When you walk along artisanal market stands, have you already recognized craft objects made in a Fablab ? It is likely to more happen in Puebla than before. Because since 2017, a team of craftsmen have dared to seize the opportunity of digital fabrication to produce new type of craft objects. When you hear the story of Ana Arenas Riviera, one of them, the outcome was not certain…
All started 4 years ago when a wind of change blew across the craft market of the Puebla’s Analco district. After years spent in the market selling always the same objects, craftsmen, and more precisely Ana, were looking for something new. Although it brought the order established by the “leaders”, people who manage the team of craftsmen and are in connection with the city hall, in question, they - not without effort - succeeded in being in contact with the research institute of IBERO (IDIT) who was at that time looking for social needs in the context of its social economy program development.
IDIT saw the potential of the mix between digital fabrication and craft. Thus, they suggest to Analco’s craftsmen a dedicated pro-bono teaching program. 80 of the 300 craftsmen were attracted by it, but at the end of the third year only 8 were still attended the courses. First, because some were attracted thinking they could directly earn money. Secondly because some didn’t really got what was digital fabrication and were finally not interested.
At that time, the idea of a fablab creation emerged. And with the help of the municipal government and IDIT, it was born in March 2018 as a cooperative and lead by the 8 craftsmen.
Their 2018 objective is to be financially independent. To reach it, they have been helped by a business student who designed their business model and are supported by the FabLab Puebla about digital fabrication.