The annual Bay Area Maker Faire is a sprawling, multiday extravaganza that resembles a DIY Disneyland. Started by Make magazine in 2006, it brings together hobbyists, crafters, engineers and hackers of the physical world as well as the electronic. With more than 600 exhibitors, the 2009 Faire was a sensory overload, with human-powered amusement park rides, flame-throwing robots and a life-size Mousetrap game, to name just three of the sights.
Maker Faire: NC will be a much smaller and lower-key affair but with a similarly eclectic range of exhibitors, from quilters to robotics clubs to the creator of miniature remote-control warship cannons. It's co-sponsored by TechShop, the membership-based, all-purpose fabricating plant profiled in the Indy last summer. According to a The New York Times article published two weeks ago, the founders of the original TechShop in Silicon Valley plan to open 10 more franchises in the next two years. Similarly, the Maker Faire is expanding to Detroit and New York. Both groups are betting on the continued growth of the "maker" movement, which reimagines consumer culture and calls for the democratization of the means of production. —Marc Maximov