Fabrabo Kamakura-Creating local bonds and creative living from manufacturing
Have you ever heard of the word "FabLab"?
Do you know what you are doing?
Fab lab's "Fab" is a coined word with two meanings, "Fabrication" and "Fabulous". Fab lab is a free "possibility of manufacturing" by individuals. It is a movement base, "Lab = workshop", which collaborates with various people in each region and disseminates information to the whole world on the Internet.
We interviewed Yuka Watanabe, the representative of "Fab Lab Kamakura" in Kamakura City, about "manufacturing" that connects people, generations, regions, and the world born from Fab Labs.
Interview & Text: Rumiko Ozeki
The workshop equipped with the latest digital equipment was a 128-year-old sake brewery!
On holidays, it takes about 5 minutes to walk out of the quiet west exit of Kamakura Station, which is crowded with tourists, and when you see an old warehouse that seems to have a long history, that is "Fab Lab Kamakura".
――It's very nice that the studio equipped with the latest digital equipment such as 3D printers and laser cutters is a remodeled building from the Meiji era. Why did you choose the warehouse?
Watanabe : This "Yui no Kura" was originally a 128-year-old sake brewery in Akita Prefecture, and was relocated to Kamakura in 2004.
Fab Lab Kamakura was founded in 2011 as the first Fab Lab in Japan.
A workshop equipped with state-of-the-art digital machine tools born in the green and traditional culture of Kamakura, a little away from the urban area, is not just a workshop, but a "new place" with the global philosophy of "Fab lab". To convey the message that it is, this brewery was perfect for symbolizing local and global, old culture and new technology.
――It's an interesting appearance, wondering what the building is doing here.
By the way, I understand that Fab labs are workshops for "manufacturing", but how are they actually used?
Watanabe : Fab labs are a workshop for making manufacturing more accessible, but the purpose is a little different from the DIY corners at home improvement stores. It's not just a place where you can use machine tools, or a place where you ask for something to make.
People who thought "I wish there was something like this" and "I wonder if I should make it myself" came here and designed it while exchanging opinions with other members, and made it myself while learning how to operate the machine. It is a workshop that aims to publish data on the Internet and share ideas with people all over the world.
It is also a base for creating a network that transcends generations through "manufacturing" in the region.
About the role that "Fab lab" plays in the existence of the area
――Why did you decide to create such a workshop?
Watanabe : One is that machine tools that can make small lots of products in a compact size, even if they are not mass-produced with large-scale machines, have become familiar.
From modern industrialization to the present day, in manufacturing, "makers" and "users = consumers" have separated, and the concept of "make by yourself" has been lost from the general public.
--I agree. I feel that it was at best until I was a student to work on something myself.
Watanabe : "Creating" is one of the talents of human beings. It is said that human work will be more and more taken away by machines (artificial intelligence) due to further technological innovation in the near future. There is a story that when the current elementary school students grow up and go out into society, 60% of them will have jobs that "do not exist now".
What is needed to deal with the "unknown work" is "creativity" and "collaboration (mutual cooperation)".
Now that even small workshops can use cutting-edge digital equipment, I would like to make "manufacturing" more familiar and increase the number of "people who can make things."
The other is to create “people who make things” and their connections in the community. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake, the importance of "community ties" has come to be talked about. And the area is actually supported by "people who are in the daytime".
――Many people have a distance between their "living place" and "working place". There aren't many working people in the area.
Watanabe : In the daytime area, there are seniors who have retired from the company, mothers raising children, and children. It's not a school or a company for them, but it has a role as a "place" where they can create and learn something.
For example, there is a connection between "makers" regardless of age, gender, or title, such as an old man who was an excellent engineer before retirement age consulting with a junior high school student about making a prototype of an invention.
How do I get involved in a Fab Lab?
――Through manufacturing, you can create connections with people in the community.
Then, I want to participate in that Fab Lab! What should I do when I think about it? I don't want to make anything concrete now, but I want to take a look at the atmosphere because it looks interesting.
Watanabe : At Fabrabo Kamakura, every Monday from 9 am, the maintenance work for this warehouse, where the lab is located, is simply "cleaning". Those who participated in the cleaning can use the equipment until noon after that. We do not offer hourly rental services for equipment and facilities.
