American DIY Culture – Past & Present Lecture & Workshop at Historic Lewis H. Latimer House

The Chinese community in Flushing and beyond is welcomed to celebrate the opening of the Lewis H. Latimer Tinkering Studio and to honor the principles of Maker culture that inspired it’s creation. The house will hold a lecture on the American DIY Culture in honor of Lewis H. Latimer’s self-inventing spirit, on Saturday, Dec. 6th, 2014. First session, 12pm-2:00pm; Second session, 2:30pm-6:30pm.

The lecture is being co-presented by the 纽约文化沙龙NYShalong (New York Cultural Salon), a non-profit dedicated to promoting free thinking through weekly lectures targeted at Chinese communities.

DIY – Do It Yourself is an important part of American modern life. There have been numerous industries descendant of this concept in the U.S., at a number incomparable by many other countries’. Since the industrial revolution products have been copied and reproduced in enormous quantities. With a simple payment, people can own products identical to everyone else’s. However, the rise of DIY culture offered an alternative, the flexibility of deciding an object’s function and style. In this lecture we’ll explore how the history, from developing the West, the Amish culture, Punk culture, to today’s Maker culture, has nourished and transformed the American DIY culture. We’ll also look at the current DIY resources and techniques, and how to make use of easy-to-get materials. Through simple and real examples the audience will learn about how to craft their own DIY products. *The lecture will be conducted in Chinese.

Before the lecture, Latimer House will host a lantern-making workshop in its Tinkering Lab, offering real DIY experience to the audience. The workshop will be led by Mollie Roth, artist in residence of Materials for the Arts (MFTA). The Tinkering Lab can host up to 15-16 people.


WANG Xinjun, a graduate of Taiwan National Cheng Kung University and Cranbrook Academy of Art, is the Founder and Design Director of HCWD Studio.

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