Crowds of children, parents, teachers, artisans and others visited the Newark Museum on Saturday, April 5 for the first Greater Newark Mini Maker Faire, billed as a “celebration of creativity and ingenuity in the New Jersey community” at the state’s largest museum. The Faire featured demonstrations of craft and design making, hands-on workshops, and lectures by artists, designers and others pushing the limits of art, science and technology. Maker Faires (a registered trademark of Maker Media, Inc.) are held throughout the United States, attracting thousands of creative individuals who use a wide array of skills, techniques and materials to fashion their works.
The School of Art + Design was well represented at the Faire on Saturday with four separate exhibit stations housed in a capacious tent in the Newark Museum’s garden. Six faculty members (José Alcala, Martina Decker, Glenn Goldman, Taro Narahara, Augustus Wendell and Andrzej Zarzycki), accompanied by twenty students from the industrial and digital design programs, spent the day at the Faire.
NJIT students demonstrated digital and analog/traditional media games they had designed and created, printed bracelets for children on a 3D printer, displayed a series of household products created by industrial design students, and provided face-mold masks for children to decorate. A large kit of laser-cut parts they had designed were creatively assembled by children and adults into small animals or creatures, called “nijits,” imprinted with “NJIT” to take home.
Inside the museum, Decker and Zarzycki hosted a well-attended workshop, “Design Smart and Kinetic Objects.” Alcala, university lecturer and coordinator of the industrial design program, gave one of the keynote addresses, “The Making of a Maker,” an account of the “crooked path taken towards personal and professional fulfillment through the act of design-making.”
Don Menke, model shop coordinator at the College of Architecture and Design, provided offsite logistic support and assistance in the preparation of materials. Kim Robledo-Diga, director for innovation and learning at the Newark Museum, coordinated the efforts of the host institution. Participating students from digital design included: Amos Dudley (Montclair), Mateusz Mrowiec (Chorzow, Poland), Jonathan Martin (Cinnaminson), and Michael Sullivan (South Plainfield). Industrial Design students participating included: Susan Aboella (Fair Lawn), Raschelle Almonte (Passaic), Luz Cabrera (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic), Richard Casaletto (Sewell), Fabio Castellanos (Passaic), Katie Goswick (Friendswood, TX), Chien Jua Huang (Taiwan), David Michalak (Scotch Plains), Roxanna Munoz (Passaic), Martha Nunez (Perth Amboy), Malorie Pangilinan (Edison), Joe Perez (Vernon), Filip Piekarz (Wayne), Amar Sohan (Sewaren), Natalia Szabla (Laurence Harbor), and Juan Trapp (Tinton Falls).