Tell us about IDIYA – what is it?
We are a fully stocked makerspace. Members can take advantage of on site 3-D printers, laser cutters, vinyl cutters, CNCs, direct to garment printing, sewing machines, a woodshop, and more. Educational initiatives are offered through IDIYA Labs, focused on training teachers in preparation for the next generation of makers. Community members can also hire the IDIYA Factory, our production shop which is led by Joe Cantu, to make whatever wild and new projects they dream up.
What inspired you to start IDIYA?
New Orleans has a rich culture of artists, inventors, and entrepreneurs. It is one of the most creative cities in the world! However, we noticed that creatives struggled to find a well-equipped, collaborative workspace to make the products of their imagination. We started IDIYA to give New Orleanians access to a one-stop shop where they can bring their ideas to fruition.
What is your philosophy as a Maker Space?
The writing’s on the wall, literally, directly behind our front desk. At our foundation, IDIYA is a mission-driven venture where we calibrate every part of our business by a standard of community empowerment. Our vision is making manufacturing more accessible for everyone. We live it every day in a space that is ever-evolving to meet the needs of our members.
What’s the most interesting Maker project you’ve created?
While the IDIYA Factory is always producing the stuff of our clients’ dreams, the product we celebrate most is the maker experience. We love connecting people with a great project they can do themselves, and what better way than with a DIY build party.
We partnered with NOMA in August to conduct a chair building workshop. Attendees received a private tour of “The Essence of Things” exhibit at NOMA, and we coached them through replicating a chair that was in the exhibit. Everyone went home with a work of art that they produced in a single day.
What’s the most interesting Maker project you’ve seen?
Our makerspace has seen laser cut jewelry, parade floats, costumes, bus-detectors, and things whose purposes elude those who have not asked, and baffle those who have. One of the most interesting projects that we have seen, the “Coastal Play” board game, involved the collaborative talents of many different makers. What started as a simple board game that illustrated the delicate situation of Louisiana wetlands, wound up combining elements from virtually every facet of the maker movement. The finished product was featured in the 2015 Anba Dlo Festival at the Healing Center.
Any advice for aspiring Makers?
Have fun. Learn from your mistakes. When in doubt, be a kid. Or just be a kid.
Meet the makers of IDIYA at the 2017 New Orleans Mini Maker Faire on Saturday, April 22 at Delgado’s Student Life Center. Keep checking back with us here for updates on ticket sales as well as guest speakers and performances.