The Idea Foundry: Making a Home for Makers with Alex Bandar

Alex Bandar, PhD, is an engineer by training and entrepreneur by accident. After having worked for 10 years as a computational metallurgist with clients ranging from GE to Apple to Honda, he founded the Columbus Idea Foundry, which has been called by TechCrunch, “The World’s Largest Maker Space.” It’s home to a wide assortment of artists, metal workers, carpenters, designers, small businesses, musicians – the list goes on and on. 

As you might expect, he is passionate about the culture of innovation neighborhoods and speaks and consults regularly on this exciting emerging topic.

Alex grew up with a love of science fiction. He was fascinated by the technological possibilities depicted on the big screen. As he got older, he decided engineering was what would put him closest to making that magic a reality, but that wasn’t the case. Along the way, he learned to combine his fascination with technology and love of making things in a unique way that opens up those same opportunities for the rest of his community. 

His point of view on creativity and expression are as refreshing as they are familiar. It’s great to interview and highlight people like Alex who are having an impact on their community in ways that so directly align with what Gravity is all about. Enjoy.

What Brett asks:

  • [02:09] Can you tell us about your childhood?
  • [09:25] When did you make the connection between your childhood spark and what you do today?
  • [14:22] Why do some persevere while others give up?
  • [18:35] How did your interests as a kid fall into alignment with who you are today?
  • [33:04] What is the meaning behind your tattoo?
  • [38:05] How did the Idea Foundry get started?
  • [51:32] Where do you see things going in the maker space?
  • [1:00:27] What are your thoughts on the metaverse?

Lesson for intentional living:  1-2 important lessons from Brett’s POV

  • Getting early work experience has less to do with the kind of work you do and more about developing real life skills. Almost everything we learn and experience throughout our lives can be integrated and used later in life no matter how unrelated it might seem. There are so many skills that transcend industry and teach us about personal and interpersonal management.