This all-day event was created and tailored specifically for this group to awaken and inspire the maker inside all of us. A little post-workshop happy hour and a couple of drinks to break up the work week never hurt anyone either.
The creativity started flowing in the morning with a presentation and discussion on the “Maker Movement” from Real Arters Tom Immen and Alison Westfall. Real Art is a company full of makers in varying disciplines—it’s how we Build Wonder after all—but both the discussion and the workshop were meant to empower our friends at GE and remind them that everyone is capable of becoming a maker. It’s a trait inherent within all of us, and this phenomenon encompasses a wide range of skills and interests, from hackers, architects, artists, designers, and beyond.
Additionally, attendees were given Maker Field Guides, designed and printed by Real Art filled with games, inspirational quotes, information on the movement and stories of creators both modern (Oculus’ Palmer Luckey and GoPro’s Nick Woodman) and classic (Nikola Tesla and Ada Lovelace).
In the afternoon, it was time to experience being a maker. Real Arters John Nesbitt and Pat Murray discussed the history of coding and along with the staff at Proto led demonstrations on how to build colorful and unique 8×8 LED matrix watches. After that, it was time for Real Art and GE employees to get their hands dirty. Armed with some soldering tools and tips on programming, the group put together their pet projects.
While our friends at GE walked away with some undeniably cool watches, the real takeaway on this day was internalizing the tenets of the movement: new ways of thinking critically, problem-solving, and a pride in DIY ethos and resourcefulness.