――First of all, you participate from cleaning! You can find out what kind of members are there and what they are doing while cleaning together.
Watanabe : Yes. No reservation is required, so if you are interested, please join us first.
beginningIt can be difficult and dangerous to operate the equipment that you can touch, so we have a seminar for those who want to make something in earnest or handle the equipment. Held on weekends, you can learn how to use 3D printers and laser cutters in about 2 hours of training. This is a reservation system and is charged.
――You can learn the basics properly. But even if I try to make something suddenly, I have no idea what I can make ...
Watanabe : It takes a certain amount of skill and steps to actually put the idea into shape. There is a basic course in which you can learn the skills (FAB) that give shape to ideas, such as data creation, programming, and electronic work, in 10 steps. If you take this course, you will eventually be able to make such works (photographs) even if you are a completely new person.
--Interesting! A box where the scenery of fireworks in Yokohama floats vividly when illuminated by the flash of the iPhone, a calendar box where the color of the sky changes with time, a sunflower box that greets you when approaching, an odor sensor informs you of the change of the cat's toilet box? ?? There are lots of ideas!
Watanabe : First of all, I would like you to take these steps and experience the fun of coming up with ideas. Making things is fun! !!
About things and activities that were born from Fabrabo Kamakura and spread to the world
-It looks fun! !! What kind of Fab Lab-like works and activities were actually born here?
Watanabe : A leather craftsman learned how to use a laser cutter here and developed a leather slipper kit. Under the Creative Commons license, the design data was shared by Fab Labs around the world to create slippers. One of Fab Lab's philosophies is to open up data and know-how.
At Fab Labs in each country, new slippers with original designs are made using a laser cutter based on the design drawing of this slipper against the background of the culture and climate of that country.
――Design data created in Kamakura is shared all over the world!
Watanabe : All products created at Fab labs are intended to be open and shared. For example, a cooking recipe site called cookpadIsn't there? The user posts and publishes the recipe, and the creator publishes his or her own arrangement again. That image.
--I see! It's easy to understand. What other attempts are there?
Watanabe : There is a project to make woodwork products using thinned wood. We call it " FUJIMOCK FES ", but it means a festival (FES) that uses thinned wood from Mt. Fuji (FUJI) to shape ideas (MOCK-UP).
In the forest at the foot of Mt. Fuji, we will carry out fieldwork from cutting trees under the guidance of experts, and at the end, based on various ideas, we will make the wood into a "shape" called a product at Fab Lab.
People who usually work at desks in the city have the opportunity to enter the forest and get to know the forest, and then they come up with ideas about what to make from it and create it.
――You can learn and enjoy both activities to protect the natural environment and manufacturing.
About the future of Fabrabo Kamakura
――I was aware that Fab labs were workshops in towns equipped with digital equipment, but I didn't know that they had such a deep idea or concept.
Finally, could you tell us about your future activities?
Watanabe : Since the first Fab Lab in Japan was established in Kamakura (and Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture) in 2011, there are currently about 16 Fab Labs in Japan. More than 600 locations in 89 countries worldwideis spreading.
The hardware environment of "manufacturing" has become compact and low cost so that it can be placed close to us due to technological innovation, but the opportunity and educational environment to foster the creative mind-soft aspect of "creating something by yourself" Is not ready yet.
People who can experience such things as trying to make what they need from their daily lives, trying to make what they need in the community and in the town, and borrowing wisdom and power from many people if it is impossible to do it alone. I want to expand my role as a place to grow.
In Kamakura, there are many creators with skills such as sculpture, woodworking, and dyeing, and there are also many shops that handle crafts and miscellaneous goods. If something born locally in Kamakura is shared with the world, the charm of Kamakura will spread to the world.
With the city of Kamakura as one big Fab lab, you can experience the joy of making things, improve your skills, and even provide opportunities for each person to "design themselves" in their work and lifestyle. I want to be a place where I can do it.
Next year, we are planning the second international conference called "Fab Learn Asia 2017" in Japan. I would like to try various things, although it is still in the future, what kind of opinions and practices will be born about digital fabrication and the possibilities of education in the future.Related URL：http://www.fablabkamakura.com/
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