Shenzhen Special 1 — Maker Faire

Shenzhen Maker Faire

Welcome to the first in a special series of Looking Sideways focusing on maker culture in Shenzhen, the world centre for electronics manufacturing. Over the last 30 years, this city has grown to a population of 15-20 million people, who’ve flocked here to work in factories, and the associated supply chain, or start businesses in design, manufacturing, packaging,  distribution, and more. It’s a city of making, on a grand scale.

Most commonly, it’s known as the home of Foxconn et al: huge factories, themselves often the size of small towns, and home to hundreds of thousands of workers; providing full facilities, including dormitories, banks, restaurants, hospitals, even TV stations.

But in the last decade, it’s also become a magnet for a different kind of maker: the hardware startups and the hackers from across the world who come here for the design and manufacturing expertise, the concentrated and accessible supply chain, and the promise that here, they can bring their products to market faster, cheaper, and more successfully than anywhere else.

In this series, I’ll be interviewing some of the makers I met on a recent trip, as part of the British Council’s Hello Shenzhen programme. This episode was recorded live at Shenzhen Maker Faire 2017.

Makers featured

Maker T and his Wolverine arm
Students from Future Tech Academy
The Seeed Studio stall

This podcast series is part of the British Council’s Hello Shenzhen programme. It is a Lighthouse production. Lighthouse is an arts and culture agency, based in Brighton in the UK, producing, supporting and presenting new art, film, music, design and games.

Music for this episode is by Audiobinger.

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