Towards gender parity in Digital Fabrication

Meet some of the inspiring women of Fab Academy.

  • Sep 20, 2022

The widespread use of digital technologies is opening up new opportunities everywhere around the world – but not everyone is benefiting. It’s a well-known fact that the technology sector is still dominated by men. However, more and more women are gaining a foothold in the industry and STEM areas. According to a quantitative analysis conducted to determine the presence of women in the Fab Lab ecosystem, Fab Academy‘s project-based learning model, which encourages collaboration, experimentation, and knowledge sharing, favors, among other things, the presence of women.

Fab Lab Barcelona is the facility that has graduated the most women in the history of the Fab Academy, with a total of 43 women graduates. We want to introduce you to some of the inspiring women who have completed Fab Academy here. We asked them why they chose the path to the tech industry and how they are planning to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired in the program in their professional future. 

Ximena Amador

Ximena was born in Mexico City but has spent most of her life in other parts of the world. She is a bookbinder and teaches the craft to children in a public library. As a maker, she decided to join Fab Academy because of her interest in the content and the hands-on pedagogical approach that encourages creativity and learning. 

Now, after completing the program, Ximena believes that participating in Fab Academy has broadened her perspective on new ways and tools for teaching children. She plans to introduce more STEM activities and incorporate some of the techniques she learned during the program into her curriculum. She is planning to put a milling machine and laser cutter into her classroom for her students to get a feel for creating electronics.

“Having joined this program has opened my mind to which tools I could use [in my job as a teacher]”

Ximena Amador

Ximena considers it very valuable to be part of the global Fab Academy community. She is looking forward to meeting other women of her generation who have inspired her in her journey.

Dhanushree Prakash

Dhanushree is an architect from India and has mainly worked as a designer of sculptures and installations after her studies. She decided to join Fab Academy because of her desire to add a new dimension to her repertoire by creating more dynamic and interactive artworks. She found it necessary to understand for herself how to work with machines and what their capabilities and limitations are. 

“I’ve always had a problem with the fabrication part – I designed the sculptures and there was somebody else fabricating them. I wanted to work with the machines firsthand.”

Dhanushree Prakash

At Fab Academy, she was able to test her ideas using rapid prototyping technologies. What Dhanushree liked most about Fab Academy was that everything that they were taught was very broad and the assignments were open to each student’s creativity. For that reason, the results were wide-ranging, from tiny devices to rocket ships and drones, which helped her to really broaden her own horizon.

The knowledge and skills she gained have opened up new opportunities for Dhanushree to make her work more interactive and take it to a larger level. After graduation, she now plans to work with studios that use digital fabrication methods and perhaps open her own studio in the future.

Eva Blsakova

Eva is an architectural designer and her interests focused on interdisciplinary interaction and multimedia communication based on architecture, arts and computational design. She has been involved in the art & design industry for many years both nationally and internationally.

Eva chose to take Fab Academy because of her big passion for innovation, digital fabrication and rapid prototyping. As her final project, she developed “Fab Lux”, a smart lamp that interacts with the person and their movement. It can be turned on and off by touching it and is in equilibrium with the ambient light.

Feeling inspired?

Based on the analysis referenced earlier, the Fab Labs’ ecosystem is expected to continue fostering the presence of women as key stakeholders and supporting their vision, analysis, and engagement. 

Do you want to become one of them? The next edition of Fab Academy at Fab Lab Barcelona starts in January 2023. Apply now to learn how to use the Fab Lab’s digital fabrication tools, machines and skills such as project management, computer design, computer-controlled cutting, electronics, 3D scanning and printing, electronics design, computer-controlled machining, embedded programming, molding and casting, networking and communications, mechanical design, interface and application programming and machine design.

By the end of the course, you will have the essential knowledge to plan, develop and prototype a final project. You will also have a comprehensive understanding of how to plan a sustainable business and how to share cutting-edge designs in an open-source environment.

Join Fab Academy 2023 and contribute to gender parity in the tech industry and STEM areas.


Women in the Fab Lab ecosystem (2008-2021). From Fab Academy to the Fab Lab Research Conferences

Sep 20, 2022