If the apocalypse comes, I want to spend it with the teams who competed in the Red Bull Creation event. They were given 72 hours and a pile of junk, along with the mission to illustrate “Energy in Motion”. Any scraps were fair game, from metal to electronics to slabs of wood, and the creations were just astounding. What they created was absolute brilliance, from hamster wheels to see-saws, and did I mention they did it in 3 days? If you left me in a room with a pile of junk and Red Bull, you’d come back to find a hyper-caffienated blogger probably trapped under said pile of junk. You certainly wouldn’t find the jaw-dropping creations these 16 teams welded, nailed, and glued together!
Gear Diary had the opportunity to see the final showcase, and chat with some of the teams as they explained their creations. It sounded like everyone had consumed large amounts of Red Bull, all of them were running on very little sleep, and they ranged in background from video game designers to engineers and biologists. What really amazed me was how they saw random items (i.g., a bike seat, a wheelchair motor, copper piping), and found inspiration — which often wildly varied from team to team.
I had two personal favorite creations from the day. My absolute favorite, because I am a five-year-old deep down, was the Wedgie People Mover by Ruination. It was a metal frame with a trampoline base and a harness suspended by ropes. The operator jumped up and down on the trampoline while in the harness, and the movement pushed the whole contraption forwards. The bouncer could even use additional ropes to steer! Who wouldn’t want to bounce and wedgie their way around?
My other favorite had a leg-up based on their name alone: 1.21 Jigawatts! Sadly they did not create a time machine, but they created something almost as cool; a giant hamster wheel that powered a text message printer. Somehow, in 72 hours these guys built a wheel, hooked up the guts of a cell phone AND created a giant ink printer with a butcher paper feed. And clearly I wasn’t the only impressed, as 1.21 Jigawatts won the competition, along with $10,000 (and the hero-worship of geeks and hackers everywhere)!
One other highlight of the day was the performance by an incredibly talented artist called “That 1 Guy”. He used a self-designed and built instrument he calls the “Magic Pipe”. His music was funky and cool, and if you had your eyes closed you would never believe it was coming from a 7ft series of pipes! Be sure to check out his, and if he’s coming to your town GO SEE HIM!
They say a picture is worth 1,000 words, and while I could spend all day describing the brilliant creations we saw, it’s best to just peruse our extensive gallery below. This seriously was an amazing event. Some of the teams had no experience with welding, and yet they turned out polished, amazing, functional creations! Makes you eye your overstuffed garage in a whole new light, doesn’t it?
Check out the official Red Bull video on the maker scene that inspired the event (and more on the official Red Bull Creation site), plus all our amazing photographs, courtesy of Sarah Wolff.
Let us know in the comments what would you have used to illustrate “Energy in Motion”, with the random flotsam and jetsam of New York City as your supplies!