If you haven’t been exposed to the DIY (Do It Yourself) movement, drop into the New Museum’s Adhocracy show at its Studio 231 storefront this weekend.
It’s a 25-project showcase of cutting-edge design solutions, including DIY as well as some film, video, low-tech high tech, and crazy, new approaches to making stuff in the 21st century.
The DIY sections that we particularly liked were the household appliances made by downloading Open Source instructions, manufacturing components with 3D printers, and buying the remaining bits and pieces at the hardware store. Why spend money on a Dyson when you can build your own vacuum cleaner from a thermos container and other scrounged parts? Each solution is more fascinating than the next, with displays of OS-compatible coffee grinders, water boilers, and bicycle parts and their instructions.
Other displays highlighted the best inventions from Kickstarter (e.g. Central Standard Time wristbands and iPod Nano multimedia wristwatches) and solutions for using the Arduino microcontroller – lion tracking collars in Kenya and an earthquake-sensing device created and marketed by a 14-year old in Chile. It tweets you when there’s a tremor. Click here to see some photos, and if you feel like making something, explore your options on Adafruit..
Right in the storefront window, NYC ceramicist Larisa Daiga uses a ceramic 3D printer to make a tiny coiled pot. Larisa told us that she couldn’t touch the porcelain, because it was actually sludge from Brooklyn’s beloved Superfund site, the Gowanus, and loaded with biotixins.
Daiga felt it was interesting to be part of Unfold’s Stratigraphic Manufactury project, making coil pots (one of the oldest technologies of humankind) with toxic waste. Days spent in the window of Adhocracy let her contemplate how sludge might be reused and recycled instead of being trucked and dumped into unsuspecting landfills in the rest of the country. View her Adhocracy output and see the machine at work on her Flickr feed.
Another DIY favorite from Helsinki is featured in the show — Restaurant Day, when everyone in the city has permission to open their own restaurant on the curb. It’s one step beyond Smorgasburg.