Technology

The Maker Movement: Space for Fixers

FIX-IT Friday // Black Friday at Parachute Factory in Las Vegas, NM

Banner from FIX-IT Friday // a makerspace event for fixers

The past couple of years have seen the maker movement find its way into informal education spaces around the country. Makerspaces are popping up all over the place – in libraries, museums, storefronts and schools. The kinds of activities often associated with makerspaces include DIY (do-it-yourself) electronics, 3D printing, and computer programming. A more recent phenomena within the maker movement is the rise of repair cafes.

The idea behind the repair cafe is simple: offer a space for community members to come together and get help fixing broken items that might otherwise end up in the garbage. Here in New Mexico, we thought this was an idea worth spreading.

In June 2013, Parachute Factory hosted its first FIX-IT Friday event in Las Vegas, NM. The event brought together makers and fixers of all ages who worked together to troubleshoot and fix broken items.

For its next installment of FIX-IT Friday, Parachute Factory drew inspiration from a recently published document titled “The Fixer’s Manifesto,” created by a company called Sugru.

fixer_01

 

FIX-IT Friday // Black Friday Edition took place at Parachute Factory’s storefront Makerspace on Bridge Street in Las Vegas, NM the day after Thanksgiving. While others were fighting over Black Friday deals at the local Wal-Mart, Parachute Factory was full of makers helping makers to revive broken toys, electronics, small appliances and damaged clothing. While not every item got fixed that night, we saw excitement in the faces of participants as they tore into their broken items. There’s a real feeling of empowerment that comes from fixing, and that feeling was all around at Parachute Factory on Black Friday.

 

Check out some images from the event below:

Fixing is as much a part of the maker movement as are 3D printers or DIY electronics kits. Making space for fixers is an important thing to consider when planning makerspace activities. Keep an eye out for Parachute Factory’s next FIX-IT Friday event!

Also, check out one of the many awesome posters for FIX-IT Friday created by students at NMHU Media Arts in Las Vegas, NM:

FIX-IT Friday Poster created by Anna Aragon - a student of Media Arts at New Mexico Highlands University in lil' Las Vegas, NM.

FIX-IT Friday Poster created by Anna Aragon – a student of Media Arts at New Mexico Highlands University in lil’ Las Vegas, NM.

2 Comments

  1. DCA and the New Mexico State Library are working with the Department of Media & Technology at New Mexico Highlands University and Parachute Factory to create a statewide network of maker communities based in public and tribal libraries. New Mexico libraries are encouraged to contact David Hurley at the NMSL for information on how to check out kits and get training in providing maker programs tailored to your communities.

  2. Farmington Public Library would like to be a host site for the Parachute Factory. We are currently doing Make.Do makerspaces at our library and could use this wonderful service.