Fab Lab Lima is a private, non-partisan, non-profit research center that has the mission to advance the state of the art of Digital Fabrication and to generate new interrelationships between Art, Science and Technology through applied research and creative inquiry.
It is founded by an iniciative of The Center for Bits and Atoms (CBA) of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia (IAAC) and the Fab Foundation.
One of its programs jointly with Fab Lab Network, is the diffusion, promotion and technical assistance for the deployment of Digital Fabrication Laboratories (Fab Lab) as a medium to increase technological infrastructure and to transfer capabilities for Science and Technology-based Innovation.
Me: Tell me about yourself, the team you worked with to build Foundry.Bio and why did you build them?
Giron: I am one of the founders, I have works in media arts, jewelry and design but study engineering and most of my professional life worked as a project manager, because it was not possible to find spaces like this. We are now a team from different careers (architecture, urbanism, engineering, arts, design, law, etc) and an open institution (perhaps overly open), but we are working hard to make this lab the ideal place where everyone can explore their ideas. We see ourselves as enablers of experiments and generators of new labs. Most academic spaces tend to work over rigid structures and we dont want to become one. A few years ago some of Us received an scholarship to study digital fabrication at Fab Lab Barcelona inside the Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia. We founded the Fab Lab because it is part of our mission to give back the opportunities that we receive, and to explore the interaction beetween art, science and technology.
Me: How did you find the space and funding?
Giron: In our beginings we were working in the house of one of our founders, then we won a Public Contest in the Metropolitan Municipality and they offered Us a space in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MML), because of changes in the administration we moved into a new place, we have an strategic alliance with an Digital Art School: MGP and have a whole floor inside their building.
Me: Was building the FAB LAB LIMA community hard? Who is/was part of the community?
Giron: We work in two ways: as an open community and as a non profit organization. Fab Lab Lima was founded to primarely work with digital fabrication endavours (bits to atoms), but we are expanding our work to include synthetic biology (bits to genes). Given we are a fab lab, we belong to a worldwide network of laboratories. https://www.fablabs.io/fablablima
Me: What types of equipment did you find you needed and what were the challenges you encountered?
Giron: We had to be very creative and work with alliances with several institutions in order to access their equipment. In the meantime we are developing our own equipment such as the openpcr and http://beno.fablablima.org/2015/12/28/bioflow-machine/ among others
Me: What types of projects have you and the FAB LAB LIMA team worked on?
Giron: Most of them have been digital fabrication related: Emosilla, a digital fabrication workshop for kids,https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.867548216614576.1073741829.865532066816191&type=3 Digitoys, another digital fabrication workshop for kids, https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.904897592879638.1073741831.865532066816191&type=3 Amazon Floating Fab Lab, we want to put a floating laboratory of digital fabrication and synthetic biology in the Amazon River, http://amazon.fablat.org/ We are part of the BioAcademany, a program in synthetic biology for the Fab Lab Network which its alpha edition was in 2015, http://bio.academany.org/
Me: What do you see as the future for biohacking in the South America and globally?
Giron: We are truly interested to explore the possibility to create a cleaner manufacturing based on biology, and the natural resources we have not only in the jungle but also in the andean zone and the coast.