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Living Lab Fabriken

A makerspace for prototyping new ideas, products and services.

Living Lab Fabriken is an open lab space located at STPLN in Västra hamnen, Malmö. Users (citizens, researchers, companies, public institutions, NGOs etc.) that enter the lab get access to tools, new technologies, knowledge and skills in order to experiment with and prototype ideas, products and services.

The results of Living Lab Fabriken are analyzed in Anna Seravalli’s dissertation Making Commons: Attempts at Composing Prospects in the Opening of Production and in chapter 6 of Making Futures: Marginal Notes on Innovation, Design, and Democracy (MIT Press 2014).

Also see Malmö Living Labs.

In return, the users provide input to the lab by sharing their ideas, knowledge, skills, and experiences. All projects happening at Fabriken strive to follow a sustainable, and an open-source approach, which are two of the guiding principles behind the Fabriken concept. Besides being a lab space for creating physical things, and services, Fabriken also provides a platform for peer-to-peer learning, networking and matchmaking between the users.

Inclusion is a core value at Fabriken. The vision is to offer an open lab space where different user groups from different backgrounds get access to advanced tools that otherwise would not be available to them. The belief is that democratic access to technology fosters and supports grassroots initiatives, open innovation and co-production. The assumption is also that bringing together people from various backgrounds, with different competences and viewpoints supports creativity and result in joint creations that no single partner could foresee.

Co-designing the lab space
Besides being offered open access to the  lab space, the users are also involved in designing the lab space itself. Instead of offering a “ready-made” lab the infrastructure behind Fabriken is co-designed together with users in an on-going, dynamic process. Through a series of actions, and interventions (see Projects below) users are invited run their own projects, or take part in projects initiated by others. By expressing their needs and requirements in terms of equipment, technologies, and resources they contribute to identify what investments ought to be made in order to get the lab going.

Projects and interventions organised up to now have been aiming at: (1) to identify users’ needs and requirements in order to step-by-step co-design a relevant lab space, and (2) to attract a wide range of people with different backgrounds and interests in order to establish a multifaceted community associated to the lab, and to link back to a core value behind the Fabriken concept, that is, inclusion.

For practical information, opening hours, location etc, see STPLN’s website.

The development of Fabriken is in itself a research intervention exploring how platforms for open innovation can be designed, and established in collaboration with the users. The aim is to explore new spaces for design action, and contribute to the development of the Medea Living Labs methodology based on participatory design, co-creation, and new media.

Besides being a physical lab space, Fabriken is also looked upon as a pre-incubator used as a research platform for exploring alternative socio-economic systems for innovation based on co-production, co-creation, and social entrepreneurship.


Links to more projects created by the Fabriken community
Hackathon 2012 (March 2012)
Kick-off workshops at Fabriken (Spring 2012)
Collaboration with Återskapa/Reuse, cast-over materials’ bank (December 2011-)
Nätverk by doing
(September, 2011)
Series of open lectures: “Design?!”
(August – Decemeber, 2011)
Urban gardening at Fabriken STPLN
(May – September 2011)
6-year-olds are building an intercom system
(May 2011)
(May 2011)
Tantverket (May 2011 – )
Arduino for Hipsters (April 2011)
Open Lab Space on Thursday nights (April 2011 – )
Vision − Prototyp − Pitch (April 2011)
Furniture workshop at STPLN (April 2011)
(Februari 2011)
HER Video workshop
(Nov − Dec 2010)
Fabriken concept workshop series
(Oct − Nov 2010)
Let there be light
(May 2010)
New maps of time (May 2010)

» Contact Anna Seravalli to learn more about Fabriken

This page was created on Jun 22, 2010, and last revised on Aug 18, 2015.