The future is bright

Highlights of the MakeFashion 2016 Gala

The MakeFashion Wearable Tech Gala and Runway Show last Satuday was … A-MA-ZING!

The annual MakeFashion gala in Calgary is unlike any other fashion or technology show; the pieces created are engineered with high tech electronics that transform the garmet into a stunning, one-of-a-kind piece.

There were both local and international designers who participated this year. One of my favorites was the “snow queen” and “Japanese Lantern” dresses that were created by team “Kiki Forever” part of the Zyris Organization.

Photo by Tina Amini.
Photo by Tina Amini.

The bright LED lighting and colors in the creations by “Kiki Forever” illuminated the silhouette of the dresses, allowing them to take over the catwalk.

Another highlight for me was the prosthetic fashion creations by Alleles Design Studio. I was anticipating their pieces since last year, and they did not disappoint! There were two prosthetic covers designed by them that included LED technology.

Screenshot 2016-04-04 14.34.54 


They may look crazy …

but Nanoleaf makes the world’s most energy efficient light bulbs

Introduction reprinted with permission from 

Every so often you come across a cool tech device that blows your mind, and makes you rethink what you thought about a gadget. In this case, it’s an everyday object that’s been re-imagined: the light bulb.

Since Edison’s day, light bulbs have been largely the same shape and structure: glass chambers with tiny wire filament inside, heated to glowing by an electrical current. While in modern days we’ve seen the introduction of compact fluorescents, and LED lights, the lowly light bulb has been largely the same, until now.

Enter Nanoleaf. The small startup, with a University of Toronto grad at its helm, began life on Kickstarter. Hoping to raise $30,000 the Nanoleaf team shot past their fundraising goal in 24 hours (2 hours, to be exact!), going on to get over $192,000 pledged to their goal of reinventing the light bulb. These can-do inventors are coming to Beakerhead, the art science and engineering event in Calgary (September 16-20, 2015).

Read further…

Shaping Identity

Reprinted from Calgary Arts Development online report

A Made-In-Calgary Original: Beakerhead

It couldn’t have happened anywhere else: Beakerhead takes Calgary’s key attributes as an engineering hub, a science innovator and an arts leader, and mashes them together. Through in its annual September lineup and year-round programming, Beakerhead activities run the gamut, from tesla coils and robot theatre to gastronomy and fashion.


 Lara Presber crafting an aluminum dress. Photo: Kelly Hofer Studios, courtesy of Beakerhead

“It’s a made-in-Calgary original; it’s not a model that’s replicated anywhere else in the world,” says Michelle Htun-Kay, Beakerhead’s Marketing and Communications Director. From the outset, Beakerhead’s mission has been to put Calgary on the map.

“In order for it to have a long-term, sustainable future, it needed to start conversations internationally from day one.”

Those conversations began even before the first Beakerhead in 2013, drawing on the global networks of partners like Science Festival Alliance and Maker Faire to help spread the word about Calgary’s unique blend of artistic, scientific, and engineering innovation. Going into its third festival in September 2015, Beakerhead has already helped shape perceptions of our prairie city. For Calgarians, Beakerhead is full of did-you-know moments (Did you know that Calgary’s world-renowned MakeFashion is Canada’s leading wearable technology initiative? Did you know that the Calgary Mini Maker Faire is the largest in Canada?); for visitors, Beakerhead has created more than 200 new Calgary brand advocates in past presenters and international media.

While Beakerhead’s core purpose is not directly related to advancing international awareness of Calgary’s contemporary creative vitality, the organization considers itself successful only if it can create a climate where creativity is crucial and part of everyday life. “One of its missions is to draw more and more visitors and new immigrants, and meetings and conventions to Calgary, because it’s so original,” says Htun-Kay, who says Calgary is  “a dynamic arts sector, a leading science innovator, and an engineering hub—and there are fun things to do.”

Moebius Maker

With the overall goal to learn, inspire, teach and improve the world over, is it any wonder the popularity of Maker Faires is increasing in every community from New Castle in the U.K. to Rome to right here in YYC with Mini Maker Faire Calgary? Invention and innovation, creation and creativity all come to mind when you picture the experience at a Faire – wonderful makers of all kinds. But what about math?

14378992981_089b7c91bf_zFor the love of the math in STEAM we’d like to throw a shout out to Moebius Noodles and their place in the maker roll call at this year’s North Carolina Maker Faire. Check out their blog post “What Math Do You Have in Your House?” The super cool Little House Big Math was built to encourage parents to think of math as a fun activity for every day, and not just a homework assignment. A math maker! Now that’s an innovative approach to learning you can wrap your Moebius Noodle around.

Listen up Calgary Makers! The call for makers is out for this year’s event, September 6 and 7 at the TELUS Spark Science Centre, and the deadline is approaching fast.

Drag out and dust off your latest, greatest creation and sign up!


by Stacey Ibach