Maker Faire Rome: CasaJasmina
Last year, Maker Faire Roma custom printed tshirts was a Roman colossus, and this 12 months, the second version, Maker Faire was American in scale, meaning colossal however usually so. It had the appear and feel of SXSW Interactive in Austin, when legions of 1000’s of geeks invade a metropolis with their gadgets, ideas, energy.
However Austin is smaller than Rome and much, much younger. Rome is a wonder of the world haunted by misplaced golden ages; a clamorous glamour and a can-do imperial spirit echoes among the many outdated ruins of chipped marble and flat red brick, at the moment abandoned to cats, rats and tourists.
The crowd of Maker Faire attendees — ninety,000 they say, which is enough to populate a “bolgia” of some Dante circle of hell — was loud, demanding and of all ages and nationalities. Security, police, individuals and organizers themselves struggled to patch the event when the crowds burst its seams.
This 12 months the Makers were more business oriented and likewise extra politically acutely aware. The hobbyist tinkers of DIY “do it yourself” are taking on a more Italian and sociable “do it ourselves” DIO solidarity. The primary day ten thousand high school students from all over Italy dutifully trampled in to see the present, which was markedly national in character. The “Make in Italy” movement is firmly linking itself to the half-forgotten legacy of Italian electronics, when Ettore Sotsass designed for Olivetti and brainy designers like Munari and Castiglione wrought wonders with their radical re-thinks of simple materials.
Italian Makers are even getting something of an Italian Maker look, of baggy start-up Tshirts, orange pants and spotless nicely-kept athletic shoes, whereas solemn purple-haired geek ladies ponder gleaming and beeping electronic costumes.
As a world export energy, the trinity of Italian design is clothing, furniture and food — and that’s the reason Maker Faire is main the world toward the likes of 3d printed spaghetti. Somewhat than the standard Milanese design wares created to please rich Russians, Japanese and Arabs, Maker innovation is “jugaad Italian model.” It is open-supply Italy as an digital India — all the things is scrounged and make-do, no one has a finances or a lawyer, and everybody is aware of all people. Despite this, or maybe because of it, the Digital camera del commercio and varied ministers for business were standing by. If the Makers themselves cannot money in on all this ingenuity, anyone else will.
The Maker world is a seductive world because there isn’t any real barrier to joining in. As a community activist with a fondness for digital arts I’ve at all times been an Arduino fan. I was already involved with the Arduinisti engaged on a undertaking for Arduino dwelling automation, but thrilled at Maker Faire when Massimo Banzi as a real cavaliere all of a sudden named this undertaking after me: from now on, it is “Casa Jasmina.” “Casa Jasmina” isn’t a very excessive-tech title for an Internet-of-Things experiment, however it is a name for a house and ladies are still the home queens who often fear technology: plus no person else appears to be utilizing the #CasaJasmina Twitter custom printed tshirts hashtag. Generally desires come true, and so do dream houses!
The Italian Maker scene is decided to enter electronic residence automation. They cannot sit nonetheless whereas Google Android and Apple HomeKit invade the world of “Domus” and “Casabella,” and the logical response to that problem, from an Italian standpoint, is not just “open source” however “open supply luxurious.”
“Lusso Open Supply” is a wierd combination of phrases for somebody who knows Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, but I have met Richard Stallman, and Richard Stallman is from MIT, he will not be an Italian guy. It’s also strange and even unhappy to understand that beautiful Italy, which is wounded and even oppressed with German, British and American ideologies of “disaster,” has to wrestle to survive by being “luxurious.” But a sophisticated and civilized quality of life is what Italy makes and sells. Open Supply is some of the ragged and rugged things happening on the earth as we speak.
Something vital is occurring within the Italian Maker scene that is much like the Italian response to McDonald’s quick meals chains. The industrial logic and intercontinental scale of McDonald’s looked unstoppable, on paper. The same goes for Google, Apple and Fb now.
The “Gradual Food Movement” even took its own English title from the risk of American fast meals. Gradual Meals has by no means been so extensively unfold as McDonald’s, however Slow Food appears quite modern and progressive these days whereas McDonald’s seems old-fashioned. Even MacDonald’s these days is making “healthy meals”!
The actual secret of Gradual Foods is not that it’s a grocery however a curated chain of food production — people will pay far more for meals in the shop because of the Slow Foods “good, clear and fair” political stamp of approval. The Gradual Meals empire even makes a lot of money selling cookbooks to plenty of people who need to be slow cooks. The Maker Movement additionally has enormous crowds of fans who love open technology and sincerely need to know it, but would pay any person else to do the actual hard work.
That’s why there will soon be an all-connected mattress and breakfast condominium in a a large half-abandoned FIAT plant in Turin, which is known as “Casa Jasmina.” For conventional Italian crafts people, who I respect very much, this could seem like a threatening prospect. With good motive, too, because now in the year 2014, anyone with eyes of their head can see that the Web does to everyone whatever it does to musicians.However designers will likely be invited as company to share their craft and opinion in that free space.
I occur to be a musician myself, and there will be various music in “Casa Jasmina.” An digital house clearly needs an electronic soundtrack, songs produced with Arduino and that goes to be one in all my private problems in future. Clearly I may steal and pirate a torrent of thundering music through a Bluetooth Jambox in “Casa Jasmina,” however would that be “good, clear and truthful?” It has been quite a while — since 1973, actually — since there was a really new “new Italian domestic landscape.” When a girl strikes home she can also change some dangerous habits.
It is presumptuous to claim to know the long run. but in addition irresponsible to behave as if the long run is just not already right here. Not solely are we part of the long run — we’re excluded from it and pressured to show to “jugaad.” The “Crisis” is just not a “disaster” in any respect, it is a world fait accompli the place the 1 per centers who have seized all the wealth ignore resolution to “the disaster” as a result of they themselves are the crisis. A white plague is turning Italy right into a museum of unaffordable monuments, the place tourists abound, but children cannot be born and raised and the elderly cannot be sheltered.
“Casa Jasmina” won’t be “my” home: young Italian individuals can’t discover regular jobs, so banks do not give them home mortgages. They stay in shareable Web housing. What’s a fashionable home? When we need a roof to guard us, what are the true threats? What’s made inexpensive, and unaffordable, and why, and for whom? What’s politically and ecologically correct. Who are our allies and partners, what unseen pals do we’ve?
In the Maker scene people do not simply debate like us writers do; they actually do issues. Sufficient with the discuss; I went to Maker Faire Roma 2014, and now, come what might, I want to attempt issues out.