Maker’s Asylum: Where Ideas and Passion Collide

In a pre-Covid interview, workplace transformation expert Parthajeet Sarma engages in a conversation with Vaibhav Chhabra, founder of community makerspace Maker’s Asylum. The discussion revolves around the unique environment of Maker’s Asylum, where individuals from diverse backgrounds come together to work, collaborate, and exchange ideas. Chhabra provides insights into the inspiring and dynamic atmosphere that drives creativity and innovation within the space.

Chhabra introduces Maker’s Asylum as a place where individuals with different skill sets and interests converge, transcending traditional boundaries. Engineers, designers, accountants, authors, and architects all find a home at Maker’s Asylum. The diverse community fosters cross-pollination of ideas, creating an environment where inspiration thrives. Chhabra emphasizes that the interaction among individuals from various fields sparks creativity and facilitates learning.

Chhabra and Sarma sit down for a chat about Maker’s Asylum. Click to watch the the interview.

Sarma and Chhabra delve into the concept of interdisciplinary collaboration, highlighting the positive impact it has on idea generation and problem-solving. Chhabra shares an anecdote about a friend who builds flying wheelchairs, while other members at Maker’s Asylum work on projects such as electric motorcycles. The exposure to different projects and skill sets fuels inspiration and learning. Chhabra explains that when people are engrossed in their work, they become focused on their own tasks. However, when placed in an interdisciplinary environment, they can witness the skills and techniques of others, leading to enhanced creativity and new perspectives.

The conversation shifts to the changing landscape of work in India. He observes that within his circle, many artists, designers, and creatives have embraced unconventional work styles. The rise of digital nomadism is also evident, with individuals working remotely from various locations around the world. Chhabra envisions a future where engineers and designers who work on physical products can also enjoy the freedom to travel and create in different global settings.

Sarma highlights the contrast between the global narrative of digital nomadism and the limited presence of such practices in India. Chhabra agrees and suggests that the digital nomad culture is still emerging in the Indian context, especially for those working with hardware. However, he believes that in the future, mechanical engineers and designers will also have the opportunity to travel and create, leveraging the resources and tools available in different locations.

The interview explores the origin of the name “Maker’s Asylum” and its underlying philosophy. Chhabra describes the space as an “ashram” or a haven for individuals to freely express their creativity. The name reflects the spirit of playfulness and experimentation that permeates the environment. Chhabra highlights that the space was created by the members themselves, resulting in a unique atmosphere where every table, chair, and light fixture carries its own character. The energy of the space is palpable, with members free to express themselves through various activities, such as playing drums in the evening.

A variety of activities at Maker’s Asylum

Chhabra challenges the notion that productivity requires a quiet and sterile environment. He believes that workspaces can be vibrant and energetic, stimulating creativity and passion. Maker’s Asylum embodies this philosophy, where work is viewed as enjoyable as long as it remains fun. Chhabra emphasizes that work can be engaging and fulfilling when individuals have the freedom to pursue their passions and collaborate with like-minded individuals.

In conclusion, Maker’s Asylum serves as a testament to the power of collaboration, interdisciplinary exchange, and creative freedom. It provides a platform for individuals from diverse backgrounds to come together, break free from conventional work patterns, and explore new horizons. Chhabra’s insights shed light on the changing work landscape in India, where unconventional work styles and digital nomadism are gaining momentum. Maker’s Asylum stands as a beacon of inspiration, nurturing a community where ideas flourish, passions ignite, and innovation knows no bounds.

Watch the video of full interview here

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