Fablabs in the border region / FabLab Genk

Duration: October 2011 – September 2014

Project Description:

The project Fablabs in the border region wants to stimulate the collaboration between students and researches from universities and university colleges with industry and social economy. Furthermore, it wants to encourage entrepreneurship among young people by giving them a chance in realising a first small series of products.

A FabLab (Fabrication or Fabulous Laboratory) offers ‘open source hardware’ to create an affordable prototype. It is a workplace that is open to everyone, following the example of MIT’s Neil Gershenfeld. FabLabs aim to explore the implications and applications of personal fabrication. A FabLab allows people to develop and perfect a prototype of almost any imaginable product. In line of the philosophy of the FabLab, the access to the lab and its cutting edge equipment is absolutely free – including the training one can follow to get acquainted with the hard- and software in the laboratory – provided that the designs are shared with others (via the internet). Documentation and digitally sharing designs with every other FabLab in the world are thus essential, place FabLabs in the context of ‘open source’.

The creation of FabLab Genk is an important part of the project. Currently, FabLab Genk is already open and fully operational for students, researchers, exernal designers and amateurs. For more information, see: fablabgenk.be

Website: FabLab Genk website

Team members from CUO | Social Spaces:

Katrien Dreessen, Danny Leen, Niels Hendriks, Jessica Schoffelen

Partners:
research group Social Spaces (MAD-Faculty)
Catholic University of Leuven
Expertise centre for Digital Media (EDM), Hasselt University
PHL
FabLab Zuid-Limburg
Brainport Development

Funding:
Interreg IV-programma voor de grensregio Vlaanderen-Nederland

Publications:

De Weyer, T., Taelman, J., Luyten, K. Leen, D., Schepers, S. & Dreessen, K. (2013) Hack-a-thing: A Series of FabLab Genk Workshops for Reusing and Repurposing Depreciated Objects. The First European Fab Lab Conference FabLabCon 2013, Aachen, Germany, September 9, 2013.

Huybrechts, H., Dreessen, K. & Schepers, S. (2013). The role of ‘openness’ in participatory design research. 10th European Academy of Design Conference, 17 – 19 April 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden. ISBN 978-91-979541-5-0, pp. 1 – 13 [Refereed Conference Paper].

Recent activities:

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