Stressed out city workers have been invited to take time out from their hectic schedules and become part of the UK’s growing ‘maker movement’ by spending time in a new community maker space that has opened in the heart of the City of London.
Run in partnership between the RSA’s Great Recovery Project and Fab Lab London, a new ‘Innovation Hub’ will provide a stimulating environment for individuals and companies to reconnect with the how, and why, of making their own products.
Situated in 1 Frederick’s Place (off Old Jewry), just a stone’s throw from the Bank of England, passers-by will be able to use Fab Lab machinery such as 3D printers, laser cutters and other tools, in order to do anything from proto-typing new designs, to printing spare parts for broken home appliances.
The Innovation Hub and the RSA’s Great Recovery Project will enable local people to find out more about the role of design in the circular economy, with the aim of educating city workers about the economic and environmental challenges of “take, make, dispose” manufacturing.
London has been slow to catch up with its international competitors regarding the maker space movement, with cities such as Barcelona enjoying a thriving maker community and 350 other Fab Labs established world-wide.
It is hoped that London’s first ever Fab Lab will help build a new generation of practical entrepreneurs, encouraging bankers and brokers to keep an eye not just on their profit margins but also learn about sustainable design practices and the wider impact of their businesses.
The launch will see designers, materials scientists, entrepreneurs and top brands gather for a series of talks and workshops including ‘tear down’ and 'design up’ activities:
Restart Party - 2pm - 5pm: Bring your broken electronics along and the Restart project will show you how making and fixing skills can help to save your old stuff (instead of scrapping it and buying new).
Useful 3D Printing - all day: Faberdashery will be on hand to show you how to unlock the potential of 3D printers - moving beyond printing plastic trinkets to printing products that solve everyday problems and return power to the users.
Fixperts - all day: Fixperts will be showing you how design and Making can help you solve problems for others. Watch the films and chat to a Fixpert who will be working on site.
Change a fuse with Bright Sparks - 3pm - 5pm: Bright Sparks will be teaching you how to change a fuse, and chatting about how they use making and repair to upskill their local community.
"London’s maker movement is taking off in a big way and this new Fab Lab, based in the heart of the City, is a really exciting prospect. The RSA Innovation Hub will provide a fantastic new space for pioneering individuals to meet, collaborate and create. Anyone living and working in central London who wants to learn new skills - from 3D technology to fixing their broken printer for longer use - can drop into the Hub and work with our technicians. We want to unlock hidden potential through the application of these digital technologies, hardware design, traditional fabrication principles, and sustainable design practices.”
Also housed within the building will be ‘Fred’s Place’ – a collaboration between Bathtub 2 Boardroom, Fab Lab London and The Escape School – who are uniting to engage professionals and students to build careers, products and businesses.
Notes to editors
For more information contact Luke.Robinson@rsa.org.uk or call 020 7451 6893 or 07799 737 970
Fab Lab London is the City of London’s first purpose-built digital fabrication and rapid prototyping workspace. They occupy 4,000 sq.ft. of creative space and provide access to digital fabrication tools, education workshops, maker events and a vibrant community. They help individuals and companies learn about the application of digital technologies, rapid hardware prototyping, 3D printing and sustainable design practices.
The RSA believes that everyone should have the freedom and power to turn their ideas into reality, and the rapidly developing Maker movement allows people to do just that. The RSA wants to explore how maker spaces can promote and support the social and environmental benefits of new digital fabrication techniques.
The Great Recovery is an RSA project supported by the Technology Strategy Board. Based on the insight that our linear ‘take-make-dispose’ model of manufacturing is throwing up major economic and environmental challenges, The Great Recovery aims to facilitate a shift toward more circular systems, and considers the design industry as pivotal to this process.