Fab Lab Wgtn

An invention playground & creative ecosystem in Wellington!

Massey University, Mount Cook, Wellington 6021

Fab Lab School workshop

Space size 150 m²

Opened in August 2012

Structure type Public university

Explored in May 2018


Fab Lab Wgtn is a digital fabrication laboratory equipped with accessible computer-controlled tools able to make almost anything. Think of Fab Lab Wgtn as an invention playground, an incubator of design ideas, a maker of possibilities, a creative ecosystem, and a place that gives anyone and everyone the technology to power their ideas.

Main interests

Clothing & accessories Design Education Electronics Energy & environment Furniture & house Music & sound devices Recycling & upcycling

This workshop is great for:

Every single person & organisation!

Welcome to Fab Lab Wgtn!

The first step to engaging with Fab Lab Wgtn is to attend an About Fab Tour - these take approximately 1 hour, are offered frequently and are hosted by one of our fabbers.

The tour is an introduction to the culture of the global and local fab ecosystem, with an overview of the specific equipment, safety issues and processes associated with Fab Lab Wgtn. Find out what the possibilities are!

Register for one here. We look forward to meeting you :)

Our workshop

Learn more about our space, members, machines & services!

Fab Lab Wgtn’s story started in 2011 at Massey University - Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, one of New Zealand most important universities. At that time, Chris Jackson (an industrial design lecturer), was looking at post-industrial futures and what it meant to be a designer in the world of open source, open design, new softwares and ethos around making, educational practices and so on.

He came across the Fab Lab Network and got so inspired he suggested to Massey that, not only they should start their own Fab Lab, but also they should host the next annual FAB Conference! Why? Because he saw something in this movement, and strongly believed this world community of people and this Fab Lab concept were the right environment to ask his questions, explore the implications through making, and thus become and train better designers in the process.

Chris went off to Lima to attend the FAB7 Conference (the yearly gathering of Fab Labs), pitched in favor of hosting the next one in Wellington, and won! As Wendy Neale remembers it today, “he came back super excited, and all we had to do was to start our own Fab Lab (laughs). Having a Fab Lab here made sense. We have a strong 100 year history of making things here at Massey University, especially within the College of Creative Arts, which is quite a long time here in New-Zealand.”

Coming from a industrial design background, with a solid furniture design experience, Wendy became one of the earliest supporters of the project. She was away in Portugal while Chris got everyone together to launch the Fab Lab initiative (prepping the space, the equipments, start partnerships), but was soon offered to become Fab Lab Wgtn’s director! She shortened her time in Portugal not to miss this opportunity, stopped at Fab Lab Barcelona on her way back for an inspiring visit and arrived 10 days before the conference started. “And then, it was just all on.”

The FAB8 Conference took place in August 2012 at Massey University, and Fab Lab Wgtn officially opened then. “200 people coming from around the world, with an even bigger symposium, is a special thing for us living in New Zealand. We’re quite separate from the rest of the world, we have strong connections with the Pacific, Asia and Australia, but Europe, Africa and America are all so much further away and on distant timezones. But here those people were, making together, talking to each other, it was fantastic!”

After the conference, Fab Lab Wgtn became a space of Massey University, connected to the College of Creative Arts, open to any students on the campus for their papers/projects, but also any curious adult from Wellington and beyond.

For all Fab Labs, the first 3 years are of utmost importance to try to find what your community wants, how can the community help you build what that is. Here, 2013 was the turning point! The first local session of the FabAcademy - a 6-month intense program to learn how to make almost anything, distributed all over the global Fab Lab network - started in January. Over the next month, Craig Hobern started to collaborate with Wendy, gradually becoming her partner-in-crime and the second full-time employee there. Together, they build Fab Lab Wgtn’s vision brick by brick.

Today, their mission is to “nurture resilience through hands-on experimentation and lifelong learning in global open design ecosystems”. As Wendy & Craig put it, “We had to choose our forte, working with people interested in design and creativity, and how digital techniques can enhance their creative practices! Our Resilience project is a really big part of that, designing sustainable solutions for people to be able to keep living in this world in a meaningful way, with sustainable relationships, materials, processes, and educational practices. And being in Wellington makes us unique to the rest of the country and the world, with a strong, diverse and creative community!”

Fab Lab Wgtn’s story started in 2011 at Massey University - Te Kunenga ki Pūrehuroa, one of New Zealand most important universities. At that time, Chris Jackson (an industrial design lecturer), was looking at post-industrial futures and what it meant to be a designer in the world of open source, open design, new softwares and ethos around making, educational practices and so on.

