The Chinese Farmer-Roboticist and Other DIY Technologist Tales

More

In backalleys, garages, and shops across the world, a class of tinkerers are building new things. With little money and varying levels of formal education, the makers of our globe's cities are innovating with what they have to hand. Separated by language and distance, most don't think of themselves as part of a movement.

At new magazine called Makeshift wants to change all that. In the US, MAKE magazine became a rallying point for do-it-yourself tech nerds and hackers. Makeshift wants to bring that sense of community to the international scene.

"In different cultures [grassroots production] goes by different names: DIY in the US, jugaad in India, jua kali in East Africa, and gambiarra in Brazil," the editors wrote on their new website. "Makeshift seeks to unify these cultures into a global identity."

The magazine's staff includes wunderkind editor-in-chief Steve Daniels, an early-20s IBM researcher, photographer Myles Estey, and editor Niti Bhan, who founded the Emerging Futures Lab. They're based in New York, Mexico City, and Singapore, respectively, a nod to the international nature of their virtual collaboration. They claim contributors from 20 countries.

Makeshift launched a Kickstarter campaign yesterday that will end when the magazine's first issue officially launches on September 30. But we talked Daniels, who we covered when his first book came out last year, into running a little preview of the stories they'll be highlighting here.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Alexis C. Madrigal

Alexis Madrigal is the deputy editor of TheAtlantic.com. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More

The New York Observer has called Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science website in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.

He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).

Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

CrossFit Versus Yoga: Choose a Side

How a workout becomes a social identity

Video

Is Technology Making Us Better Storytellers?

The minds behind House of Cards and The Moth weigh in.

Video

A Short Film That Skewers Hollywood

A studio executive concocts an animated blockbuster. Who cares about the story?

Video

In Online Dating, Everyone's a Little Bit Racist

The co-founder of OKCupid shares findings from his analysis of millions of users' data.

Video

What Is a Sandwich?

We're overthinking sandwiches, so you don't have to.

Video

Let's Talk About Not Smoking

Why does smoking maintain its allure? James Hamblin seeks the wisdom of a cool person.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Technology

Just In