Whew, Teardown 2018 is over! Over 150 attendees from ten states and three countries were treated to a whirlwind of talks, workshops, presentations, and demos of all manner of unique, amazing, beautiful hardware projects, from art works to industry-changing technology. Held over three-days, May 11-13, in Portland, Oregon, we were lucky enough to partner with Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Make+Think+Code program, who let us use their spectacular main building, a renovated 100-year-old Federal Post Office. From Friday to Sunday, the event featured:
- 35 talks on topics ranging from DIY artificial intelligence to how to move a 2 ½ ton electron microscope.
- 16 workshops where participants got hands-on experience doing things like creating a self-portrait on a PCB and learning how to send secret messages with blinking lights.
- Delicious, locally produced food and drink from Portland area providers.
- After-hours fun with food, music, and Legos.
In between events, attendees were entertained by the form, light, sound, and, in one case, mustaches from seven different interactive installations, including a sculpture that illuminated using your own heartbeat and a couple of rogue “payphones” that actually received calls throughout the event. Naturally, we also had robot sumo wrestling.
After hours, we enjoyed eating, drinking, scheming, and laughing while taking in the view at Autodesk’s amazing new office building and their rooftop deck, sharing Chinese food at Crowd Supply’s new headquarters and our rooftop deck, searching for (and finding!) a new hackerspace deep under Portland’s bridges, and feeding quarters into our favorite vintage arcade games, among other things.
Of course, the very best parts of Teardown were simply the result of having a great group of people together at the same time and place. Whether over lunch or after a workshop, the air was always thick with the exchange of knowledge and ideas. Seeing so many creative people come together to share ideas, designs, and projects openly with each other was a beautiful thing to behold. The future of open source hardware looks bright – it’s a great time to be a hacker, maker, and creator.
Going into it, we didn’t really know what to expect from Teardown. Coming out of it, we’re sure of one thing: we’re definitely going to do this again. If you attended Teardown, thanks for sharing your time and talents to make it such a great event. Within the next few days, you will receive a survey to gather your feedback. If you weren’t able to attend, or missed a particular talk you wanted to see, keep an eye on Teardown updates as we post video recordings of many of the sessions.
We can’t wait for next year (though we might need a day or three to recover from this year). The future looks bright for Teardown!