Today, you can buy most things in stores or online. But not all people want to take the easy way out – they would rather do-it-themselves.
The DIY-culture (Do It Yourself) does in many cases express a passion for original craftsmanship and the exploration of the artistry in creating homemade technological products. This DIY-culture is a result of an interest in a different lifestyle, going against the norms of the modern consumer-society, where anonymous products are bought and shortly hereafter tossed in the trash.
Silvia Mini Create lamp. Vita Copenhagen. 2016. Watercolour paper.
With the Silvia Mini Create lamp, Vita Copenhagen invites you to unfold your creative abilities, as the clean white petals of the screen can easily be decorated by creative spirits. The small petals on the lamp is made of watercolour paper and by painting and drawing on the petals you can create your own artistic design. Alternatively the lamp can be used as a peculiar guest book. The possibilities are endless and now anybody has the chance to customize their own lamp.
Drone Jar. Rucci Handmade Electronic Instruments. 2013. Glass, 3 oscillators.
Few people have done with mason jars, what Canadian Micahel Rucci can do. With great inventiveness he has built a synthesizer made of three square-wave oscillators. These are electronic circuits which produce a repetitive electronic signal. The three sensors hiding inside the glass are responsive to light. When the light hits the sensors, the glass plays a distorted electronic sound, that intensifies in line with the power of the light. Rucci explains that the Drone Jar works as a kind of physical software, and that it appeals to musicians and others with interest in experimenting with sound and music.
Lego Drone. Flybrix™. 2014-. Lego blocks.
The American company Flybrix™ designs do-it-yourself drones made from lego blocks. The drones are fun, colourful and invites people to be playful. Flybrix™ sells packages of loose components, attaches a building-guide, and refers to the free software on their webpage. In the spirit of Lego, they encourage people to build and assemble the drones themselves.
Flybrix™ declares that they are STEM orientated. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. It is an American curriculum combining the four disciplines using hands-on experimentation.
The reason is that higher education students in the US to a still larger degree choose careers that are not STEM-oriented. The same development has been recognised in Europe. According to the U.S. Department of Education only 16% of the students in 2009 wanted to pursue a career within this area. In 2009 the Obama administration announced a national campaign called ”Educate to Innovate” with the specific goal to address this issue.
”We are STEM educational focused, and believe the best way to learn science, technology, engineering and math is through trial and error”, Flybrix™ says.
Cigar-box guitar. Jens Frederiksen (cigarboxguitar.dk). 2017. Cigar boxes.
Great creativity unfolds on the Danish island Møn, as this is where Jens Frederiksen has his workshop. Here he creates guitars, but strays away from the traditional version. Frederiksen has chosen to make his guitars from cigar boxes, giving each guitar a unique look and sound. The story of the cigar-box guitar tracks back to the 18th century and the American civil war, where black Americans who couldn’t afford proper instruments, would use guitars made of cigar boxes. Jens Frederiksen has taken the design one step further and made it possible to connect the guitars to power and amplifiers.
Marble Machine. Wintergatan. 2016. Wood, marbles, metal etc.
The Marble Machine is what you would call a slot machine. A mechanic machine that functions by following a pre-programmed sequence. The machine works by turning a crank and tuning different handles, making 2000 glass marbles, an electrical bass, a hi-hat etc. play the custom-made piece of music which was composed especially for the Marble Machine.
The mechanical machines peaked in the second half of the 19th century, when cuckoo clocks, musical boxes and mechanic birds, were produced in large quantities. During this period, the steam engine was the driving force of the beginning industrialisation.
The Marble Machine is a modern slot machine, but also an example of the so-called steampunk, which is a movement of arts and craft-work celebrating the technology and aesthetics of the 19th century steam engine.
It took Martin Molin, a member of the music-group Wintergatan, 14 months to singlehandedly construct and build the Marble Machine. The construction features approximately 3000 components, 3000 screws, 500 LEGO-parts and 2000 glass marbles.
Wintergatan has toured the world with the Marble Machine, and at the moment, the machine is displayed at the Speelklok Museum in Utrecht, The Netherlands.
Pixel Vision. Love Hultén. 2016. Wood, metal, plastic.
R-Kaid-R. Love Hultén. 2015. Wood, metal, plastic.
Swedish Love Hultén’s fascination of early videogames such as Pac Man and Asteroids has inspired him to create a modern version of these, for the dedicated game-enthusiast. In them, you can save your own favourites.
Pixel Vision and R-Kaid-R (Arcader) both celebrate the earliest videogames. Pixel Vision was inspired by the Game Boy Advance SP, while R-Kaid-R is a handmade interpretation of the classic arcade-game known from diners and cinemas of the 1970’s.
Triaccord. Love Hultén. 2017. Wood and acrylics.
Triaccord is one of three synthesizers which are based on the three senses: sight, hearing and touch. This orange piece is an example of a theremin. An electronic musical instrument which can be played without the use of touch. It was named after the Russian inventor Léon Theremin who took out a patent for the invention in 1928. The thereminist controls the device by moving his hands around the antenna, which will then give up the strange and scary noises known from horror movies. It is within the genre of horror movies that the instrument has been used most frequently, including the theme song of the TV-show Midsummer Murders (Barnaby).