Fab City Consortium

* This laboratory has been completed.

Hiroya Tanaka
Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Room z104, Keio University SFC (aka "Social Fabrication Center") iroya Tanaka
Tel:Ext: 52625


In recent years, society has become more and more complicated, diversified and opaque.

However, a variety of individuals have put aside their own interests, and embraced “communication” and “prototyping” by exhibiting individual motivation and personal qualities. In that way, more people have become involved in activities that enable them to provide new solutions and forge creative inspiration. Most of these activities have been carried out by new actors and through collaborations outside of the usual bodies, such as corporations, municipalities, civil organizations and universities. This consortium aims at fostering new kinds of creative activities and the establishment of innovative techniques and methods.

In order to run a project with “communication” and “prototyping,” it is important to establish two images: (1) Facilitation techniques that allow for the involvement of a wide variety of citizens with different needs, along with a comprehensive service design, and (2) fabrication facilities that can function as locations for a variety of events of different types for multi-purpose and flexible prototyping. Furthermore, a new kind of literacy will be necessary to integrate facilitation techniques and fabrication facilities. This will be effective in both the design response to what they lack and need, and ultimately to use what they design effectively.

In this project, we examine the details of “techniques,” such as observation, fieldwork, design thinking, people-friendly designs, inclusive design and social design. We also investigate “facilities,” such as future centers, fabrication laboratories, tech shops, fabrication cafes, and “the HUB.” Through this study, we aim to organize and weave these “seeds” together to generate ways to combine techniques and facilities that focus on Japan’s distinctive cultural customs, rather than those adopted from overseas.

Furthermore, we intend to conduct real projects, from problem finding to creative problem solving, as feasibility studies of our own combination of “techniques and facilities.” Each of these projects will be implemented, investigated and then archived to demonstrate the effectiveness.

The research results of this consortium, will be made manifest in:
(1) an archive of knowledge and expertise in design and the implementation of our original ideas of “techniques and facilities,” and
(2) creation of an outcome from each real project and verification of the process.
The research also focuses on fostering individuals who can manage these opportunities, so another research result to be expected is:
(3) the fostering of individuals with facilitation ability involving diversified people with a variety of interests. Such individuals are in demand in different areas and by different organizations, including corporations, municipalities, and schools.

Our future vision is that the researchers and students who have worked on these projects will spread out all over Japan, establish facilities suitable for the region, involve individuals with diversified interests, and manage creative, problem-solving projects. In order to realize our vision, we will make every effort to foster individuals with a high level of desired knowledge.

Outline of Research Activity Plan (First Year)

Spring Semester
Study into and verification of existing techniques and facilities (ver1)
Facility plan for a social fabrication laboratory (z104) (ver1)
Sharing of techniques, such as observation, ideation and fabrication (ver1)

Fall Semester
Organization of a workshop with participants invited from overseas (ver1)
Conducting of a Real Project (Town developer, inclusive design) (ver1)
Summary of the ideas forged for techniques and facilities (ver1)

Researchers, managers and professors

Hiroya TanakaDirector Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Fabrication environmental development
Fumitoshi Kato Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Establishment of observation techniques
Daijiro Mizuno Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Establishment of ideation techniques
Tomoyuki Furutani Associate Professor, Faculty of Policy Management
Mobile Fablab, Community Management and FabLab
Yasuaki Kakehi Associate Professor, Faculty of Environment and Information Studies
Interaction design for creartive learning