Every place has its own unique feature which represents its core values and/or cultures. It provides a way of identifying itself to the foreign world. Having spent a little more than a week amidst the distinctive art scene in Yogyakarta, it was clear why the city was a common hub for artists, makers, designers across the world. The streets filled with distinct sculptures and walls painted with colorful graffiti, the city provides a vibrant exuberance among the people.
Likewise, for a country like Nepal, where I come from, one can see the making practices through crafts, designs and structures in the temples. They can be reflected in small indigenous products too. Take for example the local alternative to mat, ‘the Sukul’, prepared using hay. The art of making ‘Sukul’ has been practiced for many years and passed down from generation to generation.
These age old practices have been slowly diminishing with the modern day advancements in technology, not just in Nepal but all over the world. Transformaking 2015, held in Yogyakarta was a summit on Critical and Transformative Making with an objective to combine technology and the existing making practice without hampering the latter. As the name suggests, the event was about ‘Transformation’ and about ‘Making’. With an ever increasing community of makers worldwide, there is a growing need for collaboration, sharing and innovation. I believe this event served the need.
The event had a lot of resemblance to what we did last year in Yantra 3.0. The call for a pronounced mixture of arts and technology at Transformaking reinforced why Yantra 3.0 was a success. ‘Galaicha’, an exhibit from last year’s program should be a good example to justify everybody’s claim in Transformaking 2015. The carpet design software aids the carpet making industry, with digital designs and illustrations. The software is used worldwide for designing carpets and provides the perfect example of how technology assists an age old making industry spread its boundaries.
Aside from the push for Critical Making, Transformaking also provided a platform to discuss open source practice and promote it amongst a bigger mass. A huge community of makers, designers, engineers and artists among others advocated the need for sharing and collaboration among each other. Indeed, open source practice would mean the information and resources are accessible to a broader mass, which will foster innovation and development. Though, there’s still challenges with creator attribution and plagiarism, which will be a major hurdle to solve as we move towards a Open Source culture.
While Transformaking presented hopes of a bigger and collaborative maker society, Yantra 3.0 portrayed the potential of interactive exhibits and inter-disciplinary collaborations last year. Big tides often start with small ripples and continuity is a key to orchestrate this change. The potential that we’ve envisioned; the change that we dream of will come true with regular and frequent events like Yantra or Transformaking or its collaboration.