06/11/2013 12:33 EDT | Updated 08/11/2013 05:12 EDT

Vancouver Creatives Need More Play for Young and Old Alike

Creativity is the design of novel and useful products. Exploring the world through creative and innovative lenses results in solutions to challenges. Stepping out of your comfort zone and embracing play is essential. It's what creativity goes with and cities need to be more playful to keep talented creative people: which is why Emily Smith started the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire.

Vancouver has an abundance of amazing creative talent, which was on display at the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire 2013 - Vancouver's greatest show and tell. And boy were they showing and telling!

The array of displays were like an assault on on your senses, inspiring you to want to run around and try it all. There was everything from Lego creations to giant mechanical snakes and quilt making to a "Time Distortion Machine." All under one roof, all the creators, looking and learning from each other. So I thought it would be good to highlight and share a few moments from the experience.

Creativity was evident all around, yet it was all the sharing that was exciting. Everything ranging from disco ball helmets to a keyboard skateboards are on, described as "the best community to share ideas, tackling the challenges of creative minds & money; providing an infrastructure to foster creativity" by Instructable's play editor Mike Warren.

Interesting concept about play because playing is exactly what the whole exhibition was about.

Children are creative. They do not see limitations or boundaries. They interact with whatever is around. One of the highlights of the Mini Maker Vancouver Faire was its opportunity for children to explore their creativity by interacting with exhibitions and without any one shouting, "Don't touch that!" Strangely enough, the adults were letting the little kid inside of them to play with all the exhibitions too.

When asked why she started it, Vancouver Mini Maker Faire director Emily Smith director said, "Because we needed it." They and the Vancouver Hack Space (VHS) made a concerted effort to bring the event here. What kept emerging was the vital need to keep talented creative people here in Vancouver - necessary to the culture and design space of Vancouver and to its economy.

Some examples of this creative talent:

Symmetry Group, talk about taking origami to a whole different level. With their molecular origami design collective, explained how their art installations became a completely new form of sculpture and design.

Dan McLaren with his "Time Distortion Machine" distorts video enabling the player to interact with time, like the fast-forward and rewind button on your remote - except you are the remote!

Vancouver LEGO club's Dave Degabbi said "we got this box of wheels and I thought what am I going to do with this? The wheel was calling, 'build something with me'." It's the pull that makes these creations happen.

Being a music lover, a favorite were the giant headphones.

Dallyn Rule, a cerebral artist, is primarily a painter. Stepping out of your comfort zone is essential so his involvement in EATART took him into a new creative dimension. Dallyn openly acknowledged he's an introvert. He wanted to explore the idea of listening to music properly through headphones and decided to blow the head phones up, not in the dynamite way, but proportionally. The result was a very comfortable seat placed between headphones made of wheelbarrows (he used to be a landscaper). The introvert turns extrovert via his exhibit, because everyone wanted to rush in and try them, hear about his idea, how it came into fruition.

Colin Johnson's card says he's a Woodbutcher (a.k.a. a classical carpenter). His take on creativity was interesting: "Creativity puts you in a vulnerable place, you can take people's opinions personal. It's about keeping your passion and what to charge for that?" He tells me when creating he tries not to be "too serious."

'Whimsy" is the word he uses to get the effect of "wow." One work, an Imperial Walker from the Empire Strikes Back, took 600+ hours of labor and everyone is mesmerized. It's also a drinks bar, I like the way this guy's mind thinks!

So why the fascination?

Creativity is the design of novel and useful products. Exploring the world through creative and innovative lenses results in solutions to challenges for businesses.