BY DALE DOUGHERTY
Much More to Do
Five years in, MAKE is just getting started.
This issue marks the start of the sixth year of MAKE. It’s been a wonderful five years, full of surprises and challenges. I’m grateful to
each of you who support our efforts by subscribing
or buying the magazine on the newsstand. We’ve
gotten to know so many of you and your incredible
work through makezine.com and Maker Faire. Five
years have gone by very fast, and yet it feels like
we’re only just beginning to see the possibilities.
Tinkering is getting a good name again in
education. There is greater recognition that tinkering is a practical and productive way to learn almost
anything and a viable alternative to textbook learning.
It’s a shift away from proving what you know to
demonstrating what you can do. It’s also a way of
thinking with many levels of complexity. The most
important thing in education is to engage the student
both physically and mentally. Hands-on projects
do just that, especially when students are given the
ability to explore their own ideas, develop them, and
then share them with others. I hope we can turn
more students into creative makers.
DIY doesn’t mean doing it by yourself.
It’s the paradox of DIY. A huge benefit of making
things yourself is that you discover there are other
people a lot like you. There are people who want to
collaborate (in person or across the web), or those
who just appreciate what you do and offer tips and
encouragement. Getting together to make things
and learn new skills at hackerspaces or maker labs is
fun and productive. I hope to see the growth of local
communities for makers in cities around the world.
Making spans generations and inspires people
of all ages. One of our great surprises is that MAKE
appeals to kids and adults, and serves to bring them
together around projects. Learning to make something is stimulating and satisfying, whether you prefer
LPs or MP3s. I hope this new partnership thrives.
Makers go pro, and more pros think of themselves as makers. Makers are enthusiasts who
are doing what they love, which is the definition of
amateurs. But we’re seeing some makers develop
a following, and begin to go “pro.” They’re making
kits, developing products, providing services, or
marketing their expertise. This “grassroots innovation” deserves recognition as a valuable source of
new product ideas. MakerBot Industries, the cover
subject of our desktop manufacturing issue, is a
good example of makers who developed a product
that enables others to create new things. The maker
spirit is gaining recognition in the workplace as a
catalyst for design thinking. This is good news for
the maker community, and remarkable in such a
challenging economy. I hope our new Makers Market
( makersmarket.com) will foster new opportunities
for makers with new products or services to sell.
Even in a digital age, this magazine offers a
unique hands-on experience. (And a complete
set looks great on the shelf in your work area.)
I’m proud of MAKE magazine and the editorial and
creative teams who produce it. I am so appreciative
of our readers who’ve told us how much this magazine means to them. Let’s keep a good thing going.
Maker Faire comes to Detroit and New York City.
Maker Faire will expand to two new cities this year, in
addition to the Bay Area. We want to be part of the
rebirth of Detroit. We’re working with The Henry Ford
Museum in Dearborn, Mich., which captures the heart
and soul of American manufacturing. Detroit is also
home to some of the best American music ever made.
And we’re excited to organize a Maker Faire on
the East Coast, at the New York Hall of Science. With
a large number of makers, New York City offers a
chance to explore creativity, innovation, and education on a world stage. I hope you’ll get involved.
As you can see, there’s a lot to look forward to in
the years ahead. And a whole lot more we hope to
Dale Dougherty is the editor and publisher of MAKE.