Our Social Impact in 2020

What happened at Fab Lab Barcelona during 2020 when the world as we knew it suddenly changed?

  • Mar 5, 2021

About the publication

In 2020, like so many others, we were challenged to rethink what it means to have impact, how we work together and how we can most directly apply our research to design for a better tomorrow. At Fab Lab Barcelona we challenge ourselves and others to rethink the way we live, work and play in cities. Despite the obstacles presented in 2020, we progressed this mission further than ever before, so much so that we decided that we needed to turn our research and accomplishments into a report, the 2020 Social Goodness Review.

Adapting to challenges and responding to opportunity

2020 highlighted the importance of makers and the agility of digital fabrication in times of crisis. The Fab Lab Barcelona team delivered 70.000 visors, more than 40.000 ear guards plus hygienic door handles, STL tolerance tests and face shields in collaboration with the City of Barcelona, hospitals, the Catalan maker community and IAAC colleagues.

Our education programs also had to adapt quickly to change as all learning went fully online. Some real life maker magic took place when our team designed a Simple Personal Mini Lab (aka Six Pack Mobile Lab aka SPML). A Multitool (CNC + laser) machine completely buildable in a Fab Lab, the size of a 6-pack. Our students continued with their projects from home and now you can build your own mini Fab Lab too.

To stay connected, we explored a variety of digital methods and techniques and this even lead to new opportunities to make and design things in a distributed manner. We wrote about it all in two blog posts, “Remote learning? Read the key advice from our educational team” and “Prototyping Online Exchanges & Learning Experiences.”

What’s in the review

The Fab Lab Barcelona 2020 Social Goodness Review outlines our accomplishments in 2020 as well as how adapting to circumstance changed our outlook and future trajectories. Here are some highlights from the report:

  • In 2020 we curated and hosted virtual events with thousands of people all around the world. 
  • We deployed 80+ Smart Citizen kits to Barcelona schools.
  • We published 11 articles in relation to our research, and even a full book (Viral Design)!
  • We participated in 15 EU funded research projects with partners all around the continent. 
  • We delivered 18 digital talks!
  • We graduated 89 students from 30+ countries from our educational programs.
  • Collaborated with 22 new project partners and expanded our services to non-institutional clients from Madrid to Seoul.

And so so so much more!

Whats Next

In the year 2021 Fab Lab Barcelona will continue the work of rethinking the way we live, work and play in cities using knowledge development through hands-on experiences as a driver to implement change. Our seven strategic areas of expertise are Civic Ecology, Distributed Design, Emergent Futures, Future Learning, Materials and Textiles, Productive Cities and Sense Making. We want to ensure open, public and equitable access to the creation and sharing of knowledge and through hands-on experiences as a driver for implementing change.

In 2021 Fab Lab Barcelona will be sensing and identifying opportunities to co-create impact and work towards sustainable and just futures. Thank you for being part of the community and we are excited to see you again this year! 

Check out the full 2020 Social Goodness Review using the download link below.

Mar 5, 2021