Hello I'm Declan - Just back from Fab14 in Toulouse

(Declan Scully) #1

Anyone into FabLabs or have a view on the subject?

I thought the event was awesome - more than a 1000 people from all over the world. There was a strong sense of community but it was strange that there were so few people from the UK at the event

(Tom Lynch) #2

Contentious view here, but personally I think the concept is flawed.

The original concept Neil Gershenfeld proposed starts with a list of equipment you need to get started that is prohibitively expensive for any grass roots community initiative to access, indeed most public services like libraries seem to baulk at the start up costs, leaving it only viable for large existing organisations like universities.

The second and most critical flaw in the concept is that you’d just plonk a room full of digital fabrication machines into a location and they will come. What works well amongst the spaces I’ve seen is building a community and responding to what equipment they need.

Admittedly most Fab Labs I’ve seen don’t really conform to the original concept, but a number of the Fab Labs that have existed in the UK outside of other organisations have failed and closed.

(Dermot Jones) #3

I kinda agree with Tom about some aspects of FabLabs

But we heard an inspirational talk from FabLab Barcelona a couple of years back: so much more than a workshop

What were your takeaways? Would be great to hear

(Dermot Jones) #4

@marc_barto was at the Fab cities event in Paris I believe

They had Kate Raworth speak…which make me think they were ahead of the curve, and there’s much we could learn

Marc, how was it?

(Tom Lynch) #6

One of the people I know who lives in Barcelona says it’s too tied in with the university there.