STAR-TIDES and Geeks With Out Bounds

The Qua-Dror, one of the technologies being demonstrated at STAR-TIDES.

A few weeks ago I traveled down to a conference put on by the DOD called STAR-TIDES with Willow Bl00 on behalf of Geeks With Out Bounds. Ostensibly the purpose of the conference is to mesh NGO’s with government based relief organizations and share information and designs under a more open source and open access ethic. You can read more about the event on their about page, though their language a little dense. There were a few distinct groups that attended, and I think they each came out with a different picture on the purpose of the event.

The conference ended up having three broad categories of participants: vendors hoping to catch government buyers for their tech (many of them showing products that had direct military applications with plausible uses for relief), government agencies getting a handle on the field of NGO open source tech, and hackers. As you might be able to gather I was incredibly enamored by the hackers that showed up. Continue reading

Hackerspace Stamps do my Heart Good

Look at this. The folks from Dangerous Prototypes are totally rolling with the Hackerspace Passport train. It’s beautiful watching the stamp design progress on their forum. Their design features a check box for the continent where the visa was applied and a line for the location and notary’s signature.

This is exactly the kind of innovation and mutation I was hoping for when I released the Hackerspace Passport Remix Fun Pack. I’ve got a feeling that there will soon be a pile of mutant passports on the way. I, myself have some plans in the mix for passports with printed paper circuits integrated into the design.

Downloadable Source for Hackerspace Passports

People have been asking for a more customizeable version of the Hackerspace Passports as a launching point for their own projects. I’ve made a kit packed with the illustrations I made for the passports, psd’s for all the patterns, stamp designs for the hackerspaces used in the passports, and the original InDesign file. This should be everything you need to build your own customized slice of awesomeness.

Everything’s released under a Creative Commons Attribution NonCom license, so remix to your heart’s desire. As long as you aren’t selling off the elements or removing the credits or something reprehensible like that you’re free to make ’em, remix ’em, distribute ’em, download ’em, share ’em, and make the world a better place with the collaborative magic that happens because of ’em.

Download the editable source here. Download the print-ready PDF here.

Hackerspace Passports

For the past month I’ve been designing some passports with Mitch Altman. The purpose is to get people visiting more hackerspaces, interacting with the communities held within, and spreading ideas across different groups.

I find the scavenger hunt element – trying to fill every blank space in your “visas” section with stamps from hackerspaces across the world – incredibly appealing. I’m eager to see the stamps spaces come up with, the inks they use, and the clever elements they find to tuck in with their own passports.

If anyone reading this happens to be investigating creating stamps for their own hackerspace I got some awesome ones made up for incredibly cheap at Simon’s Stamps. I’ve been experimenting with laser cutting my own in rubber, and the results are pretty promising. You might also consider laser cutting molds and casting your own stamps. I’ve also found that gradient stamp pads lend an incredibly polished bureaucracy-approved look to your stamps.

You can download your own passport here.

Bonus:

MAKE, Adafruit

QuahogCon’s Closing Keynote

Some months back I gave the closing keynote at QuahogCon. It was an overview of the digital manufacture techniques available today focusing on 3d printing. I gave detailed information on how to interface with them, what properties different techniques impart, and how to generate geometry.

You can find an audio recording of the presentation here. You can also download my resources (containing links to artists, 3d printing companies, software tools, and awesome projects) here. You can also find my presentation’s visuals on Prezi.