Fab23 Bhutan Conference

Fab23 Bhutan Conference

Under the theme “Designing Resilient Futures”, Fab23 Bhutan embraces Bhutan’s new national strategic focus: ‘Believe’ and centres resilience and adaptability as core elements of solution development. Featuring engaging workshops, inspiring keynote speakers, and immersive cultural experiences, FAB23 Bhutan promises a truly captivating moment.

  • July 16-28, 2023
  • Thimphu, Bt

3 new cities will join our network!

The Fab City Network invites innovators, community leaders, teachers, makers – anyone – to initiate change in their community. We support real people to activate their Mayor’s office to take the pledge to join the challenge towards productive cities. New cities join by taking the pledge at the annual Summit for urban innovation. We guide you to get your city to pledge. See our resources for more. During the Fab City Summit the cities of Augsburg, Cordoba and Oulu will pledge to the Fab City Network and the Kingdom of Bhutan will renew its commitment!

Sessions by Fab City Foundation

Fab Bhutan Challenge

July 16 | Challenge Kickoff

July 17 | Travel to FabLabs and site visits

July 18 – 21 | Working Days

July 22 | Travel to Thimphu and set up showcase

July 23 | 11:00 – 17:00 | Festival | Showcase 

July 28 | Winner Announcements during Fab City Summit


Fab City Breakfast

July 23 | 9:00 – 10:00 | By invitation only


Master in Design for Distributed Innovation (MDDI) Graduation

July 24 | 19:00 – 20:30  | Dragon Auditorium SFL


Full Stack Bootcamp

Experts – Tomas Diez, Kate Armstrong Session 1: Tuesday, July 25 | 15:00 – 17:00 | Room – Takin 

Session 2: July 26 | 15:00 – 17:00 | Room – Takin 

Session 3: July 27 | 15:00 – 17:00 | Room – Raven

Session 4: July 28 | 12:00 – 14:00 | Room – Raven


Community Matters: Driving Impact through Community Engagement

Experts – Mitalee Parikh, Daan Sonnemans

July 27 | 17:00-19:00 | Tibetan Wolf


Fab City Summit

July 28 | Jigme Namgyel Wangchuck Super Fab lab

Curated Program by Fab City Foundation

This curated program is designed for the Fab City community and enthusiasts. Explore activities hosted by the Fab City Foundation and recommended sessions by the community based on the Fab City Full Stack. Align your own activities with the objectives of the Full Stack as you participate in these activities. Join us at FAB23 Bhutan to gain valuable insights, forge meaningful connections with global experts, and contribute to designing resilient futures through digital fabrication solutions.

Layer 1 – Developing infrastructure and technologies for local production

Layer 1 refers to the necessary infrastructure on the local level, such as innovation spaces, digital fabrication tools and other technologies. In addition, this layer aims at building a sense of community around such spaces with shared values such as openness, inclusivity, and sharing. The work done by the Center for Bits and Atoms at MIT and the global Fab Lab Network has been foundational to a new industrial paradigm.

Relevant activities

  • Making architected materials in the fablab by Miana Smith
  • From Trash to Treasure through a Fablab by Antonio Gordillo-Guerrero
  • What does open mean? By Maik Jaehne
  • Re-thinking Creative Robotics by Adriana Cabrera

Layer 2 – Enabling new forms of learning

This layer facilitates a transition to educational models that foster the development of creative and critical skills at all levels. Fab City understands that learning to learn is fundamental to continuing evolving knowledge and, therefore, human capacity on a lifelong basis.

Relevant activities

  • Lets learn about how to design STEAM content using fab tools and design thinking methodology by Arundhati Jadhav
  • How to grow (almost) anything, anywhere: a global lab for teaching and practicing synthetic biology. By Eyal Perry
  • Hackers meet Educators by James & Carrie
  • Fab Academy – Present & Future by  Luciana Asinari & Fab Academy Team

Layer 3 – Incubating value-generating projects

A learning environment that incorporates the development of projects as part of the learning process itself allows the emergence of situated solutions to local challenges, which can be applied globally following the PITO-to-DIDO principle of Fab City. This layer includes frameworks, methods and business models that support the development and utilisation of such innovation projects.

Relevant activities

  • Design InnoTech’s Grassroots Innovation Program by [DHI InnoTech]
  • Inclusive Makathon in Bhutan and Future Perspectives by Sonoko Hayashi
  • Enabling Bio in your FabLab – from BioHacking to BioCommunities by Georg Tremmel
  • F***ed Experiences: The feel of failing and resilience with your FabLab project by Victor Freundt

Layer 4 – Orchestrating efforts between local communities and initiatives

This layer recognizes the need for Fab Labs, makerspaces and hackerspaces to engage their communities and ecosystems to strategically develop new local networks. On this front, Fab City Hubs orchestrate efforts with local communities and act as physical interfaces to connect multiple actors like citizens, makers, organisations, businesses, and public entities. Such hubs also foster skills and knowledge exchange between local communities.

Relevant activities

  • Bootstrapping a 3.000 m^2 Makerspace with volunteers by Julian Hammer
  • Local manufacturing : how to create resilient communities in a globalized world by Roldan Descamps
  • “One Year of FabLab CST Phuentsholing as Community Lab” by Koji Yamada
  • “Breaking Paradigms to Design resilient futures” by Alvaro Toledo

Layer 5 – Prototyping place-based interventions

The objective of this layer is to create strategies and governance models, and influence policy-making to develop a favourable legal framework for implementing Fab City projects. Fab City prototypes set up an experimentation playground to implement, test, and iterate innovative business opportunities that support the development of a circular economy at the local scale in neighbourhoods and cities.

Relevant activities

  • “Self sufficient village : Fab Village” Talk by Yogesh Kulkarni
  • The Legal Aspects of a Fab City by Karsten Windler

Layer 6 – Applying bioregional strategies

The physical context in which labs, hubs and projects are placed shapes their work. As projects in the form of interventions coming out of these spaces are placed in local communities, they also impact other scales, including the city or region in which they are located. Bioregions allow us to operate on a territorial scale large enough to understand cities beyond their artificial, physical, or political limits. This bioregional approach to the transition to a new productive model can help improve humans’ relationship with other species.

Proposed activities

  • BioClub Tokyo – BioArt, BioFab and BioCommunities by Georg Tremmel
  • Accelerating Lean Experimentation: Digital Fabrication for Local Community Solutions by Amanda Abiella Resmana

Layer 7 – Sharing knowledge with global networks

Knowledge exchange is produced in the local contexts, which happens in Fab Labs, hubs, neighbourhoods, or bioregions. Finally, enabling the mechanisms to share knowledge between local and global networks is fundamental, as it is key to understanding the transition from PITO to DIDO. It also contemplates the need to develop metrics to measure progress for cities to produce (almost) everything they consume before 2054.

Proposed activities

  • Enhancing the fablabs.io a platform that connects and strengthens the community by Sherry Lassiter
  • Digital Ecosystem Declaration by Fab City Foundation
  • Reviewing the Fablabs.io Prototype by Aznan Abu Bakar

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