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Short description of what is the type of format.

Discovery Club at IAAC

Path and modules

Path Target Duration Skills
Discovery Students 18 - 25, ++ set of workshops 1 -6 months

Description 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 program. 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 it 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.
Fab Lab Barcelona has experimented with the club format for some activities by joining alumni for their programs: the Fabacademy and The Master in Design for Emergent Futures (MDEF), a multidisciplinary design course which focuses on turning ideas into actions to transform the state of society which is organised by the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia and Elisava Barcelona School of Design and Engineering, in collaboration with the Fab Academy. One club who initially worked well is the Code club. Few times after, students have expressed their interest in the Fabricademy, Textiles and Materials research and especially in the field of material driven design, DIY biolab practices, sustainability, and circular design. The MDEF faculty together with the Textiles & Materials research area of the Fab Lab Barcelona, co-designed a series of clubs that combined introductions to basic DIY BIO practices, tooling and tutorials for growing microorganisms and making bio composites. Students that were engaged in the Material CLUBS learning paths and wanted to implement the learnings in their final Master project were later offered one to one mentoring sessions and access to the biolab infrastructure. Three sessions have been proposed: one on textile bacterial dying, and two on mycelium-based techniques. The three sessions started with a brief contextualization, a live demonstration and space for experimentation thanks to an informative leaflet and live advice. Growing materials activities need time and students would come to the Biolab in the following weeks to observe their experiments and understand the BioLAB activity and infrastructure.

Target audience and context of use
Students and members of the labs (teachers, artists, designers…)

Agenda - Step by Step Instructions

STEP BY STEP overview

  • Open discussion inter-educational programs to plan
  • promote this opportunity
  • Identify and co-construct the program with students by understanding their wish and needs
  • Support the interactions between infrastructure, students and interventions
  • Run Workshop series
  • Capture the feedback from participants and update.
  • Follow up and establish mentoring hours with students that want to deepen their practice

Related and supporting activities/modules

This path refers to the Discovery path. The case-study has been experienced with two workshops documented in the toolkit: [Bacterial dyes - Bioshades] ( and Bacterial Cellulose Leather

Estimated cost
This will highly depend on the type of activities and how the program is actively supporting the clubs or if it relies on self-funding from students and external sources that could be creative to find ways to fund the clubs.

Tips to facilitate the activity in context (to-do / not do)

  • The concept of “clubs” as an extracurricular activity that brings students closer to a lab’s functionalities, can be an incentive for training future lab users, managers, and staff. It can also create grounds for deeper applied research for students that are interested in the Fab Lab Ecosystem.
  • The topic of Biomaterials design that combines Material Science, Biology and Industrial Design seems to attract more women, seen by the statistics of the participants from the workshops.
  • The approach relies on student’s motivations and availability. It could be hard to find the right timing when students feel already overloaded by the main courses.

References Links to photos and recorded materials
- Educational programs at IAAC link - Fight Club movie - Open Mind Program from Science Gallery Dublin: link - Maker Social Club, at Fab Lab Barcelona during the Open Night, Poblenou Open District link Licence and credits

Attribution — ShareAlike CC BY-SA This activity has been designed by Marion Real and Anastasia Pistofidou for It is based on Iaac Fab Lab Barcelona´s learning experiences methodology.

Last update: October 12, 2022