Hyper Global / Hyper Local

A program for makers exploring the potential of online exchanges

  • Dec 16, 2020

Fab Lab Barcelona has recently helped launch an open call: Hyper Global / Hyper Local: Overcoming global challenges, empowering local communities which is part of the Makers’ eXchange (MAX) project. MAX aims to define and test policies and actions supporting the mobility and exchanges of experience between the cultural and creative industries, creative hubs, maker-spaces, fab-labs and formal and non-formal learning and skills development systems in a cross-sectoral way and embed makers’ mobility schemes for skills development and inclusion into mainstream CCIs support programmes, policies and ecosystems across Europe.


Who is the call for?

The call invites makers to explore what it means to be both connected physically to local contexts and digitally at a global scale when travel and physical exchanges are not possible. The call addresses makers in the broadest sense of this term, including creative professionals who produce work and projects using technology and/or traditional tools and methods, artists, craftspeople, sculptors and textile designers. There will be 10 online exchanges that take place in February 2021 that encourage makers to explore new methods of working in distributed formats and collaborations that have formed as a result of restricted travel in 2020. The call recognises the diversity of ways makers may have developed as a result of the pandemic, and are interested in learning from them and supporting them in how they are working in their local contexts whilst connected to the global community.

What does the call look like?

The exchange can be formed in a fully online manner or in a “hybrid” format – which for the purposes of the Hyper Global / Hyper Local exchange encompasses the mix of online and physical activity during the exchange, but excludes face-to-face contact between participants. Each exchange will be formed of two parties that can produce physical artefacts in a distributed manner.

The format of the call is open, allowing for flexibility in the way the makers decide to work and with whom they would like to carry out the exchange with. What is important however is that each exchange should be addressing a shared challenge, purpose and theme. Participants will also have the freedom to self-organise and plan the exchange to suit their projects and schedules, whilst having the opportunity to connect with all of the other participants to exchange insights, share work and learn about all of the projects that form the programme.

Having an online space for the duration of the exchange where all participants can meet in an informal manner aims to provide the social element that is a key component of any physical exchange. It also aims to foster knowledge exchange between a wide variety of disciplines and people – which the programme hopes to include. Participants will also have access to mentors in the area of their project such as digital fabrication, communication and sustainability for specific expertise to accelerate their work.

Want to learn more?

Applications are open now until January 12th so visit the Makers’ eXchange website for more information about the call. The development of this program has added to the ongoing research in Fab Lab Barcelona focused on remote and distributed learning. Read more about my experiences in the blogpost: “Prototyping Online Exchanges & Learning Experiences”,