The maker movement is family. Literally. My own mother, Sharon Hodgkins, joined the Staunton Makerspace following my own immersion in maker culture. An engineer in heart and education, she’d never heard of the diverse DIY experiment that is our global accumulation of makerplaces. The concept spoke to her and she set about finding her own local makerspace in rural Augusta County, Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
Places we’ve been to or through in the past ten days: Tostedt, Rosenburg, Sottrum, Fischerhude, Bremen, Oldenburg, Rhauderfehn, Weener, Beerta, Groningen, Leeuwarden, Harlingen, Afsluitdijk, Middenmeer, Alkmaar, Wormerveer (where we got trapped in a Fair Wear clothing company’s compound), Amsterdam. We’ve made it to our third big city, our distance traveled just under 1000km.
We stayed in Hamburg for an extra day to scramble for Schengen visas. Very pleased to announce our legality. Turns out procuring a 90-day extension is a shockingly easy thing for American citizens. God bless the USA, huh.
The last days in København zipped past. I found myself a very serviceable blue bike, thanks to Simon Søndergaard of Buddha Bikes, who got it mostly outfitted for the tour and made recommendations for the rest.
Jon departed to continue adventuring in the sun-flooded reaches of Scandinavia. Madison returned to København after a successful workshop in Århus. We biked around the city a bit, enjoyed the company of our Couchsurfing hosts, interviewed random strangers at the Lakes about why they love København, visited Rasmus Grusgaard at Fab Lab Nordvest again, and of course packed our panniers at the last possible minute.
Every Fab Lab has the standard equipment: 3D printers, laser cutter, hand tools, maybe a mill or three. Yet they’re all different. Fab Lab Dresden has been on quite the journey and they’ve finally stopped moving. They spent the last year bouncing between libraries, art studios, galleries, exhibitions, and private workshops before coming to call a space their home. They operated as a mobile Fab Lab more out of necessity than desire. This is definitely a mentality the Madulthood team can appreciate.