This is a major, institutionally-based research project investigating new models for testing, developing and disseminating ways of using the Fabrication Lab as an innovative platform for the generation and exchange of knowledge. The research project offers responses to the opportunities and threats posed by the rapidly advancing, potentially disruptive digital ecosystem of design and construction technologies taking hold of professional and industry practice. The project includes the innovative architecture, technology, structures and systems designed by the authors for the Lab, as well as the novel pedagogical, research and institutional practices and projects created using the Lab as a platform. Its principle working tool, as well as its largest output, is the Fabrication Lab itself, understood through the thought of Foucault as a dispositif, or ‘apparatus’. The research is based on an understanding of a lab that looks beyond its role as an institutional facility to focus on the multiple, heterogeneous elements through which the Lab, its staff, users, and technologies are constructed.
The Fabrication Lab thus becomes an experimental vehicle to investigate how the system of relations between diverse
institutional elements and situated practices might be re-thought and re- configured to generate the new technological
objects, subjectivities, practices and pedagogic and research outputs required to keep pace with today’s rapidly
advancing developments. As well as the Fabrication Lab itself, the research has produced many other outputs
documented in the folio including: FAB FEST, a series of three major international fabrication and dissemination events attended by academics and practitioners from around the world; live projects in London, Helsinki and South Korea;
numerous workshops, outreach projects and public events; academic conference papers and new knowledge exchange
partnerships; as well as the thousands of experimental outputs produced in the Lab by academic staff, students and
researchers at the University of Westminster.