Maker Faire Miami — which takes place at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus in downtown Miami — is celebrating its 6th year, of showcasing Miami’s talented, diverse community of makers this weekend, April 6 & 7. The city is renown for its melting pot of cultures and this is evident in the wide range of projects on display at the event. Supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the event will feature inventions and interactive exhibits across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.
The original Miami “Mini” Maker Faire was held in 2013 has grown into the premier gathering space for makers and DIY innovators in South Florida. Last year’s Maker Faire at MDC featured more than 110 exhibitors and attracted big crowds. Exhibits included virtual reality, giant lego-like blocks, self-driving vehicles, and a BattleBots competition. There were also interactive mini-workshops for all ages, maker talks that featured local and international maker initiatives including shareable cities, artificial intelligence and the plastic waste crisis, as well as a pop-up display by Joseph Prusa Research showcasing the new MK3 printers and some of the incredible designs made with their open source machines.
Here’s a look at the 2018 event:
Over the past few years, organizations across South Florida have stepped up to make STEAM and maker culture inclusive and inspiring for all curious minds. Code/Art has inspired girls to program digitally generated graphics with Scratch, CODeLLA empowers underrepresented and minority girls with coding and entrepreneurship programs, and The Girl Scouts have been adding badges that prepare girls with skills in computer science. The talented Maker Faire Miami producers has organized a slew of new and exciting hands-on activities to engage this next generation of Makers, and is featuring speakers and showcases by a number of amazing women makers to inspire and serve as role models!
There are so many amazing examples of strong women leaders, but we’re highlighting a few to give you a sneak peek of what’s in store this year at Maker Faire Miami:
Dutch FashionTech designer Anouk Wipprecht creates designs ahead of her time, combining the latest in science and technology to make fashion an experience that transcends mere appearances. She wants her garments to facilitate and augment the interactions we have with ourselves and our surroundings. Her Spider Dress is a perfect example of this aesthetic, where sensors and moveable arms on the dress help to create a more defined boundary of personal space while employing a fierce style. Partnering up with companies such as Intel, AutoDesk, Google, Arduino, Microsoft, Samsung, Adobe, Adidas, Cirque Du Soleil, Audi, Disney, Swarovski, and 3D printing company Shapeways she researches how our future would look as we continue to embed technology into what we wear, and more importantly – how this will change our perspective on how we will interface with technology. Meet her at Maker Faire Miami and learn about how she creates and controls her designs.
Andrea first learned about robotics as a high school freshman, which quickly shifted her career goals from artist to engineer. She now has over 15 years of experience in combat robotics, winning a number of national titles. Andrea is featured on BattleBots on ABC as captain of team Witch Doctor, which was a Season 1 quarterfinalist and the number 3 seed for Season 2. Witch Doctor is available as a HEXBUG toy online and in stores. She recently presented at the Kennedy Space Center on designing for damage and redundancy, and has spoken on discussion panels for a variety of audiences. She is currently working in research and development at Zimmer Biomet, where she has focused on upper extremity trauma for the past 9 years and has been awarded several utility patents. Andrea received her BS and MS in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Miami. At Maker Faire Miami, she will be hosting a BattleBots panel discussion along with Team Hypershock and Team Rotator.
Esteffanie Explains it All
By day, Estefannie is a software engineering lead for a tech company developing a self-driving drilling rig. After hours Estefannie goes into her Maker zone with Estefannie Explains It All, her YouTube channel where she shares her process, tips, and tricks while she builds a wide range of awesome projects – light a 3D printed, light-up Daft Punk helmet. At Maker Faire Miami, Estefannie will talk about how making mistakes and breaking things are a part of her learning process of actually making things. The audience will be inspired to start making projects, building more things, and not be afraid of making mistakes along the way. Hear her speak at the maker talks and ask her questions at the Meet and Greet!
In 2014, Natalie co-founded the collaborative studio A M L g M A T D, along with Laz Ojalde, where they experiment in works of art, design objects and environments that reflect Laz and Natalie’s quirky points of view and love of unusual and overlooked materials. Inspired by patterns and colors mirrored in the everyday world, they look at their surroundings with a fresh pair of eyes and redefine it with a bit of wit and humor. They have created various pavilion structures over the years that have been featured at Maker Faire Miami, Maker Faire Orlando, and in Untitled Art Fair during Art Basel. This year, they’re bringing a new creation – The Philodendron Folly, an aluminum structure that uses giant inflatables to create shade.
