After launching the Bio Academy and the Textile Academy, the Fab Academy is considering expanding its programs to design and storytelling. Artist Olafur Eliasson, one of the instructors of Fab Academy 2017, is developing a new program entitled Why to Make (Almost) Anything, a nod to fablab founding father Neil Gershenfeld’s famous course How to Make Almost Anything. His idea is to step back and ask not “how” but “why” when it comes to making. According to Romain Di Vozzo, instructor at both the Fab Academy and the Bio Academy, Gershenfeld is even thinking about spinning off the Fab Academy program from a storytelling angle with the designers of the next Star Wars.
“With its model of the global campus and worldwide network of distributed education, the objective of the Fab Academy is not necessarily to train people to open fablabs, but to find intelligence in all fields in order to reach people who don’t have easy access to MIT or Harvard,” explains Di Vozzo, fabmanager of the Digiscope fablab in Saclay, southwest of Paris.
Currently, more than 80 fablabs around the world host the Fab Academy program. This number could increase with these new variations. “For the third edition of the Bio Academy, to be launched in August 2017, we are recalibrating the program, which was almost at a post-doctorate level, to a more intermediate level,” adds Di Vozzo.
Tested during a bootcamp at Fablab Barcelona in February 2017, the Textile Academy will launch on September 26. This course dedicated to experimentation and innovation in fashion is accessible in Europe at Fablab Barcelona, Waag Society (Amsterdam), Villette Makerz by Woma (Paris), Fab Lab Toscana (Italy) and in South America at Fab Lab Costa Rica.
Following three months of intensive courses, participants will have an extra quarter to fine tune their projects. “Out of a total duration of six months, learners will need to apply themselves two to three days a week,” says Guillaume Attal, fabmanager of Villette Makerz. The program’s 5000€ fee is similar to those of the Fab Academy and the Bio Academy.