Underground comics or zines would be one of the most exciting gateway drug into the maker culture.
One of the simplest medium to give a tangible outlet and a concrete form to your wispy ideas. Sketches, verses, doodles and thoughts coalesce to depict and narrate ideas for other people to absorb.
What you essentially end up "making" is an extension of abstract ideas, yourself, current political scenario, a narrative of the horrors of modern dating, a different point of view or just about anything that can make sense better when it's portrayed in form of legible words and images.
During our childhood plastic toys didn't have such a wide reach in the market. I still remember playing with wooden toys, spring powered metal cars or imagining cardboard boxes or wooden pieces as toys. The texture, feel, color and smell of these toys cannot be replaced by the plastic toys of the present time.
Toys might be becoming smart but they are becoming soulless and there is not much of affection, The toy industry is becoming too commercial. Trying to bring a new toy with every movie release. The way toys are priced now a days keep them out of the reach of a common man. India had a rich tradition of handmade, interesting and frugal toys. Maybe kids need to be given a chance to play with them again or to make their own toys. Making or being a part of making the toys may help kids develop a sense of belonging, co working and affection.
Just like India , China is another bustling place with an active maker scene which has developed over many years throughout their rich history.
One of the makers was lucky enough to witness few of these maestros live in action. These were makers who line the streets of Zhaixiangzi street in Qingyang.
Here you can see the artist is sculpting out caricatured 3d models of celebrities and cartoon characters from clay.
Below we see the person making sugar candies. The user revolves the bow on the table , and depending on what shape it points to the artist makes you a customized candy.
When we started we said that systems are complex is the biggest understatement. We thought that how complex they can be!
But once we started compiling our experiences, learning and ideas we came to know that mapping of these things could be complex and what all things are connected.
The final outcome of all the mapping we did is called "The Makers Gigamap". It maps the intention behind making, the impact of the maker movement, the stakeholders involved, what could be some of the models which could be adopted to bring community and resources together. There are some questions which we pondered upon. What could be the future of Making in India? What all will we make? Can fabrication be done on the go? The mapping might not be over yet. It will evolve and transcend into something else in the coming years.
We created a route map which we followed to source and make stuff. Some of the detailed routes are:
Then we went to Gandhi Road to buy components like LED and other electrical components.
Our last stop was Fablab in CEPT where we lasercut them.
Then we went to Gheekanta to get leather.
Next stop was Roopkala to buy supplies like mill board, needle, thread, glue etc.
We set up the manufacturing facility in Product Design Studio, NID.
You can use our map to find other resources and facilities and create your own route map for things you want to make.
When we think and search on maker culture, we come across open source, maker faire, arduino etc. These things are only the tip of the iceberg which have been promoted and caught attention of people. But when you think about maker culture the impact runs deeper. It has impacts in areas like education, society and economy. We tried to come up with some of the impacts and area of interventions within these areas. Some of these interventions are connected to each other and some might later grow and overlap others.
The points that triggered us to choose the topic of Propagation of Maker Culture in India.
- Consumerism to Constructivism
- Mindset towards products
- Changing Business Models
- Decreased Socialization
- No more hand me downs
They say , "A mans greed knows no end " , and its precisely this truth that hurls us towards ever increasing consumerism. With increase in standards of living this greed is further drilled deeper into our lives. We no longer wish to give our kids toys used by their older siblings. A phone with cracked screen is rendered useless and disposed off without a second thought. Buy the latest model. Use and throw is the mantra that mass producing corporations are driving us by. Midst this chaos of "using" we have lost our touch with our innate longing to "create".