Daisy is the Co-Founder and President of Moonlighter Makerspace, A STEAM Learning Center, FabLab, and Co-Working space in the Wynwood Arts District in Miami. Her passion for design, architecture and education all combine in the makerspace. From creating a range of educational programs teaching kids to create (almost) anything, to designing and building a range of urban pop-ups, and running the operations of a collaborative studio space – Daisy does it all! At Maker Faire, she’ll be running one of the Hands-On Activities featured on the Maker Passport – creating a photo print using light sensitive paper!
Abby K. is a 5th grade student at Pinecrest Academy South Campus. She started exploring her passion for robotics in the 2nd grade. During this time, she noticed that she was one of the only girls participating in robotics. She set-out to make robotics less intimidating for girls and created the YouTube channel VEX iCutie. The YouTube channel takes viewers step-by-step through the process of building robots. She has fans all over the United States who email her and ask questions. VEX iCutie recently participated in the South Florida State VEX IQ Robotics Competition and her team won the Sportsmanship Award. Come visit VEX iCutie and let her explain how robotics is “Girl Powered”!
Tina Marie Suizzo
Tina is a junior at Florida International University studying mechanical engineering. She’s a student leader of the EdgeLab, an on campus makerspace and first of its kind at FIU, where she facilitates the growth of the maker community with her EdgeLab Mentors. Tina Marie loves manufacturing and crafting of any kind, she is a firm believer that anyone can make given the right tools and knowledge. At Maker Faire, She will be joined by other students at the EdgeLab to run the Make-A-Button activity.
After receiving a BA in Journalism from Georgetown University in 2005, she revisited her childhood love for art and fashion when she enrolled in a costume design class at Boston University. She took the year before starting her graduate degree to travel across the US as a costume attendant for the Ringling Bros Circus. She has worked as a technical designer for contemporary brands including Mara Hoffman, Tracy Reese and Vanilla Beach. She has a strong affinity for the use of technology in creating fashion including Digital Illustration along with Patternmaking in CAD. The love of art and fashion history is what drew her to this profession. Her goal is to share that curiosity and interest in research with the MFI community. Meet her at the Miami Fashion Institute booth and purchase 3D and Laser Cut Jewelry designed by the MFI students and faculty used to raise funds for scholarships.
Cristina has a professional background in advertising and is also an artist. She has been painting since she was 8 years old. She is currently on a mission to serve the community and do good will the goal of living a happier life. Her project, The Last Straw, is hoping to generate awareness of the volume of plastic waste in our society by accepting donations of straws from individuals and companies looking to rid of them – and then creating a work of art out of them! See her works in progress at Maker Faire Miami!
Kimberly is a mompreneur – her passion project turned into Trelles Cottage, a family based company that makes the most #Miami accessories sporting witty miamian puns with whimsical designs. Visit her booth at Maker Faire Miami to score your own “Tengo Chisme” Shirt.
Julie Brumlik is a Miami-based designer of 3D pop-up cards. Her cards are laser-cut and 100% hand-assembled, a combination of tech and craft. Visit her hands-on booth, buy amazing artistic cards and learn the secrets of making magical pop-ups!
Paloma is a multidisciplinary artist expressing her creativity in different directions. She is a professional musician, music therapist and teaching artist, specializing in Autism and Sensory Integration and working in collaboration with different organizations with children, with and without disabilities, in the community. Paloma also performs locally with her Brazilian Jazz Music project called Brasoul. Stop by her pop-up shop filled with handcrafted Mexican inspired art, original photography, jewelry and apparel. You’ll find upcycled Frida Kahlo photos and La Loteria game cards, found objects and shadowbox art.
We wish we could talk about every maker because there’s so many amazing people to highlight – but you’ll just have to come to the Faire to meet them all! You may come to Maker Faire Miami to see the Power Wheels Racing Series, or to make a snow cone with a giant hamster wheel, or to screen print your own T-shirt, but make sure you take a moment to chat with the people. They are the ones making it all happen and they are often willing to share a bunch of their knowledge with you. So sure, you may get to take home a vacuum-formed plant pod, a light-up circuit you soldered yourself, or a custom button, but the real prize is all the people you met and all the things you learned.Hope to see you there!