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Free to Make: How the Maker Movement is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, and Our Minds
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"Making is a new word for perhaps the oldest human endeavor—and there has never been a better time in history to be a maker than right now. Dale Dougherty is largely responsible for that. He proselytizes, he gathers makers together, and he shows us new roads, new landscapes, new philosophies of making. He prods us to new heights, and when all else fails, he keeps writing the best books on the subject. Dale is a maker's maker."—Adam Savage, cohost of Mythbusters
"Part manifesto, part guidebook, the book is a good primer for beginners and interested DIY types and might offer some new ideas for those already involved in the current boom of makerspaces in libraries, schools, and other community centers."—Booklist
"A wonderful analysis and celebration of what it means to be a maker and how important it is for our future."—Carl Bass, maker and CEO of Autodesk
“Every movement needs its founders and its storytellers. In Dale Dougherty, the Maker Movement has both. In Free to Make, Dougherty tells us about the history, people, and projects that animate this movement. Importantly, he shows us how making can change the education of our youth and even lead them to make a better world.”—Milton Chen, author of Education Nation; Senior Fellow, George Lucas Educational Foundation
“This deeply insightful book highlights the profound role that the Maker Movement is playing in catalyzing and shaping a new Big Shift that will transform our economy and society. We are transitioning from passive consumers to active makers, driven by a desire to learn and achieve greater impact, and in the process rediscovering our humanity. If you want to understand where we are headed as a global society and why this is such a promising direction, this compelling and exciting book is a must-read.”—John Hagel, founder and cochairman, Deloitte Center for the Edge
"Free to Make captures what it means to be human: to imagine, question, create, reflect, and try again. It's about making your own experiences matter and sharing them in ways that help make the world a changed place over time."—Mike Petrich and Karen Wilkinson, authors of The Art of Tinkering
“Free to Make is a comprehensive treatise on everything Maker. A leader of the Maker Movement since its inception, Dale Dougherty describes the roots of the movement and gives great examples of how it is changing lives and changing society. Free to Make answers the very important question: In today’s society, where we can buy anything, why make? A must-read for any maker or anyone interested in becoming one.”—Brian Krzanich, CEO of Intel
This is a truly inspiring book by one of the great progenitors of the Maker Movement both here in USA and the world at large. Said most simply, we think with our hands as well as our heads—something we have forgotten in most of our current schooling. Free to Make provides a way to reach the many of us that find learning by sitting in a school room so boring. A sense of agency is the key to learning, and making things is a route to agency.—John Seely Brown, former chief scientist, Xerox Corp and former director of Xerox PARC; coauthor of A New Culture of Learning and The Power of Pull
"Free to Make is a profound and joyful journey through a movement that is at once historical and profoundly contemporary. Imbued with sixties’ sensibilities that give rise to creative acts of genius, whimsy, and passion, this book explores the ways in which the Maker Movement nurtures that irrepressible human desire to create and inspire others."—Margaret Honey, president and CEO of New York Hall of Science
About the Author
Dale Dougherty is the founder and CEO of Maker Media Inc. in San Francisco. Maker Media produces Make: magazine, which launched in 2005, and the Maker Faire, which was held first in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2006. There were 151 Maker Faires held around the world in 2015. Dougherty was born in 1955 in Los Angeles and grew up in Louisville, Kentucky. He was a cofounder of O’Reilly Media, where he was the first editor of their computing trade books, and developed GNN, the first commercial website, in 1993. He coined “Web 2.0” in 2003. Make started at O’Reilly Media and spun out as its own company in January 2013. In 2011 Dougherty was honored at the White House as a Champion of Change through an initiative that honors Americans who are “doing extraordinary things in their communities to out-innovate, out-educate, and out-build the rest of the world.” At the 2014 White House Maker Faire he was introduced by President Obama as an American innovator making significant contributions to the fields of education and business. He lives in Sebastopol, California, with his wife, Nancy.
Since 2007, Ariane Conrad, a freelance writer, editor, and coach known as the Book Doula, has collaboratively authored seven nonfiction books, including three New York Times best-sellers. Most recently she supported Kennedy Odede and Jessica Posner with Find Me Unafraid: Love, Loss and Hope in an African Slum (Ecco, 2015). More about her collaborations, interviews, presentations, and other adventures is available at http://arianeconrad.com.
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If you are tired of the "consumer" mentality and want to read about creative people, you will enjoy this book.
While many of the Makers combine technology and DIY, there's also Crafters. Crafters aren't making tea cozies and baby booties, or if they are it's "no tea cozies without irony" according to Crafster founder Leah Kramer from Boston. She started Crafster, a place to share hip and crafty designs. ETSY, founded in 2005, has 30 million members and 1 million 'stores' online notes this book. Regarding the who are the makers? It's interdisciplinary says Doughtery. He defines a Maker as 'someone who creates and shares projects'. One interesting project described in this book are kit planes - you can make your own plane from a kit. Or there's KAP's - Kite Aerial Photography.
