On our first steps towards home, through the West Coast, a chat with Jason Wang, from FabLab Vancouver, and Derek Gaw, from MakerLabs, was the order of the day! During this insightful meeting, we found out about their vibrant and creative local ecosystem. With the founder of FabLab Vancouver, we visited the MakerLabs (est. 2013). The FabLab Vancouver is currently moving in another space and is under construction. We won’t get to visit it this time, but we will eagerly await new developments. Jason is an instructor for the Fab Academy and, consequently this year, he collaborated with MakerLabs to offer students a learning space that met their needs.
Networking seems to be a second nature for MakerLabs. The meeting space for members is round and comfortable. Jason from Vancouver FabLab shows us the place, while Derek share with us that he is open to collaborate with anyone who would propose him an exciting and serious project. There are many open area private spaces and everything seems to be in harmony in this beautiful chaos.
Nonetheless, members build their own private spaces and use the public workspaces. This place has so much to offer: from an electronic Jacquard read to a silk-screen printing workshop to a wood and a metal workshop. This place has no doubt a thriving atmosphere. The members are buzzing about: lots of businesses have a satellite office while others have their main office there. At Makerspace, artists, artisans, entrepreneurs, makers and tinkerers of every sort cohabit together. It’s hard to believe that only a few years ago, this makerspace was known as LaserCut Café… What an evolution!
Some more additions to come in the future are the opening of a small café and a shop where the creations of local members will be sold. Located on two stories, the makerspace is huge! This size does pose a challenge since a big chunk of the budget goes to the rent – keeping in mind that in Vancouver, the price per square foot is the highest one in Canada! But still, a team of ten people are taking care of all that.
A local inter-structure? The neighbouring Fab Lab will be an asset for the Makerspace, confides Derek, since new members could emerge from the Fab Lab and perhaps local collaborations will be possible when the Fab Lab will open its doors. It seems that we already saw these two guys together during Fab 12 in Shenzen…