Dublin Maker returns with ‘most accessible event ever’

7 May 2021

Image: Dublin Maker

After postponing last year’s event, the Dublin Maker team has planned a fully virtual maker festival for 2021.

This year’s Dublin Maker festival will be free, fully virtual and “universally available”, according to organisers.

The event, supported by Science Foundation Ireland, typically takes place in Dublin city each summer. However, the 2020 Dublin Maker had to be shelved due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Organisers have regrouped and now promise that Dublin Maker 2021 will be their “most accessible event ever”.

‘We want to see how makers have dealt with and innovated around the limitations faced during the lockdown’

Now in its 10th year (but its ninth event) Dublin Maker is open for makers of all sorts to exhibit their hacks, builds, bakes, fakes and all things hands-on. Everything from kitchen chemistry and garden shed rocketry to bedroom music-making and home-office hacks are welcome.

“We are super excited about this year’s event. Due to last year’s postponement, we have missed seeing what the makers of Ireland have been up to. We want to see how makers have dealt with and innovated around the limitations faced during the lockdown,” said organiser Jeffrey Roe.

The organisers promise the usual mix of invention, creativity and resourcefulness the event has become known for, but with some key differences.

This year, it will be spread across a full weekend on 19 and 20 June. Makers showcasing their work at the event will be assigned virtual tents from which to show and tell. And, with limitless online exhibition space, the open call for makers, crafters, coders and inventors has been extended.

“We will be recreating the festival atmosphere with a custom layout on the Gather platform. Our visitors will be able to see and chat with makers, attend mini workshops and interact with some wild projects,” explained Roe.

“Although the open call is still running, some of the entries are amazing. It is reassuring to see that makers have still been creative during the lockdown,” he added.

These makers include Crafty Nathan’s Creations, a regular exhibitor who makes diorama book nooks, each with a different theme. Engineering student Daisy Brown will be exhibiting an amphibious quadruped robot that can traverse land and water. And Roe himself will showcase a project from Dublin’s Tog hackerspace, of which he is CEO.

“[It’s] a jumping T-rex game, which pits the player the challenge of jumping over obstacles that are visualised with lots and lots of LEDs,” said Roe.

“We have a fun system plan that will allow people to jump remotely and safely in these times,” he assured.

As well as workshops and live demos, this year’s Dublin Maker will also feature a virtual chill-out zone.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.