SXSW Create

By Marleen van den Brand, Design Director at Mangrove

This year at SXSW I really liked the new ‘SXSW Create’ event. Doing creative and revolutionary things with new technologies has always been a part of the SXSW Interactive Festival. SXSW Create is a new label for the maker culture. From 3D printing (Candy!) to drones, from laser cutters to biohacking. This year there was a big tent packed with showcases of all of these maker things.

The ‘Maker culture’ emphasises 'learning-through-doing' in a social environment, so we ended up sewing a fabric pin with a small led light with conductive thread.

conductive thread

Here are some of the participants that showed their stuff, all worth looking at if you need some inspiration for your next birthday wish, list or party ;-)

LittleBits makes an opensource library of electronic modules that snap together with tiny magnets for prototyping, learning, and fun.

SparkFun is an online retail store that sells the bits and pieces to make all electronics projects possible. Whether it’s a robot that can cook your breakfast or a GPS cat tracking device. They had a big table were you could try to make some things yourself.

Maker Magazine is a platform for connecting makers with each other, with products and services. It’s a great magazine if you need some ideas. Just pick one up at a store if you see one.

Just one of the many 3D printers, this one is Dutch. I really like the wooden version of this one.

A nice idea for making and printing your own music box including your own composed song on a website.


As a designer I was surprised by the Making Culture. My brain kept spinning and I wanted to create and play with everything that I saw. I was really surprised on how affordable these 3D printers are getting. I guess it won’t take long before I have one myself :)

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