Global movement urges people to ‘do-it-yourself’

Aim of festival is to promote creators, innovators


Mariam Shafqat July 30, 2017
Students display their creative project at a stall. PHOTO: EXPRESS

LAHORE: The first-ever Maker Fest Pakistan, which brought together inventors, craftspeople, artists and tech innovators from across the country, concluded on Friday.

The two-day event featured workshops, performances, talks, film screenings and a diverse exhibition.

The festival was inspired by the global maker movement which spread across several parts of the US, Europe, Africa and Asia. The first-of-its-kind festival in Pakistan was organised by the SAMAAJ Society for Advancement of Makers Arts and Justice.

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The event featured various stalls, displaying creative projects with the aim to celebrate creators and advance their economic growth.

According to one of the coordinators of the event, Mariam Saeed, the festival originally began in California in 2006. The Maker Fair now draws hundreds of thousands of attendees from across the globe twice a year.

“The basic concept behind the festival is to promote a do-it-yourself culture,” Mariam said. “Instead of relying on someone who is an expert at providing certain products, the festival encourages to make things yourself.”

According to the coordinator, the open for all festival invited various participants who were considered ‘makers’, whether they are a hobbyist sculptors carving out intricate three-dimensional works of art, painters or technical geeks making gadgets like robots, printers and programmable devices.

The organisers said the idea behind the initiative was to expose the public to new ideas. They believed this would ensure that innovation taking place in the confines of study spaces, shops, garages and computer labs was not restricted to four walls.

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The organisers also aimed at connecting entrepreneurs with leading local business community members and investors from Pakistan to share, inspire and exchange ideas.

Some of the interesting products and innovations on display included a muscle sensor for prosthetics, a smart cane for blind people, bio-luminance technology to detect metals in water bodies and a vertical mobile kiosk.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 30th, 2017.

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