Refab Space and FabLab: Learning Lunch with Integreat Plus

I attended a really interesting event yesterday – a ‘Learning Lunch’ with Integreat Plus hosted by Sheffield’s Electric Works. The subject was the potential role of a FabLab in Sheffield, which would be a fantastic resource for all creative practitioners, both professional and amateur in the area.

The Access Space, Sheffield

The Chips building, home of Manchester's Fablab









The event was efficiently chaired by Richard Motely, the Managing Director of Integreatplus (despite some problems with the projection technology!). Two short presentations were made, one by James Wallbank, chief executive officer of Access Space, and the other by Eddie Kirkby of the Manufacturing Institute. Kirkby is closely involved with the successfully up and running FabLab in Manchester.

Together, they gave a concise overview of the potential for FabLabs to provide free, open access to lifelong learning and development, as well as the ability for a diverse range of people (importantly including disabled people who might otherwise be marginalised) to design and produce a wide range of products without relying on the existing mass production/consumption paradigm.

For more details and a different perspective, you could have a look at Jane Lambert’s blog. As a barrister specialising in Intellectual Property, she has a particular interest in the possible impact of Open Design and direct digital manufacturing on professional design.




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