Inspired by Instructables, the structured collaboration of Hackpad and the potentially playful seduction of Tumblr, Fabble is a budding Japanese website for sharing DIY projects that are a bit more geeky, but no less poetic.
Tokyo, from our correspondent
Behind the slogan “Making stories of Making something”, Fabble hosts objects in the making. Each project is carefully documented, from its rough beginnings to its final completion, step by step, with applications optionally demonstrated in a teaser video. Or at least, in principle. Launched just over a year ago, and now listing nearly 400 projects in various steps of completion, Fabble’s own story is still on its first chapter.
The name Fabble suggests the platform’s both playful and pedagogical ambitions: “fabble” for fabricate, of course, but also for speaking casually and enthusiastically (babble), telling a story that evolves from imaginary to exemplary (fable).
Like a blog that transforms little by little into the portfolio of its maker/coder (a Github account is required to sign in), the narrative is based on an instructional “recipe”, complemented by the “memos” that preceded or accompany its realization.
For example, we can follow the illustrated journey of communication design student Risa Hiyama, who shows and tells how she made a lampshade in the form of a pineapple, currently on exhibit in Keio University’s Digital Fabrication gallery in Tokyo.
With its impeccable presentation and super clean interface, punctuated by arrows and “forks” that link projects and authors, Fabble is clearly academic. Indeed, the creators of the site (which include Professor Hiroya Tanaka, founder of the FabLab Japan network) highlight its potential for working collaboratively in the context of a class, workshop or hackathon. As for live sharing, the interface even features a button to automatically present each project in slideshow mode.
So it’s no surprise that most of the projects came out of Japanese fablabs, whose recipes are conscientiously recorded (although not all are translated into English). All the better to inspire others—we can’t wait to make our own log skateboard or solar-powered tree robot!
Log skateboard, designed by Takuma Oami and Koichi Shiraishi at Fablab Sendai :