A new generation of entrepreneurs is driving a revolution in product design and business development. Collectively, theyre known as the Maker Movement. Making it in NYCThis Maker Movement is the subject of an ongoing exhibit called Making It In NYC: The Era of New Manufacturing at BLDG 92 inside the Brooklyn Navy Yard at 63 Flushing Avenue, which borders Fort Greene, Williamsburg and DUMBO. Open to the public since mid-May, the exhibit features a series of talks and tours with manufacturers, designers, artisans, techies and other entrepreneurs who call the Navy Yard home to their factories and offices. The exhibit explores the movements impact on job creation, technology, art and design, entrepreneurship and the manufacturing industry.You start at the exhibit and then see, feel and experience the finished productseverything from 3-D printers to military camouflage and protective gear, to furniture, said Franz Wisner, communications consultant for the exhibit. And for those interested in becoming a maker, we host talks with representatives from Etsy and other local companies about what its like from making a product to becoming a business. There is also the 90-minute Making It In NYC: Brooklyn Navy Yard Inside Industry Tour, during which visitors are guided through the exhibit and two factory visits, including at SITU Fabrication From a design perspective, SITU partner Brad Samuels said it was rare opportunity to approach the broad range of participants and backgrounds as one. . . There is everything from small startups and DIY makers all the way up to the larger scale manufacturing and industry all in one room. In designing the exhibit, Samuels considered the common thread of everybody making objects, but not like in a museum where its behind glass and precious. The point is that the people [and products] being featured are producing something that can be touched and played with, whether it is a chair, countertop, lighting fixture or item of clothing. Visitors may also notice that the spirit of collaboration isnt restricted to the exhibit room.A lot of people who were in the exhibit and Navy Yard are people who weve worked with and collaborated with, sharing equipment, working together in interesting ways, said Samuels. Thats a product of having all that concentrated talent in one industrial park. As Wisner noted, I live two blocks from the Navy Yard and walked by for years without knowing whats going on. Now there are all these opportunities to go and experience it, whether through visiting an exhibit for an hour or going on a tour or visiting Brooklyn Grange to buy fresh vegetables. I was absolutely blown away by all the activity and creativity behind those fences. The next two Making It In NYC tours are on Friday, August 15 and September 26. There are also upcoming Factory Tours featuring Kings County DistilleryBrooklyn Grange rooftop farm. Visit www.bldg92.org for more details about the exhibit and featured businesses.
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