The Rochester Mini Maker Faire has come and gone once again. We’ve enjoyed being part of it for all three years that it’s taken place. Each year, we’ve done things a little differently. The first year of the Faire, we built a giant piece (a giant magic hat) while the public watched. While people clearly enjoyed what we made, we decided that people watching us make something wasn’t quite in line with what a Maker Faire is all about. We want to encourage people to make things, not just watch things being made. After all, it’s a Maker Faire, not a Watcher Faire.
Last year, in oder to focus more on making than watching, we created a project for the community of makers to build with us. We invited all Faire attendees to help us construct a two-story sculpture. That went really well, but we wanted to take that a step further. This year, we put out balloons and pumps and let participants dive in, creating whatever they wanted. We had some thoughts ahead of time, but purposely let the sculpture grow organically rather than provide too many restrictions on what was to come out of it. The goal was to the let the crowd create freely, joining various pieces as they saw fit. Of course, we were there to assist and, where necessary, offer suggestions, but in the end, it was the masses that drove the direction of the creation.