FabLab (Fabrication Laboratory) is a small-scale workshop offering digital fabrication. It is generally equipped with an array of flexible computer controlled tools that cover several different length scales and various materials, with the aim to make "almost anything". This includes technology-enabled products generally perceived as limited to mass production.
The FabLab program was started in the Media Lab at MIT, a collaboration between the Grassroots Invention Group and the Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, broadly exploring how the content of information relates to its physical representation, and how a community can be powered by technology at the grassroots level. While the Grassroots Invention Group is no longer in the Media Lab, The Center for Bits and Atoms consortium is still actively involved in continuing research in areas related to description and fabrication but does not operate or maintain any of the labs worldwide (with the exception of the mobile fab lab).
HONFablab and Education Focus Program
In accordance with the vision and mission of HONF in EFP (Education Focus Program), FabLab is a mean in fascilitating the open range of creative communities especially those in focus of creative designs. EFP itself is a curriculum of activities that was initiated by HONF and conducted independently in the Grassroots level and community base working method during a period of more than 10 years. EFP is a curriculum that concentrates on interdisciplinary exchange and collaboration in the process of critical analysis of issues that arise from such circumstances. This triggers the processing of innovative ideas to find the best solution for the problem. The main purpose of EFP is to build an open mindset and mentality in society by bridging the arts, science and technology through educational activities and continuous nature that compromise each other.
HONF deliberately designed EFP as the main guide in planning and implementing activities that are consistent and sustainable of all a new initiative.
EFP focuses on educative activities in the form of:
Learning by Sharing
Learning by Exchanging
Learning by Serving
Learning by Doing
HONF and Waag Society
With the common vision and mission about how FabLab will be very useful in Indonesia, HONF and Waag Society designed a proposal addressed to the EVD for the establishment of HONFablab in Yogyakarta. The overview of the proposed programs to be conducted by HONFablab in Yogyakarta is to facilitate the realization of innovative ideas from the creative communities, students and researchers in Yogyakarta. The realization of this innovative ideas will be distributed widely across Indonesia from online informations, workshops and presentations programs based on EFP. Collaborative activities will be done to encourage cross collaboration between communities with HONF as a facilitator for the communities in educative activities to share and exchange knowledge with each other. This form of informal education will be a supplement and complement to the education policy and practice and will be developed with a constant improvement in methodology and paradigms.
With the HONFablab which provide facilities for creative thinkers in realizing innovative ideas into reality, it will produce people who are not only a product of the education system with the mindset to become a part of a system but people with creative mindset to built a new system, whether it is a result of adoption, adaptation, or innovation. HONFablab will also facilitate a broader international network in knowledge exchange, creating a mutual understanding of local and global issues, cultural differences in practical daily life. Through the network (Fablab Amsterdam - Yogyakarta for a start), a joint collaboration, researches and exploration of local inventions, traditional and advanced technologies in seeking innovative solutions, problems solving in the communities.
HONFablab in the creation
The initiative in building a fablab in Indonesia, began when Alex Schaub (FabLab Amsterdam) with Deanna Herst (Crosslab Rotterdam) were participating in Cellsbutton#02 - Yogyakarta International Media Art, 2008. In a session of presentation, Alex Schaub as a manager of FabLab Amsterdam presented FabLab activities and the global network that is created between all FabLab in the world. He also give a presentation of the various possibilities that can be made or achieved with FabLab facilities for Grassrotts activities by the communities. Ever since, Alex Schaub, Deanna Herst and HONF cooperate to realize the idea in establishing a FabLab in Indonesia with HONF as it's host. As various problems arise, they never gave up with the spirit to set up a FabLab is to be a mission undertaken by them constantly.
In 2009, the core team of HONF is given the opportunities in conducting a visit and research in FabLab Amsterdam. In this visit, HONF and Fablab Amsterdam team develop an idea to create a prosthetic that uses local material, which would be affordable to people especially for Indonesia. The idea itself came from a joint workshops that was conducted in YAKKUM rehabilitation center during Cellsbutton#02, responding a massive earthquake during 2006 that caused death and disabilities for many people in Yogyakarta. The main problem encountered in this joint workshop is the difficulties in term of prices and making of prosthetics for the cassualties in YAKKUM rehabilitation center. This is mainly caused with inadequate tools, conventional methods and expensive materials in the process of making a prosthetics in Indonesia. The joint collaboration of HONF and Fablab Amsterdam produced a project called "Under $50 Bellow Knee Prosthetics" that is mainly developed by Tommy Surya, Irene Agrivine, Andreas Siagian, Julian Abraham from HONF with Alex Schaub and Deanna Herst from FabLab Amsterdam. The project received positive response from various parties.
The collaboration continues in 2009, where Alex Schaub and Deanna Herst own initiatives to come to Yogyakarta, Indonesia to re-create the idea of the collaboration with HONF, how to established FabLab in Yogyakarta Indonesia. Their participation in Cellsbutton#03, 2009 is part of their contribution in Education Focus Program and the continuation of their research of the possibilities in establishing FabLab Indonesia.
In 2010, a continuation of "Under $50 Bellow Knee Prosthetics" project between HONF and FabLab Amsterdam produced a prototype of the project, using bamboo material as the main structure fortification in the construction. The continuation of the project was supported by Waag Society, and the point of light in establishing FabLab Indonesia began to appear. EVD Netherlands gave and open call for funding through the organization's activities in Indonesia. Waag Society offered to cooperate as partners to establish FabLab in Yogyakarta, Indonesia hosted by HONF.
After going through a long and winding process, in September 2010, the proposal made jointly between HONF team led by Tommy Surya and Waag team led by Bart Tunissen and Karen Van der Moolen is accepted by the EVD and are entitled to get fundings for the establishment of FabLab in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The establishment of HONFablab is followed with creating various plans which is complicated and time consuming, but done carefully and diligently by both parties. Negotiations undertaken to reach an agreement which is considered reasonable for both parties and accordingly to terms and regulations from EVD.