It should come as no suprise to anyone that the British have been hardcore makers all the way back to when you only needed 3 digits to describe the year. My trip to London this week illuminated that understanding beyond a yeah-yeah-of-course notion to a much deeper appreciation. It really blew my hair back to stand in front of Westminster Abbey and put my hand on stone that was cut and placed in the eleventh century to make this beautiful structure. What art and engineering!
More after the break…
They made Big Ben too, who struck 8pm while I listened. It makes a much richer sound than any copycat doorbell chime. The sound rolls through the canyons of buildings on Bridge Street and out over the Thames.
They made the best damned transit system I’ve ever seen.
They made the Millenium Bridge which seems to float above the Thames.
They made a power station into a fantastic art gallery, and don’t even get me started on all the great making of the art within.
And in the heart of Barnsbury, northeast of London core, there’s London Hackspace. I went out to their space on Tuesday night (Tuesdays around the world, eh?) and spoke with Bob about his CNC machine under construction, and Harry, who is into OpenStreetMap in a major way.
Russell was tuning his Makerbot Cupcake with a firmware upgrade. Check out the heated build platform.
This dremel centrifuge printed off nicely. I got to talk to him about some of the software components (OpenSCAD and skeinforge) and also about London Hackspace itself. LH has been open for about a year, and, like kwartzlab, is member-supported. From my brief look, there appears to be a lot of interest in electronics here. They’re in a loft-like unit in a pretty posh neighbourhood. Dropped off some kwartzlab stickers and buttons.
So a great first trip to the UK! I love London. One more day to squeeze in more Tate Modern and get over to see London Bridge and other makerly things.