The Chinese Farmer-Roboticist and Other DIY Technologist Tales

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.

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