Newsletter - June 2012

This is the June 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
  • FAB8 New Zealand - Open for registration
  • FABFUSE2012 is the first international grassroots Fab Lab conference
  • FAB✱Education in Bremen (Germany): positive shock!
  • Fab Lab Songhai, Porto-Novo, Bénin
  • Short messages
  • 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 June 11th, we focused on the proposal to update of the Fab charter that we will present at Fab 8. We were struggling with the variety of suggestions we received, as we want to evoke a clear and focused discussion during Fab8 while avoiding too much influence from our side. Further we had an interesting conversation with Jean-Michel Molenaar (Fab Lab, Grenoble, France) who joined our meeting partially. Many visitors of Fab Labs in French speaking countries, prefer documentation and communication in their mother tongue. There are even more cultural differences. We appreciated these clarifications. Regarding the Fab Labs in French speaking developing countries, twin relations with Fab Labs in France were recommended. Further, our next General Meeting will be organized during Fab8. There are two vacancies in the board to fulfill. If you are interested, please contact one of the board members for more information. All members have the right to candidate themselves.

Our next board meeting has been scheduled for July 9th 2012. That date is also the deadline for our June Newsletter which will be published one week later.

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

Picture of the month

June Img 5549 450
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.

The picture in the May 2012 issue of our Newsletter showed COEP, the College of Engineering in Pune (India), seat of the COEP Fab Lab. Other Fab Labs in India may be found in Ahmedabad (National Innovation Foundation), Delhi (Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology), and Kanpur (Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur).

FAB8 New Zealand - Open for registration

FAB8 will be held in Wellington, New Zealand this year. The program runs from Wednesday 22 August - Tuesday 28 August 2012. It starts with three days of workshops and special interest topics. One of them is session-1 of the annual members meeting of the International Fab Lab Association. Then, during two days (the weekend) a Fab Camp is organized. In the same interval, association members can vote on a range of issues electronically. The next day, Monday, the Academic Symposium takes place. The last day, Tuesday, is for final business meetings including session-2 of our members meeting where the results of the voting processes will be published. And of course, there will be a competition: Fab Flight. Fab8 is now open for registration. The entrance fee for seven days is NZ$ 450. More details can be found in a special Newsletter from Fab Foundation at Draft program and registration form can be found at

FAB✱Education in Bremen (Germany): positive shock!

The Research Group Digital Media in Education (Dimeb) at Bremen University (Germany) organised a Fab*Education symposium from 15-17 June 2012 with additional activities (still) going on until 29 June. Organizer Karsten Joost said they were "positively shocked" by the international attention resulting in a full house. Some speakers even forgot the usual Verkehrssprache for such meetings :). Here are some highlights.

Dennis Krannich (Dimeb,, Paolo Blikstein (Stanford University, and Keimpe de Heer (Waag Society, presented the wide range of Fab related education programs they developed. They not only had inspiring ideas, they also implemented them and, in the case of both universities, studied their learning outcomes. Stanford even managed to set-up about seven embedded Fab Labs in educational institutes abroad and is discussing to set-up another five. Note, the FabLearn 2012 conference they will organize in October 2012 (see upcoming events).

Heidi Schelhowe (conrector, Dimeb) stressed the importance of the Fab Lab as learning environment where physical and virtual reality are combined. Her research and development agenda contains interesting themes like: how do models become transparent, how can the history of products become visible, and how can errors become accessible. Further, speakers from Germany, Austria and The Netherlands presented their theories and practices on Fab Labs and education.

A variety of Fab Labs and students brought their stuff all the way to Bremen and demonstrated them in the beautiful university patio. To conclude: a rich encounter and certainly a sound matrix to launch Fab Lab Bremen. Gratuliere!

FABFUSE2012 is the first international grassroots Fab Lab conference

Most Fab Labs around the world were founded or funded by big institutions. There is an increasing interest however in establishing community supported workshops for digital fabrication which are financially independent and approach the Fab Lab from a grassroots perspective. FABFUSE2012 intends to bring everyone together who has a grassroots Fab Lab, who wants to start one, who has to rethink the strategy of their existing Fab Lab and everyone else interested. Place and time: Amersfoort, The Netherlands; 8-11 August 2012. See also:

Fab Lab Songhai, Porto-Novo, Bénin

Songhai 1 Img 5387 225 Songhai Img 5384 225

Left: Project Songhai logo; right: Cyril Ogouchina (IT-manager) and "Founding Father" Godfrey Nzamujo

In the city of Porto-Novo (New Porto), founded originally by the Portuguese, in the former French colony that is now the République de Bénin, a man  from Nigerian origin with several master degrees and PhD's, has set-up Project Songhai, a production, learning and innovation center on agriculture, cattle breeding and fishery. Father Godfrey Nzamujo recognizes the importance of the agricultural sector for Africa and tries to make it more sustainable and competitive, thus slowing down the massive rural exodus. A central principle of the Songhai initiative is that the only way to fight poverty effectively is by making the poor productive. That is what happens in Songhai. It is a big education institute that "produces" young professionals and entrepreneurs in the agricultural field. Learning happens at three levels: production processes, the innovation of these processes and innovation of the marketing of the products. The ecosystems of agriculture, cattle breeding and fishing are interconnected. Waste from one system is re-used in the other, etc. Apart from plantations, ponds and stables, project Songhai has guest houses, a restaurant, a conference facility (open air), cybercafé and now a Fab Lab as well. Emmanuel Gilloz from France recently organized the first boot camp. The Songhai system is copied to various other African countries. See also:

Short messages

Upcoming events

For the latest information, check our website at




Our association has 143 members (individual persons). If you know people interested in becoming a member, let them fill in the form you find on

There are now 143 Fab Labs. Please, check your ratings at!
2012.06 Statistics
Contact: Lindi Mophuti.


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