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Meet the Makers

The Bay Area braces for the next big thing—and a bona fide RoboJam—at Maker Faire.

Three-dimensional designs during the Inventor’s Heaven at last year’s Maker Faire


No one needs to be reminded that the Bay Area excels, especially in tech. But, just in case, there’s Maker Faire, returning May 17 to 19 at San Mateo County Event Center, to remind us. This annual event—which attracted some 1,100 makers and 125,000 guests last year alone—celebrates invention, creativity and curiosity among the maker community via 800-plus exhibits, interactive art, hands-on making experiences and more. “More” meaning everything from robotics and electronics to tools and the future of food.

Maker Faire is a means for innovators of all stripes to connect and experiment with technology that’s difficult to find elsewhere. “We are empowered to drive technology to address important problems and improve the world around us,” says Dale Dougherty, co-founder of Maker Faire. “Human-driven or human-centered innovation should be the next big thing in 2019. That’s a new call for makers to show how it’s done.”

Last year, to illuminate the innovation—literally—artist Stan Clark’s Astro Botanicals (shown here), soft sculptures shaped as ornamental flowers, were aglow in a variety of colors, lending a Zen-like ambiance to the event. Highlights of this year’s fair include an expanded DIY Content Creator stage, where attendees can meet maker influencers, including Bob Clagett, Jimmy DiResta and Laura Kampf. Also new? The Maker Faire RoboJam Competition with—what else?—“nonstop robotics action,” says Managing Director Sabrina Merlo.Tickets from $35, 1346 Saratoga Drive, San Mateo


Originally published in the May issue of San Francisco 

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