The Neighborhood Laboratories (FabLabs), A Boost to Creative Thinking

The Professor of Graphic Design at the University of Paris emphasizes that, in the FabLabs, the philosophy of “learning by doing is fundamental because it motivates people to create their own knowledge, share their skills and learn new things.


Guanajuato, Gt.- Within the framework of the International Forum of High Level Innovation for Sustainable Development held from September 1 to 15 in Guanajuato , the doctor-researcher in Aesthetics and Design, Camille Bosque, explained in an interview the main focus of his work: the FabLabs (Manufacturing Laboratories) and makerspaces (producers) , which for her constitute fields of social experimentation beyond mere production, as community work can be generated through design and production.

The professor at the University of Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne , graphic design teacher and consultant, participated during Module 3 “Educational Innovation for Sustainable Development ” , held during the first day of the International High Level Forum : Innovation for Sustainable Development, where it delved into FabLabs and its impact on creative thinking and innovation.

What conditions are required to successfully constitute spaces in FabLabs

In Guanajuato, especially in an industrial context that is not yet oriented to personalized production?

 The creation of a FabLab requires three basic and very important elements: first, a community, second, a place and third, machines.

Even when machines such as 3D printers, laser cutters or CNC milling machines are necessary to create a FabLab laboratory, I would say that creating a community involved in the project in an integral way is, perhaps, the most important and most important aspect. hard.

A FabLab has to be a bottom-up project and not a government initiative that comes from above. When the control of the FabLabs belongs completely to a government, the socially perceived risk is so high that people are much less involved in the development of the government and in the work network, and it has better results if it comes from a horizontal structure.

When I visited MIT-FabLab in Norway , in the city of Lyngen,Far away, above the Arctic Circle, I met Haakon Karlsen who is a pioneer of the FabLab movement. His project was established in 2003 with the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) program. He taught me that FabLabs are not only about machines or production, but about people . In this FabLab there is a huge kitchen and a fireplace room for everyone and it is not only a place with sophisticated and high-tech machines, but also a place of local innovation and is currently both a real community center, as a place to do prototypes

The locals and people of the region gather in theFabLab to work, celebrate weddings or casual meals, or support each other with the repair of basic things. Custom production is not the first thing to think about when the bet is the FabLabs. Empowerment and community are key goals for the movement.

Could you mention two short-term benefits by creating FabLabs?

The first would be the opportunity to gather a community around a FabLab , which will allow people from different social strata and professional backgrounds to be involved . The second has to do with education.In FabLabs the philosophy of learning by doing is very important and people are motivated to create their own knowledge, share their skills and learn new things . The impact in terms of education is very important, especially for younger people who do not like going to school.

 What precautions should be taken by the state and society on the way to a more technologically advanced and developed industry to avoid over-exploitation of resources, damage to the environment and theft of intellectual property?

It is true that in FabLabs or in producer spaces in general, machines use a lot of energy, and 3D printers, a lot of plastic, which is often used in large quantities without being recycled.. But I have met many people working on these issues, trying to develop machines to recycle and create new materials and I think this reality will change soon. We can also consider that, in these places, people are increasingly alert of “programmed obsolescence” and want to repair their objects instead of throwing them away.

Digital personal manufacturing is a good way to be more aware of the objects and systems they use and try to understand how electronic devices work and can be hacked or transformed when they don’t work well.

As far as intellectual property is concerned, “ Creative Commons ” licenses are a greatsolution for producers and designers who want to share their projects without taking risks. This allows its dissemination, while helping to protect the author of an idea . These licenses are increasingly used and it is a first step to protect new ideas while promoting information sources and sharing them.

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