Newsletter - November 2012
This is the November 2012 Newsletter of the International Fab Lab Association. It is an association of individuals interested in and/or involved in the Fab Lab community. It is a democratic organization run by its members. We will inform you about what is happening in the Fab Lab world and how you can participate. Feel free to forward this Newsletter!
- From the board
- Message from the president
- Conference reports (FABFUSE2012, Fab8, Open Knowledge Festival)
- Interview: Thoughts and wishes of Haakon Karlsen jr
- Japan Presented First Mobile Mini Fab Lab at Fab8
- Surprising outcomes of workshop on Fab Lab life cycle
- Picture of the month
- Upcoming events
From the board
From left to right: Peter, Betty, Lass, Axel, Lindi, Alex, Chris, Katie, Nicolas
You are reading the long-awaited new issue of our newsletter. We reflect the busy lives that so many of you also have - fabbing and catching up with all the exciting things we get involved in! Sadly the newsletter got delayed. We hope that this newsletter still shares our excitement with you, Now it is packed with reports, stories, information and thoughts. Let us know what you think and want to share with us!
There are new faces on the committee: Chris Jackson (NZ), Katie Rast (USA) and Nicolas Lassabe (FR). At the elections at Fab8, we had eleven candidates which brought us in a situation where no candidate got more than 50% of the total votes. Given that, we realized that we need to review the official voting procedure in the future. Anyway, instead of allowing no new committee members, we decided to welcome the candidates with the most votes. Pieter and Hiro orderly resigned, since by our constitution one third of the board has to resign each year; our thanks go to them for their contributions in the past.
The new composition of the committee is great because the board members now cover almost every (time) zone of the earth. Good for response times all over the day for the whole world - a pain for planning meetings ;-)
Detailed results of the voting can be found here: http://www.fablabinternational.org/members-area/archive-page
The interest in being a candidate for the board by so many reflects the fact that we as an organisation are noticed in the community, and we are growing. We had a fulminant start and membership numbers are approaching 200, but we also have not yet convinced everyone that the association is actually useful, and many of those who are convinced appreciate the existance of the association but are not sure what it exactly stands for and where it relates to others within the fab ecosystem. We see that we communicate regularly with the members and the community at large but we have not established a real dialogue yet. We also realized that we have proposed a course on "How to manage a Fab Lab", but we fell short of connecting it properly with Fab Academy.
As every organisation we are revising our goals and structure from time to time. We see it as a design iteration and for that we need your help again. It is clear that we have been and still are (more than ever) an organisation of individuals. As the board of the association see the need for a public window to the fab lab community, an interaction point for the whole world and a global point of reference. We want to be as open as possible for the community, which is growing exponentially, with over 160 labs to date.
We have serious doubts that our name properly reflects that ambition. "International Association" sounds so formal. And it creates an image for many that such a body would certify what a Fab Lab is -- which we don't.
So we decided to ask you, the members, how our name could reflect better what we want to be and achieve. How should we call ourselves? You can participate very easyly via an etherpad (a web-based collaborative real-time editor) at http://openetherpad.org/PxGwpozlWl
You see that we are trying to connect online as well as we can but also know that the best and most productive moments are when we all meet locally in the Fab Labs and globally at conferences and events.
FABulous greetings! Alex, Axel, Betty, Chris, Katie, Lass, Lindi, Nicolas, Peter
Message from the president
The committee has made me president of this organisation. This is an honour and a pleasure.
It is particularly a pleasure to welcome Chris Jackson (Fab Lab Wellington), Katie Rast (Fab Lab San Diego) and Nicolas Lassabe (Artilect, Toulouse) as new colleagues to the committee. They will help us to broaden our view and to reach out to the community better than before.
My vision for us is to become the place where we turn to if our local resources are exhausted and our personal networks don't have the answers for our questions.
To that end, I want us to become the group that connects all Fab Lab users worldwide. That will help us, for instance, to organize regional Fab Lab User Meet-Ups.
I see us as a facilitator of discourse, as an instrument to make better connections, as a place for the international Fab Lab community to gather and grow. In no way must we be seen as a body of centralization and control; we are here by and for the community at large.
To a brilliant future of the international Fab Lab community.
