Monday, 8 August 2016

Innovation for everyone

This past weekend I attended a talk on makerspaces and the creative, so thoughtfully invited by Christie Mettes from Brenchie's Lab.
Brenchie's Lab is a makerspace, I came into contact with them when we collaborated our spaces for their genius design project Plastic Beach Party, which will be holding a few more sessions at our Beam Building next week.

The talk was given by the very friendly and helpful Gabi Agustini from Olabi, a maker space in Brazil. The small gathering counted those in the creative industry in Aruba as well as some people who were just interested in the idea and wanted to learn more.
As I've been working with Beam since June, I was very interested in learning how other creatives are making their models functional, what their principles are and how their goals are similar to ours.

The first part of the talk, Gabi presented the different projects she's been working on. I was impressed at the scope and reach of their projects, but mostly, I was very inspired by the motivation behind it all. I got a sense that they are trying to re-propriate genius and technology, reclaiming the creative and making it serve the needs of their own communities.
These days, most people are gladly consumers of technology and creative culture (from cellphones and laptops to movies and fashion) and seemingly disinterested in using these tools to better their own day-to-day lives.
Gabi showed us how technology is being used mostly by white-majority countries, from a white-male perspective and for a white-male user.
In Olabi, they are using reverse-engineering to learn to re-purpose available technology to create new things that better satisfy the needs of the community, by involving South American and women populations.

I found it so courageous and fresh of them to just take the resources available and put their creative energy to use to create something better and something useful.
I guess I feel really comforted in knowing there are so many people in the world now who are actively working to push their own narratives and experiences to the forefront and to independently find solutions to their challenges.

The latter part of the talk consisted in a round-setting exchange of ideas where I took the opportunity to ask for Gabi's advice regarding our own platform, Beam, and how to get people interested and involved. It takes something to push people to a shift in perspective, and, as I am still lacking a lot of experience, I wanted a hint on where to start looking.
What I took from this was that it takes a lot more vulnerability, just sharing your story and weaving a narrative that will resonate with people.

I think in the end, everyone has it in them to re-purpose all creative content to suit their own needs, be it personal expression and convenience, or to solve social challenges that benefit their community.
I came away feeling thankful to be linked to those who not only understand the challenges faced by independent creative movements today, but have great ideas on how to tackle these challenges, and are willing to inspire and support.

For more information:
Brenchie's Lab

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