Ep 10 - Tomas Diez - Distributed learning. Fab Academy

Brief intro

Our guest for episode 10 of the experimentQ podcast is Tomas Diez - Venezuela-born Urbanist specialised in digital fabrication and its implications for the future of cities. He is the director of Fab Lab Barcelona at the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia, the Fab Academy global coordinator, and the European project manager of the Fab Foundation. Tomas has been appointed by The Guardian and Nesta as one of the top 10 digital social innovators to watch in 2013 and has been awarded by the Catalan ICT association as the entrepreneur of the year in 2014-15. His research interests relate to the use of digital fabrication tools to transform the reality, and how the use of new technologies can change the way people consume, produce and relate to each other in cities.

I first "met" Tomas in 2015, on interwebs, while developing a software project in the Netherlands, and I was happy to finally have a conversation in person, but this time on education. In this episode, we focused on the state of learning within Fab Labs and Fab Academy, the future of cities and designing your own life experiences.

Without further ado, please enjoy episode 10 recorded on March 2nd, in Barcelona.


About the guest

3:00 - Origins. Venezuela story

3:20 - Why urbanism and Fablabs?

4:10 - Current passions

4:55 - Key learning experiences in 2018

6:10 - On failure and success

7:00 - On the future of cities

7:50 - Life as a soundtrack


Fab Lab / Academy - The Inception

9:10 - The story of Fab Labs? 

13:40 - Fablabs / Makerspaces / Hackerspaces. What’s the difference? 

18:00 - How does someone start a Fablab?

21:40 - What is a Fab Academy? 

25:10 - Why now? The timing for Fab Labs and the serendipity of Maker Movement, Arduino, RepRap, Social Media.


The process - how does it work?

28:00 - Learning principles at Fab Academy?

30:30 - The skill interface: presenting learning experiences to the outside world. If you can make almost anything. Why make it?

33:40 - Skill accelerator 

34:50 - On accreditation. The Master in Design for emergent future

37:50 - How is the curriculum at Fab Academy created?

42:25 - On measure success at Fab Academy and the monoculture of money.

45:45 - The Fab Cities project - concept and results


The future - scaling impact

53:15 - The future of Fab Community? Distributed management via blockchain


Episode summary

54:40 - Recommended resources (books / documentaries)

56:30 - If I was an educator (Teaching while creating impact)

58:15 - If I was a bored kid in the school

1:01:20 - If I became the Minister of Education

1:03:30 - T-shirt/dictatorship question: Learn to unlearn and learn again.

1:06:25 - Open Mic: The power to design your own experiences. 

1:07:40 - Ways to get in touch.  


Books