Were you wondering how Brandon’s art piece looked at Maker Faire? Wonder no longer! These pics were taken yesterday while setting up the Transit Connect booth.
Brandon Regner is a Minnessota-based fine artist. He made this art piece for the Ford Transit Connect booth at the Maker Faire Festival.
This project began with a utilitarian purpose: I was in search of speakers for my home office. I recently moved to the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis and have been setting up my home in a midcentury modern VS. loft aesthetic, and I wanted the speakers to reflect those sensibilities.
I searched online for a month and was not able to find anything readily available that fit my aesthetic and budget. Through the process of setting up my room and unpacking my belongings, I came across a pair of vintage walkie-talkies that a former instructor had given me as a gift. Of the pair, only one walkie-talkie received a signal, so the pair could not function together. Because of this, I disassembled the units, looked at the wiring and created a pair of speakers. What I discovered was an authentic vintage sound compliments of the vintage speakers and the steel housing — which provided a warm reverb.
As I showed them to my friends and colleagues, I began receiving positive feedback and interest about the product. It was this inspiration that led me to explore the possibility of transforming the production of an up-cycled item into a fine art installation.
I began ordering more walkie-talkies and formed a concept that is a continuation of my 2011 BFA thesis work. I began thinking of the relationship between the iPod as an object and the walkie-talkies as an object, and their corresponding cultural meanings.
The iPod, as the name suggests, creates an isolated and individualized space—or pod—by which an individual separates themselves from their environment with their personal taste in music. It creates a buffer between the person using the iPod and the people around them.
On the other hand, a walkie-talkie does quite the opposite. The romantic idea of a walkie-talkie is a direct link from one person who is in actual isolation— in the woods, for instance— and another human with the corresponding receiver. In this case, the object is used as a connecting device and not a disconnection.
By combining the two objects, they negate each other’s purpose and create an environment in which many people can gather to listen to one person’s taste in music. By wiring 64 walkie-talkies together to a DJ booth on a sound wall, this point is emphasized. By creating a sound wall, I have created a gathering hub by which attendees at the Maker Faire can “connect” to one another and view the new Ford vehicle in the process.
I would like to thank Street Factory Media, Ford and the people at Makers Faire for the opportunity to create this custom installation and express this concept.
Get ready for lots of interesting news about the Maker Faire do-it-yourself festival! All this weekend on the Movers & Makers Tumblr.
Millions of printed circuit boards were never used and are now resting in warehouses, waiting for a new lease on life. This project shows how to make a 2-drawer case and “veneer” it with recycled boards. The coppery traces look like metallic petroglyphs, and the case looks great in any modern living room or office.
Drone Dudes are a team of filmmakers and designers who use RC copters to capture stunning aerial cinematography. In this video Make Magazine interviews Andrew Petersen and Jeff Blank, who operate a radial octocopter capable of lifting cameras up to 12lbs. on a 2- or 3-axis gimbal. All the gear stows away inside their Ford Transit Connect, which doubles as a camping vehicle when they are on the road.
Ford is working with MAKE to profile owners of the Transit Connect, a vehicle that offers creative types a small, modifiable vehicle to suit their passions and personal pursuits. In this series, we’ll be profiling Transit Connect owners and looking at how they’ve customized their rides.
Kevin Hornby is an auto conversion specialist. He owns Kevin Hornby Designs in Vista, Calif., just north of San Diego. But working in California instead of, say, Italy has its disadvantages.
Unlike Europe where car manufacturers sell scores of small, modifiable vehicles, the choices in the U.S. are far more limited. So when he learned Ford was going to start selling the Transit Connect in America he jumped on it.
“I said ‘this is it.’”
He says the Transit Connect fills a niche in the American market for an affordable, small-sized vehicle that is well-suited to customization. Here’s how he describes the vehicle on his website:
Remember the days of the Volkswagen camper…easy to use, didn’t empty your wallet at the gas pump, and priced to fit almost anyone’s budget? Well it’s here again thanks to the Ford Transit Connect and Kevin Hornby Designs. Packaged into a small daily driver, this vehicle is a great choice for the sports enthusiast, weekend camper or tailgater. Unlike the old Volkswagen camper, you can travel comfortably at over 50 miles per hour.
One of Kevin Hornby’s Transit Connects complete with bed, flip-up grill, sink, and shower wand.
To capitalize on the Transit Connect’s potential, he developed a design for turning the automobile into a self-contained camping and travel unit. It includes a fold-out, 6-foot long bed, a flip-up counter and sink, a wand shower, a pressurized water tank, and space for a refrigerator or toilet. One of the cool parts of the design is it still allows for use of the backseat. He calls it “The Module.”
Kevin says he’s had “tons and tons” of interest in his design and for Transit Connect modifications in general. But few sales. He’s sold about five modifications, including one that included a flat screen TV, and a tracking satellite.
“The guy just wanted to get out and go,” he said.
“It’s small. It’s easy to drive. It’s a great little weekend camper.”
He doesn’t begrudge all the DIYers, but he cautions against trying to do too much.
“With a small vehicle you have to keep things simple,” he says.