Guerrilla Maker Space ( GMS ) is a project born out of Professor Karen Brennan's Harvard Graduate School of Education class Designing for Learning by Creating, co-created with fellow HGSE student Christan Balch. As an attempt to craft creative opportunities to make and produce in unexpected spaces, GMS involved a series of pop-up maker spaces in four locations in Cambridge. Armed with a handful of conductive items, MaKey MaKeys (circuit boards that turn conductive items into keyboard keys), and laptops loaded with Scratch (an intuitive programming interface), Christan and I invited the public to make with us at our school library, an outdoor plaza, a local pub, and a metro station.
Part social experiment, part passion project, the idea was inspired by constructionism, the maker movement, and creative computing in education. Socially, we hoped to learn what happens when you provide creative opportunities in unexpected places to unexpecting audiences. As educators, we hoped to enlighten our users to the benefits of educational curricula infused with opportunities to tinker and experiment.
Christan and I believe in the power of creating. We believe that disrupting regularly scheduled days with a creative experience might have compelling, inspiring, and impactful results.Technology has, in the words of Seymour Papert, the potential to "program the child"; instead, the child should program the computer as a tool to create, innovate, and make. We were inspired by the potential of the maker movement (think 3D printers, laser cutters, Rasberry Pis; see this, this, this, and this) to help guide us towards a culture where learners are using technology to create, produce, and design. GMS was an attempt at bringing these ideas to spaces where people would not normally interact with creative experiences.
Since our class project, Christan and I have been invited to implement Guerrilla Maker Spaces in a variety of locations, most recently at Williams College Museum of Art. We're looking forward to figuring out ways to package GMS so it may be implemented by any educator in any environment.
See the full project at guerrillamakerspace.sqsp.com.