Maketopolis: A Showcase Of Tucson Ingenuity

February 25, 2014

Everything from woodworking projects to robotics will be on display at Maketopolis this Saturday, March 1st from 10m-4pm, at both Xerocraft Hackerspace and Maker House.

Everything from woodworking projects to robotics will be on display at Maketopolis this Saturday, March 1st from 10m-4pm, at both Xerocraft Hackerspace and Maker House.

by James J. Jefferies

If there’s one word to describe the unifying theme that binds everyone making a go of it in Downtown Tucson these days, from enterprising restauranteurs, visionary event coordinators, skilled do-it-yourselfers, and artists of every conceivable stripe, it’s action. Everyone putting their hard work, endless hours, and bottomless energy into building the Tucson of the 21st century is taking action, creating the world they have long wanted to see, because previously, it just didn’t exist. It’s one thing to complain about a lack of good places to eat or go to, or things to do, but it’s quite another to take stock of your own skills and actually commit to doing something about it.

Several institutions in the area take this ethos very much to heart, including Maker House, whose arrival last fall was welcomed by many looking for a great place to hang out and network with like-minded crafty individuals, and Xerocraft Hackerspace, which took over the old Steinfeld Warehouse space after outgrowing its previous home with an ever-expanding group of industrial makernauts and impressive array of tools in tow.

The final touches are put on a restoration project, that being a 1978 Space Invaders cocktail machine. The glittering layer of stars is buried beneath the surface, but if you catch it at just the right angle... POW!

The final touches are put on a restoration project, that being a vintage 1978 Space Invaders cocktail machine. The glittering layer of stars is buried beneath the surface, but if you catch it at just the right angle…you’ll need shades.

Both houses emphasize an open atmosphere to welcome newcomers, with passionate members from both places looking to share their expertise with curious, would-be do-it-yourself types on an incredibly wide spate of topics. Given the obvious synergy between the two entities, it is no surprise that they would join forces in organizing the first Maketopolis, which comes billed as a day-long showcase of Tucson’s creativity, innovation, and resourcefulness.

The event is absolutely free, and is open to anyone with an interest in things such as robotics, metal work, potters, hackers, woodworkers, steampunkers, car modders, sculptors, knitters, beaders, artists, and hobbyists of all skill levels. There are exhibit spaces available for demonstrations, displays, and educational projects ($15 per space), and space is available for commercial entities & sales ($100 per space).

There is still time for folks to register as exhibitors, but the deadline is late Wednesday, so if you have designs for doing so, you best get up on it! There is also an open call for volunteers as well. This event jumps off on Saturday, March 1st at both Maker House (283 N. Stone Ave) and Xerocraft Hackerspace (101 W. 6th St. #200) from 10am-4pm. You can check out an overview and some awesome related pics at the Maketopolis website here.

This event is presented in concert with Gangplank Tucson, Startup Tucson, The Tucson Steampunk Society, BICAS, Sustainable City Project, UA Downtown, and the Pima County Public Library. Sponsorship comes from Marcus Engineering and AGM Container Controls.

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