Better management of the planet's resources, customization of objects, local production and surcycling ..., Makers are sensitive to the challenges of circular economy, especially on the matter of fashion, explains Christophe Raillon, the director of Maker Faire Paris that opens its doors, this Friday.
By Ludmilla Intravaia
Le Boudoir Numérique : This Friday, the Maker Faire Paris event will open its doors, at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie, for three days of “Makers”’s gathering, around the concept of “do it yourself". What is a Maker?
Christophe Raillon, director of Maker Faire France : Being a Maker is a state of mind, a desire to be in action, to "do", to become an actor in your daily life and regain control of a number of things, particularly in terms of circular economy. For instance, a Maker will prefer to repair objects, rather than throw them away. Creative, he will seize the digital tools, to hack, divert, transform and customize objects, so that they resemble him, in valorization of manual work, enriched by digital technology. The Maker will modify traditional tools, for example, by adding technologies, knowledges and skills, because he is also defined by his ability to learn "through doing". Learn everything, anytime. And if he is wrong, it does not matter, he bounces on his mistakes.
Learning also means sharing. Is it the same philosophy one found in the Maker spaces that, in addition to providing digital manufacturing tools, empathize on the transmission of knowledge?
For some time, we have been witnessing the emergence of the Fab labs, these workshops, where 3D printing and laser cutting machines, electronic tools and trainings courses are available for Makers to draw, prototype and make objects. But the wealth of these laboratories lies less in their tools than in their community, based on sharing. We obviously find this philosophy on Maker Faire Paris which is not a festival where people show themselves but where they come to transmit their knowledges and skills.
What links do Makers have with fashion?
Generally, when Makers seize fashion, it is to make it more eco-responsible, more ethical. Better management of the planet's resources, the re-individualization of objects in contrast to mass production and local manufacturing, particularly in the heart of the city are issues that are dear to them. The Maker does not throw, he recycles and re-uses. With old clothes, he makes new and more creative ones.
So the Maker practices upcycling...
Absolutely. The recycling of raw material was the first step. Now, next step is upcycling, we turn things into a product that has more value. I’m thinking, for example, of the creations of one of our exhibitors, L’ours à paillettes who recycles old industrial drums into design furniture. Or the brand La vie est belt that makes belts and bow ties, based on used bicycle tires.
How will this 2018 edition of Maker Faire Paris reflect these concerns?
On Saturday, a recycling themed fashion show will be held at 3 PM with some of our fashion exhibitors such as Olga Debec, Viny DIY, Dodynette Dodynette and Alicia Fenies. While Sunday at noon, the sociologist Majdouline Sbai will present a conference on circular fashion, recycling and the role of Makers. Every morning, from 11 AM, forty sewing machines will be accessible to all, during a giant workshop that will use scraps of leather and fabric to make pouches. Not to mention, the sewing bar, where you can, continuously, sew and customize your objects.
Grandfathers who want to tinker with their grandchildren, members of science clubs, garage inventors..., finally, who are these Makers?
We are all Makers. This is the beauty of this movement. Born from the meeting between the hippie counterculture and the culture of Silicon Valley, it was formalized in California in 2006 by the event Maker Faire, now spread worldwide, with 240 festivals in 40 countries. Maker Faire is the gathering of creative people who come to share with others what they make. This means that there are no typical Makers profiles. Nevertheless, if you want to know a little more about the French Makers, do not miss Philippe Moati’s conference, who is an associate professor of economics at the University Paris-Diderot. He will present the results of a study on this topic, Friday, from 11 AM. One thing certain is that the Maker movement is a deep-seated culture that gives people back their confidence. It feels good to make things with your hands. We realize ourselves through what we make.
* The Maker Faire Paris event runs from Friday, November 23rd to Sunday, November 25th, 2018, at the Cité des sciences et de l’industrie (see the website here).