Fablab RUC is an experimental and creative learning and research facility. It is the place where cutting edge tools for rapid prototyping is available. FabLab RUC is showing the way for this renewal of renewal of pedagogical and research methods and putting Roskilde University at the forefront of this revolution.
The ‘Designerly’ approaches to academic research enables students and researchers (hereafter both named researchers) not only to observe and reflect but also to engage in the discourse on potential’s that lie beyond the current - the designs empowers them to engage and experiment in dialogue with real world contexts and real world participants about future scenarios. This enables a dialogical bridge between real life practices and theoretical discourses within academia. The challenge lies in creating good enough design processes and artifacts for such dialogue to happen. Hence, a creative environment where rapid prototyping and other material/technological experiments unfold as an integrated part of the research praxis.
Fablab RUC therefore have the following mission statements that it want fulfill:
We want to enable beginners to have their first design success: By having a lab filled with materials and technologies for potentials projects and skilled practitioners to guide you through the design process, we want users as quickly as possible to get from idea to designed prototype.
We want to create a culture for learning and sharing knowledge: Every project, advanced or not, leaves the one engaging with it more knowledgeable than when she started out the process. We want to turn this into a wider knowledge sharing culture. Since this is inherently a collaborative process, the lab is also open for people outside Roskilde University as well.
We want to simplify rapid prototyping: 3D-printers are still quirky to use and a CNC still requires an elaborate labyrinth of tools to work. We want to develop and adapt existing and new tools so one can use a minimal amount steps to get results. Moreover it is important to use and design open-source (or at least free to use) tools so the use is not limited to the Fablab, but can be installed on everybody’s computer, no matter the budget.
We want to make existing technology hackable: The knowledge gap between the internal workings of a technical systems and actual users has never been greater. Today one would void its warranty if one dares to break the seal of a smart phone. It is time to regain control of our technology. Not just because of the technical challenge, but because it enables and active democratic discourse on how it should be used and the potentials of it.
The four mission statements above should be seen as a programmatic approach to research in design empowerment. Over a period of three years it will turn into multiple knowledge contributions as research papers within academia fields of design and learning. This will be within themes like digital sketching, design for learning and interaction design in general.
This means new experiments, new machines - and documenting it both for fabbers (guides, youtube videos and instructibles) and academics (articles in peer reviewed journals, conferences and books). Our brief is to get mentioned in the same sentence as MIT Media Lab. This means both some new things/experimenting, some teaching, and some changing the world.
Nicolas Padfield: Lab leader
He has a master in computer science, communication and a BA educational studies. He is the leader of the fablab and has been the project leader of multiple large scale interactive installations. He is a co-founder of illutron collaborative interaction art studio.
Nikolaj Møbius: Technology Guru
He has a wide range of knowledge within rapid prototyping with FabLab machinery and electronics. Among many things he has build remote controlled submarines, large scale cnc machines and reverse engineered the control system of multiple industrial robots. He is a co-founder of illutron collaborative interaction art studio.
Mads Hobye: PhD, Design Guru
He has PhD in interaction design Malmö University and a BA in informatics at Copenhagen Business School. His primary interest lies in prototyping design-objects for social interaction. He is a co-founder of illutron collaborative interaction art studio. Besides working at the lab he is external lecturer at Roskilde University.
Schack Lindemann: Technology Guru
He is educated as a electrotechnician and has for the last decade worked a sound engineer teaching students at the Danish Film School. He is a co-founder of illutron collaborative interaction art studio.
Bo Thorning: Technology Guru
He is educated as a electrotechnician and has worked as an active part of art and technology community as a creative technologist making visual art and an electronic music.
Michael Haldrup Pedersen: PhD, Research and education coordinator
Michael has a PhD in social science. He has published extensively on tourism, museum/heritage and experience studies with a currently focus on experience studies/design and design methods and learning. Michael works as associate professor at Performance Design, Roskilde University. If you have questions regarding involvement of FabLab RUC in research projects and university education please contact him
FabLab RUC seeks to create a network between creative industries and academic institutions.
New focus areas
We can do everything a FabLab usually can do, and are always in search of new, interesting technology challenges.
New focus areas at the moment:
- Technology counseling. While at other FabLabs other users can often help with how to use the machines, at FabLab RUC we have full time experienced, professional inventors with a great breadth of knowledge who can help with advice and sparring in a wide range of technologies.
- GPU high performance computing. Standard graphics cards are bringing the cost of teraflops down. We have a small testing setup where you can experiment with GPU processing (OpenCL on Ubuntu Linux).
- Biofeedback. We have always been interested in biofeedback, and are currently experimenting with Kinect, Leap Motion, pulse, galvanic skin response and eye tracking.