Report of FABFUSE2012
On August, 8 - 11 2012 the first international grassroots Fab Lab conference - FABFUSE2012 - took place in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. About 50 people from France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ukraine and Switzerland gathered for three days of grass roots related presentations, workshops and lovely DIY barbeque. The topics ranged from social aspects (like ecological/environmental aspects of fab labs, open design, etc.) to organizational aspects (learning, mini FabLab) to technical aspects (3D scanning and building of open source laser cutters).
Some pictures of the FABFUSE are in our blog http://www.fablabinternational.org/blog/review-fabfuse2012-first-international-grassroots-fab-lab-conference
Recordings of the presentations can be found at https://vimeo.com/tag:fabfuse
For details see: http://fabfuse.org/en
HAERE MAI" which means "Welcome" in the Māori language was the motto of this year's Fab Lab meeting in Wellington, New Zealand. It was really a warm welcome that the organizers in the center of the world (depending on your map ;-) made their guests. The approximately 100 guests came from almost all over the world (Africa, the Americas, Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and Russia). Everyone celebrated the official opening of the first Australasian Fab Lab in Wellington with days and nights of fabbing, talking and drinking (all in one go!). There were also many interesting presentations, workshops, our general meeting and on Monday, August 27th the Academic Symposium on Digital Fabrication. The Academic symposium closed with the Fab Academy Graduation 2012. Our congratulations to all graduates!
There was again a World Fab Cup. This year's challenge was to build a flying object, which was able to be airborne for at least 30 seconds. The winner object in the category "fab lab style" was Carlos from San Diego. He made a flying balloon vessel that was powered by a fuel cell. Winner in the category "creativity" was Axel from Hamburg with a quite natural object. The main winner was Jens from Norway with his fabbed Quadrocopter.
Open Knowledge Festival report
At the Open Knowledge Festival one of 14 streams was dedicated to Open Design, Hardware, Manufacturing and Making (http://okfestival.org/open-design/). It took place at the Aalto Media Factory and FabLab in Helsinki. At the FabLab, participants constructed basic laser cut devices, developed an optical heart rate meter and built a DIYLILCNC.
Highlights of the talks included Gerin Trautenberger on Open Design and SMEs in Austria, Tomas Magroni on the legal aspects of Open Design, Alistair Fuad-Luke on an framework for interrogating the purposes of design, designers and the act of designing in past, present and future contexts.
The stream also addressed open source hardware for renewable energy and open hardware and gender issues.
All talks can be viewed at http://okfestival.org/open-design/
Japan Presented First Mobile Mini Fab Lab at Fab8
The left side of the kit (see picture) contains a green solar desk lamp, the iModela 3D milling machine, a CraftRobo cutting plotter and a powerfilm, a roll-able solar charger that generates enough power to let the machines work wherever you are (in the sun). The right part houses electronics, tools, materials, etc. Of course, the Fab Lab Kamakra will document the whole ASAP. Contact: Hiroya Tanaka, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Surprising outcomes of workshop on Fab Lab life cycle
During FAB8, Beno Juarez (Peru), Victor Freundt (Peru), Lindi Mophuti (South Africa), and Pieter van der Hijden (The Netherlands) organised a 3 hr workshop during one of the parallel tracks. It was titled Fab Lab Life Cycle: how to start a Fab Lab, Sustainability, Advocacy and Marketing and Fab courses to help. Part of this workshop was a short survey, that lead to some surprising outcomes:
- almost all participants (25) represented Fab Labs in their set-up stage
- nevertheless these Fab Labs where very active already; they listed their activities by underlying business model, which resulted in access (6), education (11), enabler (0), incubator (4), network (1), attraction (0) and human resources (1)
- altogether the participants identified a broad variety of 72 learning needs; they were classified as setting-up, business development, commercial, human resources, legal affairs, running the Fab Lab and technology.
All the inputs and outputs of this workshop can be found here (http://www.fablabinternational.org/resources-page/reading-and-watching/fab-lab-life-cycle)
Picture of the month
What are you seeing, where on earth is this found and what is its relation with Fab Labs? A little hint: this month, there is a famous festival in the same town. The answer will be revealed in our next issue.
|The picture in the August 2012 issue of our Newsletter showed Bart Bakker's miniFabLab in Utrecht in the Netherlands. It houses the complete set of fablab machines, but on a A4 format. The miniFabLab started as a small makerspace but is evolving now into a place that assists people wanting to start a medium or small fablab.|
Please provide us with fab lab related event announcements. For the latest information, check our website at http://www.fablabinternational.org/newsroom--2/upcoming-events.
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