houhai / xuefu rd

Today, I went to the Software Incubator Area and what to my wondering eyes did appear, but a landmark tried and true and watched for the past decade. It’s true and unexpected, but for years I have been documenting the land reclamation area east of Guimiao and north of Binhai (first impressions, here), and today on an errand to meet someone about the upcoming Maker Faire, I realized the road I was on–Xuefu Road–was in fact the road I had walked while documenting the emergence of New High Technology Park. Anyway, some before and after pictures:

innovate with china…

…was the slogan of this year’s Shenzhen Maker Faire. I attended on Sunday, and then Monday afternoon joined researchers from the Institute For the Future on a tour of BGI (Beijing Genomics Institute) or “China Great Gene (华大基因)” as the name translates from the Chinese.

What did I see and learn?

That children love playing with gadgets. That most of the “products” were in fact toys. And that the most popular booths had the greatest room for serious play. In other words, the successful objects themselves structured a particular–and somehow “first”–experience. Hence, the wow moments that attracted children and adults alike.

That BGI has concentrated a massive amount of capital and resources in order to further the production of data. Moreover, as the cost of mapping genomes has dropped from $US 3B to around $US 3,000 in a little over twenty years, the data has proliferated to the point where the challenge facing researchers is technologies for storing and analyzing the data. I’m not sure what this volume of data means in terms of life experiences, but it does strike me that our imaginations constantly seek material form. And I learned the expression human augmentation, as if we are not enough.

That the Shekou Relaunch campaign has brought in interesting cultural programs to the area. In addition, these programs have been popular and attracted residents from all over the city to Shekou. So notable that–again–we’re looking at the design of experience. And all this hinges on the promulgation of culture and creativity as both the means and ends of socio-economic development.

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An Egg Bot Easter

Today good friend, Lyn Jeffrey brought me to the First Shenzhen Maker Faire, which was organized by Eric Pan. I experienced the enthusiasm of open source creativity and entrepreneurship, albeit of a strongly electronic variety. Of particular note this Happy Easter, the Egg Bot, which could be programmed to color patterns on eggs.

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