The bizarre bazaar: FabLabs as hybrid hubs

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

In this paper, we consider the FabLab as an experimental facility for research, intervention and learning. By providing a space that affords close proximity between users, producers, technologies and materials, the FabLab affords a ‘hybrid hub’ for weaving relations between these. Borrowing the metaphor of ‘the bazaar’, we argue that FabLabs, due to their open and nonregulated character, can be seen as offering what we call a ‘bizarre bazaar’ for exchange, fabrication and knowledge creation. Based on the background of our own experiences with establishing and running FabLab RUC as an experimental learning, innovation and research environment, we discuss how ‘working through materials’ enables new forms of learning and research. We do this firstly by considering lab-based learning in design in general, and design and anthropological theory around ‘Making’ in particular. We then, secondly, move on to consider three cases for knowledge creation in a Fablab context, drawn from current work at FabLab RUC and demonstrating what we see as key potentials. Finally, and thirdly, we conclude emphasising in particular the role of proximity between researchers, students and professionals in art, technology and entrepreneurship.
Original languageEnglish
JournalCoDesign: International Journal of CoCreation in Design and the Arts
Volume14
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)329-344
Number of pages25
ISSN1571-0882
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Bibliographical note

Important note from the Publisher, regarding the attached document: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in CoDesign on 25 Sep 2017, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/15710882.2017.1378684.”

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