Day/Time: Saturday and Sunday
Location: To be determinedHowStuffisMade is a visual, wiki-based encyclopedia that documents how things are made - i.e. the manufacturing processes, labor conditions and environmental costs involved in the production of contemporary products. Encyclopedia entries are created by university students studying design, engineering and beyond, and with some guidance by professors, (or highschool teachers as we expand) who ensure independence and high standards of evidence (see website FAQs for more information on this process).
An informal test: ask yourself if you know how anything currently in your view was made - the computer you are using, the chair you're sitting in, your pen, pencil, desk, etc. Most people are not aware of how products are made, including the people who design them. HSIM fills a need for information on manufacturing processes that is not currently available. If it were, it may promote more innovation and improvement to manufacturing, environmental and labor issues. Students, along with designers, educators and consumers benefit from transparency when it comes to how products are made, who is making them, under what conditions and with what environmental effects. This project provides trusted information on design and production processes that is not otherwise available or very difficult to access.
Participating in Maker Faire, with its enthusiastic community of creative 'makers,' presents an ideal opportunity for us to share HSIM with the very students and people who will likely participate in its future production--people who are interested in how things are made.
Related site: http://www.howstuffismade.org/
Bureau of Inverse Technology
I'm currently an assistant professor at UC San Diego, Visual Arts Department. An excerpt from my UCSD bio: Natalie Jeremijenko is a new media artist who works at the intersection of contemporary art, science, and engineering. Her work takes the form of large-scale public art works, tangible media installations, single-channel tapes, and critical writing. It investigates the theme of the transformative potential of new technologies -- particularly information technologies. Specific issues addressed in her work include information politics, the examination and development of new modes of particulation in the production of knowledge, tangible media, and distributed (or ubiquitous) computing elements. She has recently held positions of Lecturer Convertible in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Yale; Consultant to the Advanced Computer Graphics Center/Media Research Lab, Department of Computer Science, at NYU; and Distinguished Visiting Critic in the Department of Art, Virginia Commonwealth University.