Live blog, TEDxColumbus

Alex Bandar – Live Blog

2011 TEDxColumbus
I think everyone has had this feeling: I thought of that idea years ago, I just couldn’t make it happen.

This reflects a truth of invention: the thing stopping really great ideas from becoming reality is that the people having those ideas don’t always know how to implement them or build the things they’ve thought up.

Well, Alex Bandar has a solution: he’s creating spaces where normal people can build real objects. Bandar’s aim is “lowering the threshold for taking ideas out of your head and putting them in your hand.” The reason that this takes on critical importance is that if an idea springs up, and no one hears it, it’s lost.

The maker community is devoted to ensuring that this doesn’t happen. This community of people shares their ideas and develops methods for implementing their ideas.

Bandar and his ilk strongly believe that everyone should be able to make the things that they dream up. And this is getting easier and easier, with Google’s modeling platform, with 3D printers, with laser cutting, and with a plethora of similar technologies that increase the available pool of smart inventors in the world.

So Bandar’s big idea is to take all of these technologies and put them together in one shop. This is the idea behind the Columbus Idea Foundry. Their maker shop has turned out everything from little wooden toys to an electric Model T to devices that help African farmers maximize their yield and feed hungry people.

The animating principle of the Idea Foundry, Bandar argues, could also be implemented in schools. If these kinds of labs could be condensed into, say, an unused cargo container, then portable maker labs could be put to work at any school anywhere. Students could also have an opportunity to turn their ideas into reality.

Bandar’s essential argument is that people who know how to use the tools of fabrication design better, and people that tinker develop the experience to have better and more flexible ideas. Finally, after a day of talking about how eduction falls short, Bandar’s provided just one possible solution for making education better in the future.