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Discovery Path : Learning with students and Museum, University, VET, academy

Target group Colaboration Objectives
18-25years old Museum, University, VET, academy Implement new skills into curricula and establish longer term collaborations

This path addresses young women aged 18-25 and is thus closest to the existing format of Fabricademy. establishes a collaboration with at least one academy, university or institute for fashion, museum, etc. to incorporate Fabricademy modules into existing curricula and better align skills acquired with emergent needs of T&C ecosystems. Through this path, participants are exposed to innovative practices that they can integrate in their portfolio of competences, and the Labs can establish permanent collaborations with more traditional educational institutions.

Working with University curricula requires to define the total hours of the module, the credits that is will count for and the course within which it will be implemented. Most of the times courses are defined broadly, so it can be either a interdisciplinary studio, materials innovation or textile surface techniques as a general studio within which the Fabricademy modules can be integrated. Depending on the workload the module is assigned a certain number of ECTS credits (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System). One ECTS credit is equal to between 25 to 30 hours, out of which 9-11 are teaching/class hours in the semester and the rest are individual study time (preparation and follow-up). 11 For proposing a module for University curricula the Lab needs to write a proposal including the title of the module, a brief description, the Learning objectives, the deliverables and the evaluation format.

Formats of the discovery

Diverse formats of the discovery path are possible. In shemakes we have been exploring three formats:

  • Student week with integration in the curriculum
  • Clubs
  • One shot discovery workshops with universities, museums or scientific associations.

It is possible to customize the tested one with new ideas according to the context.

Student Week

The discovery path's highest level of integration is to incorporate modules in existing or new curriculums. Student weeks are an intensive 5-day course where students can discover and learn about one specific or various practices of the fabricademy courses. The first example is the cooperation between Onlfait and the HEAD, school of design in Geneva. More information about the Fashion and New technologies Week of Geneva here.


Clubs consist of a series of learning activities off the main courses, mostly as interdisciplinary studios, where students from different programs can join, learn and experiment together with some modules of the Fabricademy programs. The objective is to create some discovery moments so as to raise knowledge and future interest on suggested topics identified by teachers and students. According to the context, it is possible to onboard students in creating new clubs, proposing them at the beginning of the year, or to go co-creating and testing new formats with them, jungling with the topics to explore. There is no imposed format. For instance iIt could take the shape of 1 activity/month during the semester. It can also be part of a cooperation with cultural centres who integrate such activities/workshops in the cultural agenda. It is important to frame them so they fit with how the organization is functioning and the availability of future participants. For shemakes, Fab Lab Barcelona has experimented with the fab academy and mdef students a Material club where they had workshops on bacterial dyeing and mycelium based techniques. Clubs can be customized according to the interest of the labs.

Discovery workshops with rotating stations

  • Workshops are the easiest way to deploy the discovery path and to initiate a cooperation with institutions. The idea is to create experiences that help people to “discover” different activities and processes, by demonstration and testing (if conditions allows it).
  • Various formats have been tested by Onl’fait, Redu, Leon and Iaac. The concept of rotating stations was tested with the biomaterial workshop. You can find more information here.

Tips for the discovery path

To do:

  • Identify with who you want to co-develop the discovery path and define the form of cooperation.
  • Identify a specific need that your partner (Museum, University, VET, academy) has and how you can meet this need (e.g. programme about e-textile) in order to engage it.
  • Prepare innovative and tested activities, a structured schedule and resources to hand out, don't improvise.
  • Select the format of your discovery workshop according to what best fits with your local context.
  • Explore the activities you would like to do. Check the documentation.
  • Practice the activities beforehand
  • When introducing the evaluation zine, show them examples so they have any idea on what to write.
  • Have them at least half a day to do the final presentation.
  • Students shall work in pairs or in groups of 3 maximum.
  • Make sure to organise who is bringing what (Lab or the university) and that the university’s machines are booked for that week if used.
  • Make powerpoints with examples of today’s designers that use the techniques that they will learn.
  • It is good to give examples of traditional techniques with local industries.
  • Make sure that you keep up with each person so they don’t fall behind.
  • Ideal group size is 8 people.
  • Within each activity you need to make sure that they are 3 phases: Warm ups, Theoretical and Practical


  • Don’t let them decide when to do their evaluation (zines) otherwise they won’t do it at all.
  • Don’t make them go too complex with their design so they at least have a finished product in the end.

Last update: February 23, 2022