Maurizio Caon is lecturer and researcher at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland.
His domain of interest is human-computer interaction: he loves creating new concepts and prototypes for novel user interfaces, especially gestural and tangible ones. He organized several workshops and participatory design sessions held in international events and conferences.
He is member of Innovation Club Fribourg, Neurhone and the organizing team of TEDxMartigny.
How did you end up joining the #maker movement?
I don’t personally think that there is a particular moment that turns you into a maker but it is a sort constant tension towards the creative act. However, my first project was a Liquid Nitrogen CPU cooler built using a CNC machine and scrap pieces of aluminium and copper with knowledge gathered from the Internet and shared in an online forum. Since then, I never stopped tweaking and prototyping and I am lucky enough to have to do this as part of my current job. I joined the Innovation Club in Fribourg to help democratizing the use of tools to help people to create and to innovate.
What do you most value in the innovation/maker environment?
The mind-set: makers share particular passion and spirit that makes them think that everything is possible or, at least, “prototypable”. Moreover, makers are usually very generous and willing to share their knowledge.
What’s the maker movement outlook in your country?
In Switzerland, there are many Fab Labs or spaces for co-creation, which are also very active. I saw many awesome works around made by very talented makers. We just need to promote the maker’s culture a bit more.
In your opinion, what features in your city/destination/country is more appealing to an innovation-oriented crowd?
Fribourg is a city with several schools and academic institutes; this setting is the perfect condition for an ecosystem of young people interested in innovation.
You seem to have been able to create such a nurturing environment around your FabLab/makerspace/hackerspace in (your country). What does your audience look like? Who do you mainly target – students, inventors, or… ?
Everyone interested in innovation is invited to attend our periodic events and join our club; we are friendly, we like to have fun and everything we do is often for free to ensure democratic access.
What do you consider your greatest goal as EMW’s Ambassador?
In Switzerland there are plenty of fab labs and hacker spaces, I would like to help organizing a synchronized event that could bring all the makers (experts and beginners) together, despite cultural differences, cantonal borders or language barriers.
What kind of events are you planning to organize during the EMW?
I am organizing a workshop to introduce people to the programming of the Arduino/Genuino board. Moreover, we are planning to organize some networking meetings and we hope other fab labs will join us in organizing other related events.