He came across the Fab Lab Network and got so inspired he suggested to Massey that, not only they should start their own Fab Lab, but also they should host the next annual FAB Conference! Why? Because he saw something in this movement, and strongly believed this world community of people and this Fab Lab concept were the right environment to ask his questions, explore the implications through making, and thus become and train better designers in the process.

Chris went off to Lima to attend the FAB7 Conference (the yearly gathering of Fab Labs), pitched in favor of hosting the next one in Wellington, and won! As Wendy Neale remembers it today, “he came back super excited, and all we had to do was to start our own Fab Lab (laughs). Having a Fab Lab here made sense. We have a strong 100 year history of making things here at Massey University, especially within the College of Creative Arts, which is quite a long time here in New-Zealand.”

Coming from a industrial design background, with a solid furniture design experience, Wendy became one of the earliest supporters of the project. She was away in Portugal while Chris got everyone together to launch the Fab Lab initiative (prepping the space, the equipments, start partnerships), but was soon offered to become Fab Lab Wgtn’s director! She shortened her time in Portugal not to miss this opportunity, stopped at Fab Lab Barcelona on her way back for an inspiring visit and arrived 10 days before the conference started. “And then, it was just all on.”

The FAB8 Conference took place in August 2012 at Massey University, and Fab Lab Wgtn officially opened then. “200 people coming from around the world, with an even bigger symposium, is a special thing for us living in New Zealand. We’re quite separate from the rest of the world, we have strong connections with the Pacific, Asia and Australia, but Europe, Africa and America are all so much further away and on distant timezones. But here those people were, making together, talking to each other, it was fantastic!”

After the conference, Fab Lab Wgtn became a space of Massey University, connected to the College of Creative Arts, open to any students on the campus for their papers/projects, but also any curious adult from Wellington and beyond.

For all Fab Labs, the first 3 years are of utmost importance to try to find what your community wants, how can the community help you build what that is. Here, 2013 was the turning point! The first local session of the FabAcademy - a 6-month intense program to learn how to make almost anything, distributed all over the global Fab Lab network - started in January. Over the next month, Craig Hobern started to collaborate with Wendy, gradually becoming her partner-in-crime and the second full-time employee there. Together, they build Fab Lab Wgtn’s vision brick by brick.

Today, their mission is to “nurture resilience through hands-on experimentation and lifelong learning in global open design ecosystems”. As Wendy & Craig put it, “We had to choose our forte, working with people interested in design and creativity, and how digital techniques can enhance their creative practices! Our Resilience project is a really big part of that, designing sustainable solutions for people to be able to keep living in this world in a meaningful way, with sustainable relationships, materials, processes, and educational practices. And being in Wellington makes us unique to the rest of the country and the world, with a strong, diverse and creative community!”

Technologies & processes available

3D printing 3D scanning CNC milling Casting & moulding Electronics Laboratory, biology & chemistry Recycling Textile machines

Services offered

Open moments Design missions Classes & workshops FabAcademy curriculum Free machines & tools access Free & open space to experience Pop-up workshops

Our best practices

The inspiring things we do here to run our collaborative space

The reciprocity framework

categories
Community

Helping each other reach our goals

At Fab Lab Wgtn, we are thrilled to welcome collaborators who can contribute a variety of skills and talents. Are you a programmer with the heart of a botanist? Do you work for the government by day but your passion lies in DIY biology? Are you a community activist with experience running sustainability programmes?

Fab Labs have the most impact when they are inhabited by curious and ingenious people to solve interesting and novel problems.

The Reciprocity framework allows us all access to expertise and facilities in exchange for other expertise and facilities. This is not limited to the exchange of hours or dollars. Instead, it’s the alignment of interests by both parties (Fab Lab Wgtn and yours).

How does this work?

  • You have a skill, expertise or facility that is useful to Fab Lab Wgtn
  • Fab Lab Wgtn is offering an expertise or facility that you desire
  • Honest discussions about expected outcomes on an ongoing basis
  • Respecting each other’s time and energy
  • Openness to readjust how the exchange is being delivered

The Reciprocity framework is a relationship. It starts with a conversation. The way to begin this is to attend an About Fab Tour and then arrange to meet with our core team for a great chat.

Contact : Craig Hobern - fablabwgtn@massey.ac.nz

Our makers projects

Get inspired by the DIY projects of our team & members

The Origami Lampshade

Inspired from Robert J. Lang’s CamphorPot8, opus 679 origami pattern, this Lampshade was created in Dubaï by Wendy Neale, while working at Fab Lab UAE. It was then adapted in Wellington by Etienne Moreau (Fab Lab Wgtn) to help anyone custom their own Lampshades & run workshops!

The lamp’s story is a great illustration of what we can make & achieve in an open design world with shared digital fabrication spaces all around the world available to anyone!


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