Lessons From Last Night's Lecture(s)

FabLabABQ's Sparkplug Talks at Launchpad

Katie Rast is the coolest nerd in town. Except for me, of course.
Katie Rast is the coolest nerd in town. Except for me, of course.

A couple of weeks ago, I gave you the particularly fascinating summary points from a May Ray lecture at UNM. And some of you – three of you, by my estimations – appeared to be compelled by the thought of thinking. So for those three of you, a reprise:

Last night, I attended the first ever Sparkplug Talks, organized by the imminently-opening FabLabABQ (an amazing Downtown venture that is yours for exploring, experimenting, exploiting*) and hosted by the always wonderful Launchpad.**

The ST, as I will now refer to Sparkplug Talks, follow the Pecha-Kucha format, which basically means that each speaker has 20 seconds for each of his/her 20 slides, which equals six minutes per person, which translates to awesome.

In my own little take on Pecha-Kucha, here’s what I learned from each presenter in 20 words or less not including name and affiliation (in order of appearance):

Grady Jaynes, MC: It’s tricky to be the MC. People usually stink. But not Grady Jaynes. He is an ST MC Superman.

Katie Rast, FabLabABQ: At FabLabABQ, we can “dream, think, design and realize.” In other words, make badass shit right in our own backyard.

James Smart, Cuatro Villas: We must implement collaborative approach incentives to achieve water sustainability in our region!

Jared Winchester, Entropic Industries: Natural disasters illustrate how “static infrastructure has failed.” Jared’s soil-nail-tethered houses illustrate how creative thinking will succeed. And save us.

Matthew Bandy, Environmental Archaeology: Accounting for relative time (dt) demonstrates how the old world conquered the new. (Guns, germs and steel, if you’re wondering).

Antonio Garcia, Zuk Design: Light! Design! Engineering! With our powers combined, we are Captain Planet! Wait, no. We are LED-lit furniture, like Zinc’s tables.

Tanda Headrik, Vanguard Designs: The average U.S. house holds 190 computers. Didn’t hear the rest of Tanda’s talk. Distracted trying to count mine. Oops.

Kenji Kondo, Open Source 3D Printing: Kenji = wizard. Printer = fabricator that makes flashlights out of nothing but a tool that looks suspiciously like a magic wand.

Michelle Melendez, Women’s Design Collective: St. Joe’s Hospital believes “health is not all about medicine;” it’s about women’s economic success. Plus some. (Read more about Women’s Design Collective here.***)

Ellen Berkovich and Conrad Skinner, Adobe Airstream Webzine: We live in a “mega region” of art and culture; webzines let us strut our stuff for a global audience.

Chris Goblet, Downtown Action Team: Cross your fingers! Show your support! Downtown Growers’ Market may be the first solar powered farmers’ market in the country!


*Exploiting as in using. Not as in abusing. I thought about saying ‘utilizing,’ but then that great alliteration of exp, exp, exp wouldn’t have existed. And that would have been a shame. A real shame.

**Ummm…. Did you know that Launchpad has $2 beers? I didn’t. But I do now. And I will be back to experience that loveliness again. Soon.

*** This parenthetical does NOT count as my 20 words or less.