Critical Making

By Edin Ibric

Module 1 - Activity #1

Activity #1

When thinking about this activity I wasn’t really sure if there where any local makerspaces around other then the one discussed in class located in the UOIT education building. I had a look around online and was shocked to find so many all over the GTA, which was very good to know and somewhat inspiring to see that there are places to unleash your creativity with many tools and resources that most people might not have access too. I couldn’t physically visit any of the makerspaces even though I really wanted to so I decided to pick one of the makerspaces and have a look at it’s website to find out what actually happens there.

Toronto Tool Library and Makerspace

The makerspace I chose to examine was the Toronto Tool Library and Makerspace, which is located at 1803 Danforth Ave. What they do here is allow people to sign up and pay for memberships, which allows the members to have access to all of the tools and technology they would need to bring their ideas and projects to life. With the membership you can borrow over 3,000 tools from the Tool Library and have access to 3D printers, Laser-Cutters and full woodshop. The members have 24/7 access to the space so they should be able to find time to work on their projects when they have time or when inspiration hits, which could be at anytime of the day or night. They also offer free training sessions with your membership and you can actually book the entire space for events and functions that are related to “making”. One of the most important benefits to being a part of this space is the community of makers that it introduces you too. From what the website says it has a very “close-knit community of innovative makers from across many disciplines,” which can provide a lot of assistance or motivation when needed. I think the following statement found on their website best describes what they do:

“We are committed to developing our members’ contributions to the broader Maker movement and to providing high-quality learning opportunities with some of the best open-source technology available.”


These are some of the 3D printers they have:

Tool Library

Members can use or sign out tools from a very large inventory of tools in the library.
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The Woodshop

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Module 1 - Activity #2

I am definitely a maker and share many of the same curiosities and questions as other makers had as children. As a kid I would love to take toys and electronics apart to see what was on the inside and try to figure out how it worked. I’d then see if I could figure out how to put it back together or I would see if I could reconfigure and reassemble it to see if I could make it work better or take certain parts out of it and combine it with other things. Sometimes I would make completely brand new toys from small appliances and electronic motors and components combined with parts of toys.

I would say I still use that method for a lot of the creating and making I do today to help me find solutions to creative problems in my professional work when making 3D/digital art and animation as well as education. I also use this process to help me write and perform music. I often hack things and create percussion instruments and hardware combined with technology. My best example of that I’ve made is constructing my own custom hybrid acoustic/electronic drumset that I use for recording drums. They are definitely not pretty but when I record with them they sound quite authentic to real studio drums. Here is what they look like:

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Why Make This And Not Buy?

The main reason for making this is because good electronic drums are quite expensive and I needed something to practice on that was virtually silent so that I could practice late at night and not disturb my family. I also needed something to record with that didn't require all kinds of microphones and expensive hardware and since most of my practicing is done late at night so is most of my recording.

How it's Made

Basically the drums are an old jazz drum kit that I replaced the drum skins with mesh screens that are virtually silent when you hit them but still vibrate enough to allow me to capture the velocity using magnets as triggers. The triggers are hooked up to stereo wires that I then connect to a midi I/O device that allows me to send the velocity and impact signals to my laptop which triggers drum sounds that I can hear and record in garageband. It's pretty much like have a keyboard but instead of playing keys with your fingers I'm hitting drums with drum sticks. The cymbals are actually from a very old electronic drum kit and are a little louder then I'd like them to be but I'm cautious of how hard I hit them so that they don't bother anyone.

Module 1 - Activity #3


For Activity #3 I choose to make two things that I've been wanting to make for a very long time and that is taking a recipe for ginger molasses cookies and make a healthier version by replacing the typical ingredients used, as well as make a video that uses time laps photography. The video below documents my plan and how I went about making the cookies, which uses time laps photography in a few sections.

My Version Of The Recipe

3/4 cups Spelt Flour

3/4 cups Almond Meal/Flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons freshly grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Pinch freshly ground white pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup coconut oil, room temperature

3/4 cup firmly packed cane sugar

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon molasses

1 large egg, room temperature

1/2 cup cane sugar, for rolling

***vanilla extract is optional

  1. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Into medium bowl, sift together Almond and Spelt flour, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, pepper, and salt.
  2. In the bowl using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat coconut oil, cane sugar, grated ginger, vanilla (optional) and molasses until light and fluffy. Beat in egg until smooth. Add dry mixture; beat until combined.Wrap dough in plastic, flattened into a disk. Chill until firm, about 1 hour or overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make 1 1/2-inch balls of dough; roll each in cane sugar. Place them 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets.
  4. Bake cookies, until firm around the edges and slightly soft in the center, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool before eating.