‘I almost get the sense they put the whole conference on just for us.’ Sénamé Koffi Abdojinou is just home from the 11th annual Fab Festival on the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. In Paris he runs a registered nonprofit design studio, L’Africaine d’architecture. He splits his time between here and Lomé, the lively, low-lying capital of Togo, that hugs the border with Ghana and the Gulf of Guinea.
His verdict on the conference is optimistic. ‘Really, for the past two years that I’ve attended, this was my instinct: the whole event was planned around our lab.’ The Fab Festival’s theme last year, when it was hosted in Barcelona, was ‘Fab City’. It suggested that the labs – community workshops offering free training and access to a variety of digital creative tools (3D printers, laser cutters, milling machines, etc.) as well as access to a local and international community of ‘makers’ – might begin to take on the challenges of 21st century urbanisation.[…]
WoeLab isn’t a full Fab Lab, properly speaking. It doesn’t have the inventory of equipment required by the MIT-based Fab Foundation, which maintains standards across the international network. But Sénamé’s optimism is spot on and his lab is at the heart of the movement’s experiment in the future of making. At the first Global Fab Awards in 2014, WoeLab won first prize for developing Africa’s first 3D printer made out of recycled parts. ‘Some Fab Labs are places to work on a hobby over the weekend. To make dining room furniture.’ WoeLab’s goals are more ambitious.
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Source : TRUE Africa, 2nd September, 2015