Towards the Fabricademy

A short summary of the brainstorming sessions happened during the Textile Academy Bootcamp


The Fabricademy: a new textile academy will happen starting September 2017 for 6 month of intense training in textiles, digital fabrication, biology and craft.

The course will be organized in a similar fashion of the other classes of the Academany, with online lectures complemented by local instructor training and hands on sessions for 14 weeks in labs hosting the course. Along with the classes participants will have access to an extensive documentation and resources including recipes, tutorials, samples and collaborative projects.

The Textile Academy Bootcamp held on Feb 20-24 in Barcelona offered just a snapshot of the wealth of topics that will be covered during the Academy, but also proved how effective the combination of global experts and local practice can be in continuous learning.

Course structure

The topics covered in the Fabricademy range from design to craft and digital technologies. Each topic will be taught by a leading expert in the field, providing access to the latest research and advancements in this exciting area. During the first 14 Weeks the participants will learn about:

  • Digital Human. Digitizing the self
  • Circular Fashion, open source , upcycling , zero waste clothes, reconfigurable fashion, hacking the fashion industry
  • The Textile scaffold: textiles for composites, polymerisation, UV solidification, concrete casting, crystallization, biocomposites
  • Biofabrics
  • E-textiles and wearables
  • Open source hardware and new tools for the industry and subversive techniques
  • Computational couture
  • Implications and Applications: Health, prosthetics, wearables for space, sports, energy harvesting fabrics, haute couture,performative arts, embodied interaction
  • E-textiles and wearables: inputs and outputs
  • The Digital Craftsman
  • Soft robotics and inflatables
  • Skin Electronics
  • Next Human, on Singularity

Local Node Requirements

We aim to have different kind of nodes, including schools, fab labs, textile labs, maker spaces, artists and professionals hosting the program in their region. For this reason, we defined a list of mandatory and optional equipment, focusing on practical and inexpensive machines that reduce the cost of hosting the program. Being a Fab Lab or a Bio Lab is not required. Having access to one of each is highly recommended, as many assignments require you to use machines such as laser cutters, 3d printers or bio lab equipment.

Student Requirements

We won't cover all the basics during the class, but we invite instead labs to organize a number of prerequisite classes on basic tools like 3d printing, scanning, laser cutting, pipetting etc. We will provide a program for those pre-requisites to allow labs to arrange the programs at their best.

Instructor Requirements

While we can't expect instructors to be experts in all of the topics covered by the Academy, we think they should have a basic understanding of them. For reaching this level some personal study will be required, the resources on the textile academy wiki are a good starting point for this, and will be extended continuously. We also plan to organize a second Bootcamp focused on training instructors next to the FAB13 conference.

Cost structure

We foresee a flexible cost structure, that will allow each lab to host the program in a sustainable fashion, possibly adjusting the fees based on local labour, lab and materials costs. A fixed central cost initially estimated around 2500 Euro per student will cover all the infrastructure, faculty, evaluation and coordination costs. Labs will be free to add an additional cost covering labour, lab and materials costs, and anything else they might include in the fees. As an example the lab could add the Fabricademy program to other existing programs, or to University or School curricula.

We strongly believe that Fabricademy is interesting for companies and professionals. We advise to get in touch with your network and ask for scholarship or co-funding. Fabricademy can be offered as a professional training program, as well as a re-training program for unemployed, but also as a university semester.

Expression of interest & next steps

We are collecting expressions of interests from aspiring Fabricademy Nodes. We will organize further brainstorming sessions with the objective to draft an MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) defining the requirements, engagement and all details about the program.

Add your lab in the list below to express your interest

Fabricademy: Expressions of interest