The largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, the culturally robust city of Barcelona is a shining jewel of art, fashion, science, tech, commerce, and more. It’s also home to an ever-growing maker community, set to celebrate the fourth annual Maker Faire Barcelona this weekend, on June 17 and 18. The main event will be held at the Pavelló Italià, while the sister conference will be at the Caixa Forum.
The three Faires that preceded this one were Mini Maker Faires, but this year, Barcelona is stepping up to a full-sized featured Faire with the enthusiastic support of the Barcelona City Hall and many research centers participating in the event. Last year’s event, hosted at CosmoCaixa, Barcelona’s science museum, drew 6,000 attendees. The recap video provides highlights:
Aside from City Hall, Maker Faire Barcelona is collaboratively presented with support from Sonar+D, Fab Lab Barcelona, SokoTech, Fira Barcelona, and La Caixa Foundation. This year’s Faire will feature 100 makers, 20 demos, 70 speakers, and 30 workshops. We spoke with two of the main organizers, Mariona Aloy Ciller and Tomas Diez, to gain insight. When asked what makes the Barcelona maker community unique, they pointed us to this on the site:
Barcelona is one of the most international cities in the world and has been the home of creative minds like Picasso, Dali, Gaudi, and Miró, to name some of the most well-known among many others. It’s also a city of architecture and design, where many young students spend time learning from the city itself. Almost every street or plaza is a piece of art and innovation. Barcelona, and especially Poblenou, is also known as the Catalan Manchester for its history in the textile industry during the XIXth century. It’s even one of the first cities to implement electricity in its streets. Many writers, scientists, artists, architects, innovators, and creators have found in Barcelona a place of inspiration, as well as a home, and have been part of the construction of one of the most exciting cities in the world.
Barcelona has embraced the digital revolution as the host of large events such as the Mobile World Congress, the Smart City Expo, Sonar, and IAM, among others, which bring thousands of visitors to the city every year to celebrate digital innovation and creativity. Maker Faire Barcelona is not just another Maker Faire, or another event in the city, it is the celebration of a new vision for a productive city that is a world capital in design, innovation, architecture, urbanism, and creativity.
During the last 10 years, Barcelona has been consolidating its position in the world of the Maker Movement. Since 2007, it has hosted the first Fab Lab in the European Union, which is a world reference in the Fab Lab Network, coordinating programs like the Academany, Fab Academy, or the Fab City project. In 2014, Barcelona hosted one of the most important events in the world of cities and technology: The 10th International Fab Lab Conference (FAB10). The city also hosts a public network of Fab Labs (Ateneus de Fabricació) that are serving as a new service for any citizen to experience the potentials of digital fabrication to transform the city productive model and empower neighbours at Les Corts, Nou Barris, or Barceloneta. Barcelona completes an ecosystem of Fab Labs, makerspaces, companies, startups, associations, and cooperatives that are looking into a different future, a future in which citizens are the owners…