Rolloween: Inspiring Montreal makers step up to create the ultimate Halloween costume making one boy happier than ever to trick or treat!
The Maker Movement embraces just about any challenge and looks for the best DIY way to shake things up and overcome it. In this case, a group of eager makers stepped in to produce Chad, an exciting, remarkably real not to mention practical Halloween costume solution for young Émile.
Unlike years past when Émile, born with a disability that requires him to use a wheelchair, has found Halloween to be a particularly challenging celebration, thanks to a group of Montréal makers this year he will have THE ultimate in Halloween costumes for himself as well as his wheelchair.
Having pulled together imagination, creativity, serious maker skills, as well as generosity and commitment, this group of makers created a dragon in his castle, or, simply, Chad.
Beyond Magic: A Dragon Comes to Life
Halloween costumes are not designed for children to wear sitting down and for those people requiring an assisted mobility device, getting around towns and cities is not easy even at the best of times, let alone at night, dressed in costume.
Inspired to create a fun, festive, and practical costume for Émile, the maker group collected all the necessary materials to create Chad: polystyrene for the castle to surround the wheelchair, thermoplastic to form the dragon head, silk and green polylactic acid (PLA) filament to 3D print the dragon scales, an umbrella to build the wings, foam to build parts of the costume and a set of Hallowing — programmable eyes for the dragon.
Coming together every two weeks in the months ahead of October 31st, the group spent their weekends hard at work in the garage of a member of Duct Tapers Anonymous. Other meetings took place at Milieux Make — the Milieux Institute for Arts Culture and Technology makerspace.
As the costume came together, Émile visited the garage for fittings.
This Halloween, thanks to the ingenuity and skills of this dedicaged groupe of people, Émile will BE Chad the Dragon. He will also show off the amazing creation during the Montréal Maker Faire, produced by Concordia University on Nov. 16-17.
Magic Wheelchair is a non-profit organization “that builds epic costumes for kiddos in wheelchairs — at no cost to families.” The organization started with Ryan Weimer whose son was born with spinal muscular dystrophy. When his son wanted to be a pirate for Halloween, Ryan decided to turn his wheelchair into a pirate ship.
Following the inspiration of Magic Wheelchair, Concordia University’s Education Makers and Montréal’s Duct Tapers Anonymous decided to get together to build a wheelchair Halloween costume. Education Makers had experimented with 3D printing dragon scales on fabric and with thermoplastic. Duct Tapers Anonymous offered up a wealth of know-how ranging from handymen, engineers, sculptors and seamstresses.
This project is exactly what Maker Culture is all about – seeing a challenge and turning it on its head! Disrupting how things might conventionally be done. The Rolloween project is a perfect example.
A boy who simply wanted to be a dragon for Halloween helped spur much-needed change in Halloween costume design, encouraging inclusiveness and respect for differences in the tradition of Halloween.