Fab City Experts talked about the challenges that CAPS for Makers will have in the future during the Fab City Summit in Amsterdam, April 2016. Some MAKE-IT partners worked in the Fab City Whitepaper draft in Amsterdam Makerversity and Fab City Campus, and showed some of the conclusions at Park Huis de Zwiger.
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On 26th June 2017, I interviewed David Li at his Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) What appears below is a fairly heavily edited version of our conversation. Any errors are my own fault.
David Li has been contributing to open source software since 1990. He is member of Free Software Foundation, committer to Apache projects and board director of ObjectWeb.
A bilateral residency exchange programme connecting makers in the UK and China. Maker culture is dynamic and growing both in the UK and abroad. Maker communities are transforming the creative process – developing innovative products and forming new models of social, civic and educational practices. This new and emerging sector is internationally focused and digitally connected, but to date, there have been few formal opportunities for cross cultural exchange between makers.
Are you a maker? Probably so, even if you haven’t heard the term.
“We were born makers, and if we choose to develop our interest in making, anybody can do this,” says Dale Dougherty, who founded the Maker Movement 11 years ago in the San Francisco Bay Area. “It’s not like a few geeks, a few people, are wired to do this. We’re all wired to do this.”
David Li is the co-founder of several maker related organizations in China including XinCheJian, first makerspace in China, Hacked Matter, a research hub focusing on the global maker movement and its relationship to China, then Maker Collider, a makerspace accelerator sponsored by Intel and Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab, a hub to Shenzhen supported by Shenzhen government. These experiences give him a unique perspective on the maker movement, especially in terms of connections to China.
“Things move quickly here,” is a phrase often heard in reference to Shenzhen’s tech scene. The speakers usually aren’t referring to name-brand companies like Lenovo or Huawei either.
Instead, it’s all about the grassroots scene, including the cutthroat competition between shanzhai producers, each pushing out their own new and improved version of the iPhone, for instance. Alongside the local ecology, and sometimes even part of it, is the maker scene.
Coming to Shenzhen was a big eyeopener for us. There are atleast 1,00,000 traders of electronics at every 3 Km radius. Every maker space is equipped with the best of the best facilities. Here in Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL), I got the opportunity to meet the young, enthusiastic group of makers who have been working on creating new innovative hardware and these makers were deeply excited to work on new ideas and opportunities where they along with the Indian maker community could work together in developing various hardware solutions.
After a full-on conference day on ‘Cities and Territorial Challenges’ at Bury Art Gallery, I managed to catch David Li’s talk ‘Shanzhai & Taobao: Maker Tales from China’ at Madlab, Manchester.
‘China has formed a much larger and better down-top ecosystem, manifesting the ultimate goal of the Maker Movement – democratising innovation. We call it the New Shanzhai.’ – David Li
Room 531, Building B4, Sino-Finish Design Park, No.3 Shihua Road, Futian Bonded Zone, Shenzhen City.
TEL：+86 755 2394 3682
Facebook @Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab
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