MAKE: television Empowers DIYers

Geek Culture

MaketvytlogoMaketvytlogoIf you had any doubt how huge the maker movement is, check this out — MAKE: television, the video extension of one of our favorite magazines, premiered last night on Public Television and on the Internet.

Make: is the DIY series for a new generation! It celebrates “Makers” – the inventors, artists, geeks and just plain everyday folks who mix new and old technology to create new-fangled marvels. The series encourages everyone to invent, revent, recycle, upcycle, and act up. Based on the popular Make magazine, each half-hour episode inspires millions to think, create, and, well, make.

To be sure, there have been how-to shows forever — remember This Old House? But something’s different about this show. Watching Bob Vila redo a 8-bedroom mansion simply doesn’t offer the same experience as watching William Gurstelle (creator of such classics as Whoosh Boom Splat) explain one of his favorite tools, or groove on the low-tech but clever creations of bicycle hackers.

A lot of DIY shows are about tool envy and the wow factor, not about empowering you to do things on your own. But this show is different. For example, in one of the Maker Workshop segments, you can watch host John Park dismantle a VCR and look at the guts. This is something anyone with a screwdriver and a busted Goldstar can do.

The show consists of four different segments:

Maker Profile: Learn about a maker or group of makers, and see their projects. The first show features Cyclecide, a San Francisco bicycle collective that makes every flavor of practical and impractical bikes, along with bicycle powered midway rides and other pedaling gadgets.

Maker Workshop: Direct hands on, step-by-steps for a specific project. The first episode has a classic project from the pages of MAKE, the VCR cat feeder — use the motors and timing mechanism from a VCR to feed your cat on a regular basis!

Maker to Maker: Learn techniques straight from the masters. In the first episode, William Gurstelle shows viewers how to use a nibbler, a tool for working with sheet metal.

Maker Channel 101: Here you learn about various projects directly from the creators, with brief explanations of how they were made but without detailed how-tos.

Both GeekDad Dan and myself will be attending the Make:TV launch party at Twin Cities Public Television next Tuesday, so stay tuned for a recap of this super cool shindig! Also, with any luck I’ll be correcting an inexcusable oversight on the GeekDad blog’s part by chatting with fellow Twin Citian William Gurstelle in the near future.

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