It’s the story of a meeting between 2 actors committed in the social development of their country. On the one hand, Silvina Papasaragas, a renowned psychologist who has gained a solid experience in the government by accompanying entrepreneurs and craftsmen using design as spearhead, and on the other side, the public institution COFECYT(Consejo Federal de Ciencia y Tecnología), which thanks to its network of representatives, one for each of the 24 provinces, supports the development of scientific, technologic and innovation activities. Two years ago, when Sylvia knocked on the doors of various public directions with the project to use design and digital manufacturing as tools to find concrete solutions for vulnerable communities, COFECYT opened her doors wide and together they built Fabrica.
Nowadays, the space is located in Tecnopolis, the largest science, technology, industry and art exhibition in Argentina. Every year, the park is opened from June to October and offers various free activities to spread scientific knowledge through experience. Fabrica, as a program of COFECYT, belongs to the Science Secretary within the Education Ministry. Therefore, one of its mission is to design and perform workshops for kids, under the program called Fabriquita, based on the STEAM methodology with the support of digital fabrication. Above all, one of its key and original mission is to become a platform of investigation, design, and development of social projects to improve the quality of life of all the vulnerable communities in the country, gathering teams of talented people and offering them the methodology and resources to achieve it.
After 2 years, these missions are about to be a success:
- they succeeded to develop 5 low-cost and open-source solutions in education, health or housing to answer real and local needs. They are waiting for the last tests in situ to validate and to spread them in the other regions.
- their STEAM workshops enabled to train hundreds of kids and were reproduced in various regions of Argentina.
- they even start of changing the mindset of the way public fundings are invested, diverting the resources in more real and efficient solutions.
The recent fusion of the Ministry of Science under the Ministry of Education and the budget restriction, both consequences of the country economic crisis, are reshaping the objectives and the organization. In 2019, the focus will be Education. Fabrica will take advantage of its experience in this field, with Fabriquita and 2 of the social projects developed in 2018, to become an international change-maker for the educational corpus, the parents and the kids and a reference in the design of innovative and pedagogic workshops about science, technology, and innovation.