Co-creating FabLab La Campana: Empowering a marginalised community in the North of Mexico
Fernández Cárdenas, Juan Manuel
Reynaga Peña, Cristina G.
Díaz de León Lastras, Alejandra
Cortés Capetillo, Azael Jesús
González Nieto, Noé Abraham
Santamaría Cid de León, David
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FabLabs are a celebrated approach to formal and informal learning through making with digital fabrication tools.This paper discusses the co-creation of a FabLab with a marginalised community in Monterrey, Mexico. One of the main challenges in establishing these Makerspaces is in sustaining the activities and community engagement on an ongoing basis.In responding tothis challenge, this process focused on the empowerment of community members to make the changes they desire, either for themselves or their community. Beyond skills for making and playful engagement in STEAM learning, makerspaces also facilitate the building of networks and partnerships, and the development of social competencies and soft skills, that are often overlooked in the process of empowerment and social mobility. Primary insights from the co-creation process of the La Campana FabLabare reported here.A Mexican higher education institution with a strong social responsibility agenda facilitated the process, securing funds and connecting project partners, locally and globally. Framing the co-creation of the FabLab with the partners was and is an ongoing process. Key factors included the donation of a safe space and tools for the community to host and run the FabLab. Establishing the role of the FabLab in the community from the participants’ point-of-view and committing to regular ongoing educational dialogue was important informing an equitable partnership between institutions and community. Beyond the physical space, equipment and educational activities, a community architecture intervention demonstrated the large-scale impact digital fabrication could have in creating spaces shaped by and for the community.