Newsletter - April 2012

Here is the April 2012 Newsletter of the International Fab Lab Association. We will inform you about what is happening in our association and abroad and how you can participate. Feel free to forward it further!


  • From the board
  • Picture of the month
  • How to manage a Fab Lab
  • Africa in the picture
  • Fab ✱ Manchester coming soon
  • Web site member pages
  • Reading and watching
  • Upcoming events
  • Statistics
  • Colophon

From the board

From left to right: Alex, Betty, Hiro, Lass, Pieter, Axel, Lindi, Peter

In our board meeting via Skype on April 16th, we focused on expanding the Fab Academy educational content by a new training program on "How to manage a Fab Lab", new developments in Africa, and our web site; see below for more information. Our next board meeting has been scheduled for May 14th 2012. We will send you our May Newsletter one week later.

FABulous greetings!
Alex, Axel, Betty, Hiro, Lass, Lindi, Peter, Pieter

Picture of the month

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CC-AT David Jones
What are you seeing, where on earth is this found and what is its relation with Fab Labs? The answer will be revealed in our next issue.

Atlanta Img 5242
The picture in the March 2012 issue of our Newsletter showed a prestigious FAB building in Atlanta GA, USA. Unfortunately, not a Fab Lab, but a French American Brasserie, apparently a popular spot on St. Patrick's Day.

How to manage a Fab Lab

Many members of the Fab Lab community have asked for training in setting-up and running a Fab Lab, not just from a technical perspective, but from a management and sustainability perspective. Fab Academy currently features a semester-long, 20-module diploma course packed with technical topics and skill building. This Fall, in response to requests, we plan to pilot a program in ”How to manage a Fab Lab”.

A workgroup chaired by Klaas Hernamdt (, supported by the International Fab Lab Association working with staff and members of the Fab Academy is designing a complementary training program to handle the demand for Fab Lab set-up and management skills. A separate "Preview" document gives you a preview of the pilot managerial training program and asks for your feedback. Based on your feedback, the workgroup will complete its design efforts including a budget and price range. The workgroup intends to start this pilot program in September 2012.

Please, see the separate document titled "Preview: Expanding Fab Academy educational content: "How to manage a Fab Lab" and fill the short questionnaire!

Africa in the picture

The Fab Lab community is growing well in Africa. South Africa today counts seven active Fab Labs, almost all with at least the first three A's in our quadruple rating system. A new one is planned in the Science Park South Africa (The Innovation Hub). Further there are two Fab Labs in Kenya and one in Ghana already. There are Fab Labs under development in Namibia, Benin and Burkina Faso and a new one is being planned for Mali.

As the demand for new Fab Labs in Africa is growing Lindi Mophuti and the Namibian Fab Lab team have set-up the FAN-Alliance, i.e. the Fab Lab African Network Alliance. They are going to assist African countries with anything related to Fab Labs and instill the knowledge sharing amongst the African Communities.

The organizers of the "eLearning Africa" conference in Benin (23-25 May 2012), have planned a session with the surprising title "Do Fab Labs and Tablets Feature as the Next Generation in African eLearning?". Anyway, Lindi Mophuti and Pieter van der Hijden will prepare a 15 minutes introduction on Fab Labs, called: "Fab Lab: Shifting eLearning from Bits to Atoms". If other Fab Labs are attending the conference, please let us know. We then may schedule some extra meetings.

Fab ✱ Manchester coming soon

Fab ✱ Manchester, 17-19 May, is open for registration here: Experience af packed programme of arts and fabbing, covering such diverse subjects as "Open Source Nation" and "Open Design Definition", learn how to create gadgets from Open Data, create Modular Art or learn from European Case Studies about the diverse FabLab practice, this time from Vienna, Utrecht and Helsinki, and the range of FabLab technology, from the MiniFabLab to the Russian Fab Toy Technopark proposal and Autodesk’s new 123D tools -- or simply help to assemble an Ultimaker for FabLab Greece (details on the programme at

To get a discount on the conference on Friday 18 May, use this code: Fablab2012 (when asked to buy a ticket from FutureEverything). Bursaries are available, please contacting

Web site member pages

We finally will start filling the member pages on our web site. Within a few days you receive account details that give you access to the following content:

  • our year program
  • our backstage with information on ongoing work to review the Fab charter etc., the common set of machines, the design of Fab Academy 2, and working on Organizational Health and Safety
  • our archive with the minutes of our annual general members meeting and monthly board meetings
  • our preparations for Fab8 and the next general members meeting

Reading and watching

Economist - special report

Picture by Brett Ryder (Economist, 21 April 2012)

The Economist published a special report on manufacturing and innovation. "As manufacturing goes digital, it will change out of all recognition and some of the business of making things will return to rich countries." The report counts nine articles covering: A third industrial revolution, Factories and jobs: Back to making stuff, Comparative advantage: The boomerang effect, Materials: Forging ahead, Additive manufacturing: Solid print, Additive manufacturing: Layer by layer, Collaborative manufacturing: All together now, Automation: Making the future. See the Economist print edition (21 April 2012) and/or its website at; up to 5 articles may be read weekly without charge.

Bloom's taxonomy 2.0

Picture by Samantha Penney (see text)

In 1956, B. S. Bloom developed a taxonomy of thinking levels in learning processes. In the nineties, it was updated a little bit and this revised model is still often used. Recently, Samantha Penney, Director of Distance Education at Indiana State University, collected about 50 popular webtools and categorised them following Bloom's revised taxonomy of remembering, understanding, applying, analyzing, evaluating and creating. The picture above shows her results. Clicking on it, brings you to There you find the same picture in its full size and interactive. All tools are clickable!

Upcoming events

For the latest information, check our website at




Our association has 123 members (individual persons). If you know people interested in becoming a member, let them fill in the form you find on

There are now 135 Fab Labs. Please, check your ratings at!
Stats April 2012
Contact: Lindi Mophuti.


This Newsletter is sent to you on behalf of the Board of the International Fab Lab Association. Our central email address is; the address of our preliminary web site is

Of course, you also can contact our board members directly:

International Fab Lab Association – – Bank relation Triodos Bank, Zeist, The Netherlands, IBAN NL20 TRIO 0254 3246 57, BIC TRIONL2U – PayPal, Chamber of Commerce NL 53099230

Cc ByThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.