FabLab Israel: Technological - Community Design
As part of the design clinic, the Interior Design department at COMAS has founded a Technological - Community Design laboratory in conjunction with the Digital Design Museum in City of Holon and FabLab Israel. The joint-venture introduces and opens the world of design, technology, innovation and invention to the community.
The design clinic's technological laboratory serves as a research and educational center that is part of an international network of similar technological laboratories known as Fablab. The Fablab network is a global project initiated by the Center of Bits and Atoms at MIT, which now includes over 50 laboratories in 20 countries, on all 5 continents.
The labs' activities are designed for the general public – ranging from high school students and school dropouts, to design students. The goal of the laboratories is to expose the local public to technological capabilities and innovative tools, to establish a creative and productive space in which ideas can be realized and physically created - "anyone can build just about anything", and to educate and teach innovation and excellence, while empowering the student. As part of the lab's activities, an applied academic research study is conducted that examines the innovative applications of various technologies in the field of interior design and architecture. Special emphasis is placed on the integration of design and production technologies with an effort to create a sustainable environment and a better and more humane residential space for the general public.
The various Fablab laboratories serve as technological platforms for producing prototypes, for realizing ideas from the initial design stage to the operational prototype stage. The labs offer a wide range of tools for rapid prototyping (computerized production of prototypes), ranging from the machines to the applications as well as the required electronic components. The various laboratories use identical machines, as far as possible, and can therefore share with other participants, over the network, files, solutions, ideas, and when necessary - find troubleshooting solutions. Guides and training materials for operating the machines and various applications are distributed over various channels between members of the network (guidance files, production files, webinars, GoToMeeting, and more). The lab enables initiating and producing locally, with the backing and support of an international network of knowledge and mutual assistance.
Fablabs throughout the World
The network currently includes about 50 laboratories throughout the world, with 15 more labs under construction. The Centre for Bits and Atoms at MIT initiated the FabLab global network of laboratories, and provides network members with written guides and material, webinars, guidance via video conferencing and more. In addition, several centers around the world train personnel in the establishment of FabLab laboratories, in a study program lasting several months. In each country, the lab focuses on applications suitable for the country' social-economic status, lifestyle, needs, local culture, level of education, etc. The target audience is as wide as possible, and includes high school students, college students and professionals. The lab serves as a training center as well as a professional service provider.
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