Dougherty originated the first Maker Faire in the Bay area which, in its 10th year, attracted over 100,000 people. More and more Maker Faires are featured around the country. There's even a Crafter Manifesto - included in this book - written by crafter Ulla Engestrom, which summarizes the attitude these new Makers have towards their work. These capture the spirit of this new Craft and Maker movement:
1. People get satisfaction for being able to create/craft things because they can see themselves in the objects they make. This is not possible in purchased products.
2. The things that people have made themselves have magic powers. They have hidden meanings that other people can’t see.
3. The things people make they usually want to keep and update. Crafting is not against consumption. It is against throwing things away.
4. People seek recognition for the things they have made. Primarily it comes from their friends and family. This manifests as an economy of gifts.
5. People who believe they are producing genuinely cool things seek broader exposure for their products. This creates opportunities for alternative publishing channels.
6. Work inspires work. Seeing what other people have made generates new ideas and designs.
7. Essential for crafting are tools, which are accessible, portable, and easy to learn.
8. Materials become important. Knowledge of what they are made of and where to get them becomes essential.
9. Recipes become important. The ability to create and distribute interesting recipes becomes valuable.
10. Learning techniques brings people together. This creates online and offline communities of practice.
11. Craft-oriented people seek opportunities to discover interesting things and meet their makers. This creates marketplaces.
12. At the bottom, crafting is a form of play.
Much of the Maker movement uses advanced technology, such as 3D Printers. Various individuals, companies, towns, libraries and schools are working to create centers for equipment which Makers can use in their projects. These community spaces go by a mix of names such as: fabrication laboratories or "fablabs", TechShops, hackerspaces, or a more generic "makerspace". This book details five different types of these organizations, their spaces as well as the components, tools and markets involved in the how of the Maker movement.
Dougherty hopes to infect the young with a Maker Mindset and Maker Learning experiences through schools, libraries, and community offerings. Those who aren't having success in traditional education, or learn better by doing, may find success through Maker experiences. One educator promoted a Maker Camp instead of summer school.
A goal for the future is to have many small, local factories making things. Perhaps similar to the medieval Guild system, recreated in the Arts & Crafts movement of the late 1800's and early 1900's? Instead of shipping manufacturing overseas, make and produce and consume things made here. One effort is underway by individuals to revitalize Detroit with Maker projects. An example of successful locally made products is local breweries.
Makers create a participatory culture says Dougherty. Most of the projects and products in this book were hands-on. It would be interesting to investigate more creative abstract communities which produce ideas, plays, books etc. I think it's possible this Maker Movement may gain even more traction considering our country's financial future. Some economists, who predicted the last financial meltdown of 2008, are predicting another cataclysmic financial crisis in the next few years as our debt is doubling and we are the largest debtor nation in the history of the world. It can't go on indefinitely. Even our non-partisan CBO economists say our spending is "unsustainable" and we are heading towards a "fiscal crisis". Some are talking Depression instead of Recession. So, communities and individuals who can make what they need to survive will have an advantage. Buying local may become an imperative.
This New Industrial Revolution of Makers looks like it's here to stay for many reasons. This book offers a fabulous survey of its roots, background, diversity and possibility. It's eye-opening. You will want to go out and make something after reading this book.
While many books exist on specific technologies and such books as "Zero to Maker" Zero to Maker: Learn (Just Enough) to Make (Just About) Anything and "Maker Movement Manifesto" The Maker Movement Manifesto: Rules for Innovation in the New World of Crafters, Hackers, and Tinkerers exist to describe the process and technologies employed by Makers; no book length treatment until now has dealt with the philosophy, life stories and social condition of Makers. Dale and Ariane report in a easily read fashion on the Maker Movement phenomena, Makers social, educational and developmental conditions mostly in the US but with connections in a worldwide movement.
They outline stories of individuals such as Lisa Que (subsequently Que Federman) and Abe Federman who developed their own Maker device for sous vide cooking and monitoring out of classes in the Arduino microcontroller at the NYC Resistor hackerspace went on to develop a Kickstarter Project and afterward went on to found Nomiku the leading company in the sous vide coooker market. There are also stories of how makerspaces have transformed communities. I was most impressed and informed in spite of 5-7 years experience with the Maker Movement to learn of DIYAbility a New York-based Maker organization which both uses Maker skills to develop adaptive technology and enable differently enabled individuals to participate in the Maker Experience.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has ever considered making or fixing anything, those who seek to transform their communities and for the libraries of local Makerspaces.
Most recent customer reviews
we have gotten away from making actual THINGS.
Dale Dougherty has gotten us all back on a good path.Read more