DIY Community: Digitópia Seeks World’s Best Patchers, and More Open Source Competition

What if a competition didn’t just encourage entrants to try to make a better product? What if it encouraged friendly rivalry between makers to produce entries that were also shared across the community? That’s the idea behind Digitópia’s upcoming series of competitions, now entering its third year. Digitópia itself is based in Porto, Portugal, at the Casa da Musica. But even if Portugal isn’t exactly in your neighborhood, entrants and onlookers alike can benefit from shared, open sourced contributions. In fact, even the prizes itself are open projects. The simple, anthropomorphic-looking controller above is a free project. It’s dead-simple, a …

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Beautiful Sonic Sculptures from Portugal, and Announcing Handmade Music Porto

Sonoridades Líquidas [Liquid Sounds] from Rui Penha on Vimeo. Wonderful work in sculpting sound into beautiful handmade electronic-acoustical instruments is pouring out of Portugal. Now we get to see more of that work – and if you are in Portugal, you can share in person at a new event. The Handmade Music project and community has found its second home – Porto, Portugal, at the massive Casa da Música! The first event will be held Tuesday, July 21. (Full announcement, English/Português). De hardware a software feito em casa até circuit bending, kits personalizados ou instrumentos acústicos originais, todos estão convidados …

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Democratizing Creative Tech: Julià Carboneras, OFFF (English + Espanol)

Gijs Gieskes setting up, as I look on (bottom left). Photo courtesy OFFF Festival. What does it mean to truly democratize technology? When is DIY more than just the creation of an object? That’s the question asked by our friend Julià Carboneras, who curated the new Nerdeferences feature of the OFFF digital design conference in Portugal last week. DIY is more than just cool devices, argues Julià: it’s social hacking, too. He brought together myself, Instructables.com founder Eric Wilhelm, and musical inventor and artist Gijs Gieskes (who stole the show, showing some creations live onstage). But there was a bigger …

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