Category “Uncategorized”

FIRST Robotics at the IRL

Some video of the FIRST FTC Meet at the Idea Realization Lab that was organized by Jackie Moore of the Chicago Knights last weekend. Loved having this at our space, and look forward to helping host many many more!

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

TSW* Session 12 – Drew Fustini, the Open Hardware Summit Badge, and Why Make?

I talk with Drew Fustini, open source hardware designer at OSH Park and co-developer of the badge for the Open Hardware Summit this year. Drew is, as I say in the podcast, the glue that holds many maker communities together, and I’m really excited to have him on and talk about the things that he makes, and his ethos behind making and tinkering.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Moving Spacelab

We are exploring the move of Spacelab, NFP to a new, bigger location. This is a call for potential members. Want to join a group that supports local south suburban businesses, runs a Maker Faire, teaches community classes, and more? Email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

This Should Work on Twitter

Just a quick note: This Should Work* now has a Twitter account that you can follow for all podcast interview updates, notes, and behind-the-scenes tweets. You can find it here.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Alternative Computer Club

I’ve been building alternative controllers and game consoles for about the past five or six years. Project Libity, Big Data Outbreak, Thotcon 0x8, and Thotcon 0x9 are just some of the projects that I’ve worked on, often with my creative partner Rudy Ristich. My fascination with this has always centered around the idea that, if we could somehow break out of the three console paradigm, or change the way that we traditionally interface with games, we can begin to explore experiences otherwise unimaginable due to the inherent limitations of consoles and interfaces that are built for the mass market (and thus inherently built to be generic).

In the last couple years I’ve noticed a growing interest in this once-solitary fascination, which got me thinking: why not get some folks together who are making cool stuff to talk about our creative and design processes and why we do the things we do?

Thus, we have the Alternative Computing Club: Meeting 1 on November 16, from 7-10pm at DePaul University’s Idea Realization Lab (sign up here). During our first meeting, we’ll be talking about GDC alt.ctrl, the OSHW Summit, & Thotcon Badges.

Here’s a description:

Chicago game developers and hackers! Come on out to our first meeting at the DePaul University Idea Realization Lab. We’ll have a few short presentations from local developers on the platforms and controllers they’ve developed, followed by an open show-and-tell and gathering for people to talk about current, past, and future projects.

Short Presentations for our first meeting:
* Rob Lockhart – Hi-5 Heroes, featured in GDC’s alt.ctrl (
* Drew Fustini – Open Source Hardware Summit badge development (
* Rudy Ristich and Jay Margalus – Thotcon 0x8 and 0x9 games and conference badges (

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Southland Maker Faire Year 5

After four years of about even attendee numbers (~1,000/year), the board of Southland Mini Maker Faire sat down and decided to delay the event until we could give it the attention that it needed to grow. As we put together a new (and larger) board to help guide our vision, I wanted to share one important note: we have a date!

Southland Mini Maker Faire will be on March 2nd. Pending confirmation from the Pipefitter’s Training Center, we will be hosting the event there again. Plan to see many more exhibitors, a more concentrated effort to wrangle larger exhibits, and a renewed emphasis on STEAM education in the surrounding community.

Save the date! Hope to see you all there.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Train Training – A Tumblr of People Running from Trains

For about the last year I’ve Instagrammed the bizarre phenomena of people running from the train. After a friend of mine mentioned that the recordings resembled some of the ones you’d find on a weird niche blog, I decided to spin up a Tumblr where people could find all the posts in one place. I call it Train Training.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

This Should Work Session 5 – Changing Kids Edu Toys, Building Museum Exhibits, and Making with Rachel Hellenga

I really enjoyed talking with Rachel. She has deep experience in designing spaces, experiences, and exercise that advance STEAM learning and making, and deeply cares about approaching education for kids the right way. Hope you enjoy.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

Chicago Makers Resources

I started to compile a list of different makerspaces, links, books, and other community resources for makers in Chicago (inspired by Chicago Makes Games). If you have any additional information that’s missing (of which I’m sure there’s a lot!) please reach out, and I’ll make sure to get it added on.

You can check out the list of resources here.

Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus

This Should Work Session 4 – “And They Learned Things, So That Was Good”

Really enjoyed this interview with my old friend Andrew Morrison. Andrew is a physicist, maker, and community leader. His work with steelpan drums and the physics of music are absolutely fascinating, and his passion for the maker community is clear to anyone listening. Enjoy.


Jay Margalus is on Twitter at @jaymargalus