Maker Faire Shenzhen 2015

June 19-21, 2015
Nanshan, Shenzhen, China

I enjoyed an incredible adventure in Shenzhen, China, courtesy of Maker Faire Shenzhen. I was sponsored by the Chaihuo Makerspace and Eric Pan's SEEED Studio, an electronics manufacturer. Exploring the incredible Maker city of Shenzhen, a large metropolis of 30 million and a high tech manufacturing hub for the country, was a once-in-a-lifetime trip! There are more than 20 makerspaces in the city, and the schools are really embracing Making in education. Eric and his team were wonderful hosts and took care of everything. Special thanks to Violet, Doreen, Shiuyang, and Kevin!

The first night, I joined other Maker Faire presenters at a delicious Chinese restaurant and met a famous Maker band called Maywa Denki. They make all of their own complex instruments and we were lucky to catch their concert several nights later.

Maywa Denki band members and a few of many delicious dishes.

I was also happy to find that Atmel was also presenting a Maker media event for bloggers and other industry writers. Sander Arts, the chief marketing officer, invited me to join in and explain my relationship with Atmel and how it has helped my business.

altSander Arts and Jennifer Loh from Atmel

altThere were many reporters there who enthusiastically documented this in more than 80 articles in the Chinese press, including eetrends.com.

Excerpt from the eetrends article (translation):

Trend four : Manufacturers continue to reduce the development threshold

In Arduino success, the future development of components manufacturers will now continue to lower the threshold to allow more developers to become their own program developers, but not like this model. In the event, Atmel also invited a 14-year-old hit-off, he called Quin Etnyre, from the age of 10 he began to create customer product development, design all his chips in on the success of Kickstarter, the little record passenger is currently Atmel partners, he designed the development board is Atmel procurement. Therefore, the future components manufacturers should think about how to develop lower the threshold to attract a lot of developers to develop products based on their own creative products, of course, for large and complex products or need a professional team to complete, for things can be used in consumer products such as ideas.

Watching the Maker Faire Shenzhen come to life was fun! We ran into Dale Dougherty, Sherry Huss from Make, and Eric Pan from SEEED. Eric decided to loan out his Chinese style Segway to me which was awesome!

altTrying it out, and Dale offering helpful hints.

altWe met up with none other than Joey Hudy, of Marsmallow Cannon and State of the Union fame, and a recent high school graduate on his way to Arizona State University Poly Campus

altOne cool Mini floating on water??

altThe Map of the Maker Faire. It was held in a modern high tech business district.

altMore Minis!

altThe largest Makey Robot in the world!

altI had a chance to tour the new SEEED Studio offices. This was definitely my favorite room in the office.

Maker Faire was held from June 19-21, 2015, bringing more than 200 maker teams and 190,000 attendees. This was the fourth one in Shenzhen, and almost quadrupled last year's attendance. It was an incredible event and brought mostly Chinese makers, but also others from other Asian countries. There were many budding entrepreneurs.

Here's Maker Faire Shenzhen's Call for Makers:

altOpening Day crowd

altIt seemed like the Maker Faire had the support of the entire city - even the whole country!

altHere's Kevin Bates, who ran a very successful Kickstarter for his ArduBoy and Mike Szczys, a writer from Hackaday.

altJoey and I signed our names to the presenter board outside of the auditorium.

altI presented my talk, "Being a Maker," on the day of "Passion," with makers of all different stripes describing their love of making. It was about my journey and emphasizing that anyone can be a Maker.

altAfter the presentation, it was time for more interviews, this time with newspaper press.

It was fun to meet other Makers and check out their projects.

altThe Make Fashion show was hosted by our new friend, Masakazu Takasu, from Japan and featured incredible wearables by a number of designers who created their fashions only after arriving in China in a few short days.

altTwo happy attendees

altWe also attended an Aki Party for organizers and speakers to celebrate the end of Maker Faire. It was a Japanese disco tradition brought to Shenzhen - all the participants had to wear something electronic to get in the door. My hat was courtesy of Stefania Druga, a new maker friend from New York, who ran the Maker Camp this year. Thanks, Stefania!

I also attended a day long Maker Tour of the city with SEEED, visiting all steps of manufacturing with an international group of Makers.

altThis is SEEED Studios' manufacturing facility. It is very modern and bright, with lots of cool machinery.

altHere is a photo posted on a board in SEEED of my mentor, Nathan Seidel of SparkFun, noting his visit to their company several years ago.

altIt was fascinating to experience all the steps of manufacturing a product in China.

altWe caught Pamungkas Sumasta and team's Phoenard in the midst of being manufactured, and then we caught up with Sumasta himself - he was visiting from the Netherlands, checking up on production of this very cool product.

altA definite highlight of my stay was visiting the famed Huaqiangbei electronic market, a true Maker's paradise. It was blocks long and multiple stories high, stuffed with electronic parts, gadgets, and had incredible prices everywhere. I found parts that are difficult to buy in the U.S. and had fun bargaining with the rows and rows of shopkeepers.

An incredible trip, and one I will never forget! Thank you, SEEED!

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