Keep Westword Free
| DIY |

Tonight: Surf the DIY world with the Denver Maker Group

What exactly is a Maker, anyway? Obviously, it's someone who, well, makes stuff. But a Maker is more specifically an inventor of sorts, who works in cross-disciplinary realms where technology and the arts collide. There's a fierce DIY spirit among Makers, who tend to surf and hack their way across the expanse of the Internet, looking for one another and co-creating a future present. Denver designer Lynne Bruning, who makes garments using conductive fibers, is one, and she's just returned from a Maker Faire, one of many major Maker expo/conviviums held in major cities across the nation by like-minded creators-on-the-edge, bringing in tow a pair of remarkable Chicago Makers, Josh Billions, creator of the MapBag, and Harvey Moon, creator of the Drawing Machine. For reference, here's a little background on the MapBag and what it can do:

The MapBag contains a small microcontroller, a GPS chipset, and a series of 8 vibration motors sewn into the bag. The microcontroller constantly evaluates the wearer's current heading and the location of magnetic North, or the relative location of a user-defined waypoint (such as home). The microcontroller informs the wearer of compass information through the vibration motors, basically allowing you to read a compass with your body. 

After using the MapBag for a few weeks, the slight pulses used to convey heading information have become second nature. Most importantly, I no longer find myself using street signs or depending on landmarks to discern my position in the city's grid.

And here's a video demonstrating the Drawing Machine:

Whoa. You don't have to be a Maker to find all of this fascinating, so feel free to feed your sense of amazement: The pair of technological artist-geniuses have agreed to stop over in Denver on their way back to Chicago to meet with the Denver Makers Group during a free event tonight at 7 p.m. at Club Workshop, 999 Vallejo Street, Unit 2. They'll discuss and demonstrate their projects, and you're invited, too. Get more information at the

Denver Makers website


visit the Denver Makers Facebook page

. Please RSVP at 720-324-7222.

I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Denver and help keep the future of Westword free.

Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.