Last weekend the Maker Faire Barcelona took place at the Nau Bostik, a self-managed artistic creation space located in the neighborhood of La Sagrera.
We wrote about the event in a previous article, so we won’t go into the history and purpose of the event, except to say that the Make Faire brings together engineers, artists, designers, hackers, craftsmen, scientists and technologists to present their most advanced projects in the framework of the digital society, with the circular economy as the central axis of the meeting.
The range of displays and ideas presented at the fair were exciting and inspiring to say the least. In fact, there were so many activities going on, there's no way I could cover them all in a single article. So I’ll focus on my four creative highlights related to art and creativity at this year's fair.
1. A Cycle Of Recycle
Upon entering the fair we discover a colorful and innovative art installation by @magdacwikart which called attention to the issue to recyclable versus non-recyclable plastics. As Magda explains in the video, her art installation features five kinds of non-recyclable plastics and only two types of recyclable plastics. This piece highlights the need to be very careful when purchasing products in plastic containers.
The installation was created from recycled materials: bottle/food caps, cables, old trampoline, mirror and other things found on the street and everyone was welcome to participate!
2. Portrait painter robot project
Next, I was blown away by José Salantino’s robot that paints portraits using a digital image as a source of information. The robot is completely autonomous, with an automatic mixing color system and it uses only real brushstrokes.
José explains, “I'm a portrait painter, I know the technique needed to paint a portrait with an acceptable level. But I'm a maker too, and for many years I dreamed of a robot capable of painting portraits autonomously.
I choose oil as medium because it's the paint I use for my own portraits, and because it gives us the possibility to correct and adjust all the times that we need.
Many times I have thought it's a crazy project, but I can also see other people doing similar projects. In fact, the University of Konstanz (project eDavid), have worked developing a portrait painting robot for more than eight years now, spending a lot of money and almost infinite resources.”
3. RE-DAR creates ceramic glazes from water waste
The next stand was especially exciting for me because I’m a ceramics artist. Alberto Gracia Virgos is a Product Designer and calls himself a Natural Thinker. For his final project at the ELISAVA University Alberto developed a ceramic glaze generated 100% from sewage sludge. The color and texture of the glaze varies depending on the amount of metallic pollutants that the gray water possesses.
Alberto’s intention is to raise awareness about the amount of water we unconsciously waste. Drinking water is a limited resource that is carelessly used on a daily basis. The purification of this water can be carried out thanks to the complex system of pipes and infrastructures that allow us to eliminate impurities and sanitize the water to integrate it back into nature. Therefore, all components and substances that are discarded and disposed of with the water end up accumulating and collecting in the form of waste.
RE-DAR is an alternative to the current methods of reuse and recovery of the wastewater treatment plants (sludge and sand), moving away from the agricultural field.
4. Entre Redes
Amalia Puga presented Entre Redes, a new project aiming to combine craftsmanship and design while at the same time incorporating a collective of women netmakers whose livelihood was in steady decline.
Entre Redes takes place in A Guarda, a small fishing village in Galicia, near the Portuguese border. A place where local collaborative work between women has been essential for the economic growth of the town. By combining the individuality of their artisan techniques with the possibilities of design and innovation, Amalia is revaluing the art of netmaking and encouraging collaborative work between women.
Each fishing rope is composed of fine lead chains that give the weight to the rope. From this existing rope system, Amalia proposed to replace the chain by a metal steel bar, which would allow to mold and transform the material, creating shapes that could be applied to countless products.
I thought this product was exceptional because it not only reuses materials that would otherwise be wasted, into a beautiful and functional piece of furniture, but it also helps to support workers and a local economy that was on the decline. This is a perfect example of win-win on all sides!
That concludes my list of favorite creative highlights from this year's Maker Faire in Barcelona. Did you have any personal creative highlights? Perhaps they were technology related or it was the wine making? Feel free to tell us in the comments below or contribute your own article to FrikiFish!