The origins of FabCafe go back to the FabLab. Begun in 2002, the FabLab concept was presented by MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld in his book “Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop — from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication,” and since then the concept has spread rapidly around the world. In Japan, a group of people finding common cause with the fab concept came together and established FabLab Japan in the spring of 2010. They set about establishing FabLabs in Japan too, * 2, with the goal of spreading a culture of creation as well as the technology for creating. In the fall of this year at the Tokyo Designers Week 2010 Container Exhibition, FabLab Japan set up a temporary FabLab with a room for creating (Fabrication Container) as well as a room for trying things out and seeing how to use them (Assembly Container). During the exhibition they experimented with the creation of a Cafe, and this test run became the prototype for today’s FabCafe. After that in the summer of 2011 FabLab Japan and Loftwork jointly held a FabLab training camp inviting creators from every field, and everyone raved about the excitement and creativity they experienced during the one night and two day camp. In order to keep this enthusiasm going after the training camp, Kotaro Iwaoka, a member of FabLab Japan since its founding, proposed the FabCafe plan to the creative community operator Loftwork and then joined it. Thus began FabCafe which serves as a sort of entrance to fabbing that is visited by creators everyday while allowing anyone to casually participate.
* 1 In addition to this book, you can learn more about FabLabs in “ FabLife — The Future Way of Making Things Created through Digital Fabrication”
(written by Hiroya Tanaka / published by O’Reilly Japan) [in Japanese]
* 2 As of November 2012, FabLab Kamakura, FabLab Tsukuba, FabLab Shibuya have been opened.
(Please note: Each facility carries out its own unique operation. Their offerings differ from those of FabCafe, so please check the websites for each facility and contact them in advance before visiting.)