print! Click here to purchase the magazine; the volume featuring our article is 1/2016. They published three lists, written by Miriam and photographed by Madison: Zehn kreative Fab Labs in Europa (10 Fab Labs You Must Visit if You’re in Europe); Acht coole Projekte (The 8 Coolest Projects We Saw While Biking Across Europe); and Sechs Labs für dein (inneres) Kind (Six Labs for your [inner] Child). Since we wrote a couple more lists that never made it into print in German or online in English, we’ve decided to include them here. Read on to learn about Some Places to Ride Your Bike in Europe.

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4 Maker Hotspots

MadRim recently published an article in MAKE Magazin, our first appearance in German in print! They published three lists, written by Miriam and photographed by Madison: Zehn kreative Fab Labs in Europa (10 Fab Labs You Must Visit if You’re in Europe); Acht coole Projekte (The 8 Coolest Projects We Saw While Biking Across Europe); and Sechs Labs für dein (inneres) Kind (Six Labs for your [inner] Child). Since we wrote a couple more lists that never made it into print in German or online in English, we’ve decided to include them here. Read on to learn about 4 Maker Hotspots and 2 Crazy Coloradans.

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Hello From the Other Side

Madison Worthy and Miriam Engle biked from Copenhagen to Barcelona during the summer of 2015, collecting interview and activity footage for the film Self-Made, all about the European Fab Lab phenomenon. We reached Barcelona on July 13th, and spent the next ten days sweating all over the region interviewing architects, urbanists, and educators at Fab Labs and makerspaces.

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MADE IT

Places we’ve been to or through in the last twenty days: Beaune, Chalon-sur-Saône, Mâcon (does not rhyme with bacon), Trevoux, Lyon, Tournon-sur-Rhône, Valence, Cruas, Meysse, Pierrelatte, Saint-Restitute, Avignon, Arles, Lunel, Saint-Aunès, Montpellier, Saint-Pierre le Mer, Argelès-sur-Mer, Cerbère, Colera, Figueres, Girona, Sils, Malgrat de Mar, Arenys de Mar, Mataró, Badalona, Sitges, Barcelona.

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The Heat Wave

This July, 2015, France is a furnace. The country is a sauna right now–the more you move, the hotter your skin tingles. When you stand still to gulp great choking mouthfuls of cotton, the sweat pools, your very mind oozing from your temples. It’s a feverish temperature, surrounded by the claustrophobic drone of insects, you’re constantly sticky and itchy. Even lying down to sleep, an unfulfilled promise of relief, the sweat runs, you’ll toss and turn and scratch for restless hours.

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