From the experience of Neil Gerhsenfeld and his popular course “How to Make (Almost) Anything“, in 2002 the first Fab Lab was born.
Fab Lab is short for fabrication laboratory, a workshop where things are manufactured, but also for fabulous laboratory. Gershenfeld has taken the fab Lab culture around the world, helping local populations solve the issues of their communities: from the Norwegian shepherd who can locate his sheep on the mountains at the end of the grazing season thanks to a short-range transmission system, to the Indian farmers’ village that doesn’t have enough money to but a tractor and makes do by adapting a motorbike, to the African farmer who pumps water out of a well by means of solar power. All these stories are collected in Gershenfeld’s book “Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop–from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication“.
Since then the Fab Lab community has grown, and each year members of the more than 1,000 worldwide Fab Labs gather to share, collaborate, explore and, of course, fabricate.
FAB12 will take place August 8 to 14, 2016 in and around the city of Shenzhen, China which has a long history of fabricating and manufacturing. The Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association is hosting FAB12 in collaboration with the Fab Foundation and the MIT Center for Bits and Atoms. Today China is embarking on a long-term program to foster innovation and technology, so the city is a perfect incubator for the digital fabrication revolution fab labs are bringing to the world.
FAB12 will focus on Fab Lab 2.0, the ability of a fab lab to use its own digital fabrication tools to produce a fab lab and to produce the manufacturing machines of the future. Central to the meeting is the challenge to the fab community to build the first Fab Lab 2.0 in a week – no small feat, but a challenge the network takes on with enthusiasm!
Registration for the main conference is for the Fab Lab community only, but the Symposium and the public event on the final weekend are open to the public.
All infos can be found on the official site of the event.