Maker Culture: More than Consumers

Have you heard of the Maker Movement? Last night I saw a documentary called Maker. (See trailer below).

Maker Culture?consists of people who convert ideas into physical products, through creating, hacking, and exploring. This could be in the realm of art (think of sculpture made from scavenged materials), technology (think of robots), or gadget design (think of 3D printing).

Often Makers work collaboratively in shared spaces which are supplied with all sorts of tools. The emphasis is not on owning a new idea, but on disseminating it widely. Key word: OpenSource.

Makers have a whole array of motives: wanting to be more independent in their lives, wanting to make as well as consume, wanting to enjoy the collaboration of a creative process. The mindset is one of curiosity. Makers don’t want to take the world as it’s given, they want to interact with it.

Another important word: Democratization. Anyone can have a good idea. Why should people who are well-funded be the ones who create new products? The Maker movement democratizes the process of creating and producing, making it accessible for anyone with curiosity plus the ability to work with others to explore the world.

One Maker described the movement in a way that I find captivating. Our world has seen three Industrial Revolutions: 1) the Mechanical revolution, 2) the Information revolution, and 3) now, the combination of the first two, which is Maker culture.

Makers who have an entrepreneurial mindset usually go through 3 steps: 1) create prototype, 2) get crowd funding such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo, 3) go into production because of the ability to profitably make much smaller runs of product.

There were many interesting people featured in the movie, so I encourage you to meet them yourself. Perhaps one of them will inspire you!

I am happy to know that locally (Leesburg, VA) a Maker space (Makersmiths) will be opening in 2015.

Why might you be interested in being a Maker? The Maker movement pulls together people who love to create in all different forums, and for all different reasons. So in Maker culture you see people coming from the arts working with people interested in science, particularly STEM. My husband is a Science teacher, so some applications are obvious.

As a pastor, I’m thinking about church applications. A couple words seem important and applicable: collaboration, democratization, open source, crowd funding, curiosity, shared space. Certainly the call to move beyond consumerism is a powerful one, with gospel roots!

Check out the trailer:


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