In Windsor, we rapidly learned that its inhabitants sometimes feel isolated from the rest of Ontario. We heard many times “Ontario does not stop in London.” In spite of the long road to the most southern city of Canada, we felt a warm welcome from Sarah Morris, coordinator of Windsor’s Hackforge workshop.
Considering the state of Windsor’s American neighbour, Detroit, whose economy was shattered by the collapse of the automotive industry, there is no dispute about the importance of the spirit of initiative and of do it together that makerspaces and fab labs hold. Nonetheless, our conversations with the team made us realize that, regardless of the environment, the way to launch these workshops and make them accessible to everyone is non-linear. There is a learning process, lots of people to meet and ideas to exchange in order to develop a collective and inclusive spirit of people and local organizations around a workshop project.
So it was with that initiative spirit that, on June 12th, we hosted a workshop on the sidewalk just in front of Hackforge. And what a very sunny and rewarding experience it was! Under the blazing sun, people were smiling and very eager to chat with us. Here are a few of the people we meet and the comments we got…
- Interactions between people from all ages and professional background which favoured connexions and put forward the importance of diversity, especially in a city where they witness the struggles of their car-obsessed neighbour, Detroit. We had the opportunity to talk with people working at BMO, Industry Canada and retirees.
- Heather Ginzerich made it all the way from Ingersoll to meet with Hackforge and Fab Labs Nation.
- Mita Williams and Katye Facecchia, members of Hackforge’s council.
- Many Hackforge members.
- Marc Lefebvre, retired from Windsor’s public library, and the 6th Windsor resident to have the internet, very familiar with the Fab Lab movement and an ex-volunteer for Hackforge who was very involved.
- Alex Berriault, a new artist in residency at Hackforge.
- An impressive quantity of quality people were there!
- We noticed a can-do-it-all attitude.
- To be outside in this nice and warm temperature.
- Collaborate with Sarah Morris, Hackforge coordinator, to help people connect between one another.
- We were all so thrilled to have been there!
- Learn that some organizations train dogs to detect hydrocarbons to spot any leaks coming from pipelines.
- Alex Berriault was enthusiastic about transferring her drawing on wood with the help of the laser cutter.
- Occupying both sides of the sidewalk gave us a good visibility to the oncoming passers-by.
- Rich conversation with Mita Williams and Katye Facecchia about the importance of working together, the challenges of making tools accessible to everyone and mobilizing makers to work as a community.
- Guillaume worked on the ideation of his electronic podorythmie board with the help of David Bergeron, musician and member of Hackforge who worked on the prototyping of light and sound boxes that were demonstrated during the event.