Eindhovens ‘makersculture’ becomes evident at the Mini Maker Faire. On the 10th and 11th of September, the third edition of the Maker-festival will take place at the Vestdijk, in VDMA. It’s an event built for makers from all ages, where visitors can build their own robots as well as take a look at the designs of High-Tech fashion. Where visitors can listen to speakers, watch designs and -most importantly- get a hands-on experience from the exhibition.

Running up to the Mini Maker Faire (10th 11th September), E52 will publish several articles about the Faire. This is the final one in the series before the faire starts.

Workshop ‘Kunnen we het maken? (Can we do this?)’ by creative-technical collective Setup lets visitors get to know the Internet of Things while pushing forward an ethical question: Wat do we want from a house stacked with objects that are constantly communicating with each other, with us and -most importantly- about us?

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The workshop’s attendee will find a VDMA-complex filled with old toasters, waffle-irons and CD-players. All of which can then be connected with one and other.

One example is that of a CD-player that will start playing Marco Borsato once you have ignored your alarm clock.

“The thing is: This time we don’t want to make sure the ‘smart devices’ will help us, we want to achieve the opposite, we want them to annoy us or make us sad”, Eva Vesseur of Setup says, an organization which is made up out of mostly creative and IT-freelancers.

“The workshop’s title can be read in two ways”, she says.  “On the one hand we ask the visitors quite litteraly: Can you build this? On the other, we ask them if it is ethically okay to build a machine that can go against its user.”

Here’s an example: What about building a toaster that will not work until its user has amassed a certain amount of steps on the pedometer that day. The machine disciplines the user. Another example is one of a CD-player that will suddenly start blasting tracks of your least favourite singer once you have ignored your alarm clock. “I can imagine this will kickstart the most grumpy day ever.”

The workshop aims to start a conversation about the way data is collected and used by machines in our home. “More and more data is being collected and used in everyday machines. We wonder: Do we still have control over this? And if so, in what direction should we go with this? We ask the visitors these questions.”

Those visitors can then start to programme for themselves, with help from two of Setup’s technical aids. “Furthermore, we have created templates that make the programming as easy as possible.”

“That’s what Setup is about”, Vesseur says. “Making complex technology easily accesible. We take a problem, and enlarge it, by doing so, we hope that the public will start to think about the use of data even more.”

The workshop at the VDMA-complex can be visited on September the 10th and 11th during the Mini Maker Faire from 11.00 to 18.00 hours.

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