I was invited through Makerspark and Pixelache to give a Strawbees workshop at Paide, in Estonia during a gathering to advertise a residency program on the city’s community center. When I got there I was amazed by the strength of the ideas people were articulating around there.
Paide is a small and very old town, not only old in history but also when it comes it's habitants average age. Most of the young people leave, making the city less active and reducing the amount of funds received from the government.
That is where Reiner, behind the community center, comes in. He’s life is dedicated to restore and protect the architecture of Paide, which is indeed special. Besides woodworking his project to protect the city’s architectural heritage also extends to hosting events such as the one I participated, in which young and engaged artists and activists are invited to residencies or to move to the city, which has incredible low living costs and a growing artistic scene.
I gave a workshop more focused on using Strawbees as a tool to communicate ideas and arguments then the technical side. The activity was to build the widest hanging structure that wouldn’t touch the floor. After building it, we did a few rounds of reflection followed by very quick rebuilding sessions to consolidate what was said during the chat.
I went to Vejle to join a national conference of schools who had or wanted to have a FabLab at their schools. We ran a workshop with a classic Quirkbot activity: build a moving creature with Strawbees and a pre-programmed Quirkbot in 20 to 30 minutes. After the creatures were built, we suggested a few competitions like races or battles, so participants could interact with each other's creations.