Maker spaces, fab labs, hacker spaces, innovation labs, media labs… are great things to show. What is more effective, to impress a visitor, than to show him or her a place, an ‘innovative’ place. To make innovation, during the time of a tour, ‘something’ which can be seen, told, touched, in a word, experienced. Collaborative spaces are iconic spaces expected to concentrate the best of a company or society at large: collaboration and collaborative values, innovation, up to date technologies, glamorous furniture, stimulating colors and shapes, cool atmosphere…

In companies, a fab lab is thus a great think to show to external visitors, in particular customers. The place is attractive, and its openness makes it easy for him or her to project himself or herself into the space.

Beyond that, a fab lab (and collaborative spaces at large) are great opportunities for communication and demonstration in the context of cities or states. To show to powerful external visitors the economic and social potential of a territory, what a great experience! During her visit of Berlin Radia of Jordan was thus invited to visit Fab lab Berlin.

Rania of Jordan visiting Fab lab

More generally, foreign politicians are more and more invited, during their stay in a country to visit such places and meet economic actors. Why not? It is there that more and more entrepreneurs are expected to be. It is there that more and more, innovation is expected to take place. It is there that new (mutualized) technologies are expected to be located and at the disposal of bricoleurs and entrepreneurs which need to prototype and test ideas (through small or middle-scaled productions). It should also be there that some broken social ties should be fixed. Again, nothing is more effective than doing something together…

Definitively, we are experiencing a fab time. Beyond fashions, fab labs and maker spaces in particular are glamorous and fabulous places. Close to the room of our childhood, full of toys, plays, attempts at learning and doing things. For their visitors, but also (through the journalists capturing their tour) for a larger audience, they are opportunities for to change people’s view on production and industry. Making is cool… again?

FdV

 

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