Engineer, researcher, educator and artist Michael Shiloh uses tinkering as a hands-on method for teaching art and technology to children and adults. He co-founded Teach me to make together with his partner Judy Castro: „We teach people how to make things because we believe that the esthetic of tinkering is really what drives people to think differently about objects. My favorite quote is ‚I didn’t know you could make that, I thought you had to buy it.’ Things are something you can make, not just something you buy. Our relationship to devices that we have designed and built is very different than our relationship to devices that we just buy off the shelf.“ Tinkering is the esthetic that Michael is using of taking things apart, of discovering what’s inside and of repurposing items. In his projects and workshops, Michael uses foam core, concrete, computers, hot glue, steel, Linux, electronics, pneumatics, hydraulics, remote controls, and broken glass. Click here for pictures of Michael’s gadget construction workshop at Lift France. Michael was the open source community liaison for mobile computing platform Openmoko. All the design information of Openmoko’s FreeRunner phone has been handed over to the community two months ago. According to Michael, the key breakthrough Openmoko achieved is to kickstart a collaborative way to develop consumer electronics: „Part of the effort of Openmoko is to migrate all of this from the commercial software to the open source software so it is available and useful to anyone. It’s not only about opening up the source but also the design process to allow for collaborative open source hardware development.“ In Michael's view we're heading towards decentralized design that can be done by anyone anywhere in the world: „We’re now seeing a shift in the way consumer electronics are being developed. We can choose what to make and we can all start creating devices the way we would like them using our own vision and artistic viewpoint. And we can design things to be hacked and repairable. The line between art and industrial design gets blurred.“ More presentations from Lift France 2009 will be posted in the days to come. Click here for an overview of interviews and presentations from Lift conference.