The Fab Foundation inspired by the Afro-futuristic design of “Black Panther”

The film “Black Panther” inspired the makers from the Fab Foundation (screenshot). © DR

Since February 21, the Scopes-df project from the Fab Foundation (the American foundation born from the MIT charter on fablabs) offers a series of digital fabrication classes inspired from the costumes and objects of the Marvel studios film, Black Panther.

Black Panther, released in the US on January 29, left a strong impression with its costumes and its Afro-futuristic esthetics. A recognition of the style born in the early 1970s under the influence of the musicians Sun Ra and George Clinton although it remained for a long time reduced to a sub-gender associated to the cultural circles of funk, hip-hop or techno music from Afro-American producers. It is however an art, a philosophy of sciences and cultural esthetics, and the last opus from Marvel studios was largely inspired by it. So much popularity that today a team of “experts in Afro-futurism and digital fabrication technologies” from the Fab Foundation are concocting lessons to immerse learners into the Marvel world in DIY mode. The argument? “Increase access to STEM education by offering inclusive learning experiences at the crossroads of cultural expression and technology.”

You can learn to make boots with two toes, worthy of those worn by the Dora Milaje, women warriors from the technologically advanced African nation Wakanda. With instructions for use, several methods and techniques are to be put into practice step by step: creation of a motive on Inkscape, batik printing, laser carving, sewing, 3D printing. And to don the warrior’s costume from head to toe, you can make the shoe light up by adding electronics (microcontroller, LEDs, conductive material).

Other classes are announced for March. One of them will in fact allow you to print in 3D a module of an Adinkra symbol, a pattern present in Ghana and the Ivory Coast, to make the students familiar with additive fabrication. The makers and specialists of Wakanda are invited to contribute to the project to give a special Black Panther digital fabrication lesson.

Access and contribute to the “Black Panther” digital fabrication classes

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