Buenos Aires… Where to begin?! This city moves with gentle grace despite its gargantuan size, the third largest metropolitan region in Latin America. It’s calm and quaint in corners, quilted with parks and public spaces, but beware the buses; they’ll rip down streets no matter how narrow as if the pavement were on fire.
I’ve never been to a city quite like Santiago, especially in Latin America. In this city, they clothe their stray dogs with a bright orange vest so they don’t get hit by cars at night. Cyclists zip by on well-demarcated bike lanes. Homosexuality is no big deal, and gay couples walk around holding hands. Street art, skate parks, a dozen universities all on strike for free education–this is a modern, even enlightened, city.
We could never have predicted it, but MadRim has reunited in Lima, Peru! How insanely loco is that?!
Madison Worthy and Miriam Engle biked from Copenhagen to Barcelona during the summer of 2015, collecting interview and activity footage for the film Self-Made, all about the European Fab Lab phenomenon. We reached Barcelona on July 13th, and spent the next ten days sweating all over the region interviewing architects, urbanists, and educators at Fab Labs and makerspaces.
Places we’ve to or through in the last twenty days: Leiden, Den Haag, Delft, Rotterdam, Breda, Roosendaal, Bergen op Zoom, ‘s-Heer Arendskerke, Middelburg, Vlissingen, Cadzand, Sluis, Damme, Brugge, Moerbrugge, Beernam, Gent, Asse (where you can bet your arse we rested ours), Brussels.
Madison and I had a fabulous time in Amsterdam. (Does anyone not?!) We stayed with Monique de Wilt of ZB45 Makerspace and her cat Neo, named of course for the protagonist of The Matrix. Monique’s building her own open source 3D printer, the MoWi, which is special because it’s collapsible, easy to transport by bicycle. As amazing as Couchsurfing is, staying with Fab folk is a fantastic opportunity for us to get to know people outside of the official Fab Lab filming environment. We love witnessing how Fab folk spend their free time. Belonging to a Fab Lab is not just a hobby, it’s more of a lifestyle.
We stayed in Hamburg for an extra day to scramble for Schengen visas. Very pleased to announce our legality. Turns out procuring a 90-day extension is a shockingly easy thing for American citizens. God bless the USA, huh.
Places we’ve been to or through in the last ten days: Roskilde, Ringsted, Tystrup, Næstved, Stensved, Nyråd, Vordingborg, Sakskobing, Maribo, Rødby, Rødbyhavn, Puttgarden, Burg auf Fehmarn, Heiligenhafen, Oldenburg, Lütjenburg, Schwentinental, Kiel, Preetz, Plön, Glasau, Lübeck, Ahrensburg, Hamburg.
Every Fab Lab has the standard equipment: 3D printers, laser cutter, hand tools, maybe a mill or three. Yet they’re all different. Fab Lab Dresden has been on quite the journey and they’ve finally stopped moving. They spent the last year bouncing between libraries, art studios, galleries, exhibitions, and private workshops before coming to call a space their home. They operated as a mobile Fab Lab more out of necessity than desire. This is definitely a mentality the Madulthood team can appreciate.
This is the story of two Fab Labs in the Frankenland region of northern Bayern.
The weather is more or less miserable this time of year, gray and drizzly. It’s often raining so thinly you’re not even sure if it’s coming down at all, but somehow your face is wet and cold. It reminds me of my childhood in Berlin, this endless string of overcast days. When the sun finally pokes out, everyone rushes outside, grabs their bike, goes spazieren with their immaculately-behaved dog. But usually the sky stays wrapped in a foreboding blanket of cloud. Though it’s grim, I like it. It seems to breed competence.