First ever Beijing Mini Maker Faire makes impressive start with some fun combinations

This past Saturday, November 7, I visited the China Century Monument Square to attend the "Beijing Mini Maker Faire." Although it was the first time for the event in Beijing, the atmosphere was quite lively. For me, the most interesting highlight came from the different combinations.A blend of Western innovation and Chinese traditionThe Faire had four sections: exhibits, forums, stage performances and workshops. Each section featured a mixture of new and old: a small robot from Intel and some Chinese traditional handicrafts such as candy blowing using brown sugar dough to create candy figurines. Arduino and 3D printing exhibits were featured along with Chinese silk embroidery. Virtual reality glasses exhibits stood side by side with face painting from Beijing (Peking) Opera.BJ MMF1Western innovation was very popular because some of the Chinese exhibitors were able to apply some of the Western designs and material choices into traditional Chinese styles in jewelry. These exhibits had the larger crowds so there’s a clear connection for the Chinese consumer to these new ideas and I am really interested in seeing how this develops in the future.BJ MMF2But one of the most interesting combinations came when I entered a crowded exhibit tent. On one side, a group of children were busy hand polishing wooden hand made pieces, like music boxes, rings and kitchen utensils. The pieces were beautifully made. On the other side of the tent, another group of children were huddling around a 3D printer. They were deep in discussions about what models they would create and some were very eager to start designing as soon as they can get home. It was so great that both these exhibits were able to find a strong audience.BJ MMF3Before I left, I sought out the Faire organizers and asked them about their future plans. They plan to run it again in the third quarter of 2016, so I’m marking my calendar!As these new and old, Chinese and Western ideas continue to blend together, the exhibits in the coming years can only be ever more spectacular and amazing.  

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