FREE TO MAKE by Ariane Conrad


How the Maker Movement Is Changing Our Schools, Our Jobs, and Our Minds
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The story behind modern tinkerers, inventors, and creators of all sorts of good stuff.

In a consumer culture, people are often passive, purchasing items that they may or may not need and becoming defined by what they own. However, a new movement is sweeping across the globe: people are experimenting, inventing, and creating primarily for the pleasure it brings them. Dougherty (co-author: Maker City Playbook: A Practical Guide to Reinvention in American Cities, 2016, etc.), the founder of MAKE: Magazine and organizer of the first Maker Faire as well as a co-founder of O’Reilly Media, analyzes the creativity and grass-roots projects that comprise this new trend. “The Maker Movement signals a societal, cultural, and technological transformation that invites us to participate as producers, not just consumers,” he writes. “It is changing how we learn, work and innovate. It is open and collaborative, creative and inventive, hands-on and playful.” Thanks to the internet and open-source software, people can learn how to do anything online, and with the generosity of donations accumulated through sites like Kickstarter, anyone can see his or her ideas become something tangible. Dougherty closely examines several startups, taking readers through the initial bursts of creativity to the nitty-gritty details of finding manufacturers to produce their products to the satisfaction of having created a useful item, often at a fraction of the cost of similar products. He studies how maker workshops have sprung up across the country, providing people with access to tools, supplies, and training so they can invent whatever comes to mind, and he discusses how schools can incorporate maker activities into the curriculum. As he notes, hands-on learning is ideal for the young, inquisitive mind, combining play with the learning of new skills. Dougherty’s enthusiasm for the maker movement is evident, and it will push readers toward finding their own creative outlets.

A thoughtful and enthusiastic analysis of how more and more people are inventing and creating truly remarkable products and services.

Pub Date: Sept. 27th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-62317-074-5
Page count: 250pp
Publisher: North Atlantic
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2016


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