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The Kid Should See This

The Heart of Maker Faire, a community-inspired light installation

Within each of these jars, someone has written and enclosed a note about what is in their heart. The blinking lights, RGB LEDs that illuminate the sealed jars from below, are set to echo the heart rate of each note writer, measured and programmed in that moment. As the shelves are filled with more notes, The Heart of Maker Faire beats stronger and brighter, a pulsating, poetic time capsule of the event and of those who “each left a little of themselves behind.”

The installation, conceived and built by Jonathan Sanderson and Joe Shimwell of NUSTEM at Northumbria University, premiered in early April 2017 at Maker Faire UK in Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s Centre for Life science museum. It was created with five Raspberry Pis, FadeCandy boards, 2,200 RGB LEDs (NeoPixels), ESP8266 controllers, and the heartfelt contribution of 450 Maker Faire UK attendees. Visit for the technical nitty gritty on how the heart works.

Previously from Sanderson: How to build your own Wave Machine physics demo, Electromagnetic Induction, How to make Pearls of Water, and a LEGO Dragon self-assembles with stop motion animation.

Plus: More art installations, including Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrors, CLOUD: An Interactive Sculpture Made from 6,000 Light Bulbs, a time lapse of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing 797, and Karina Smigla-Bobinski’s ADA.

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