The #Labmobile is a mobile space for learning, hacking, making, and most of all for knowledge exchange and community building. The main goal is to have a vehicle to bring people together who would otherwise never have met. We want to share our learning that connections made through co-creation are deep, impactful and lasting: We are what we create together!
The idea of taking the spirit of our spaces on the road had been discussed at various GIG meetings, with the Egyptian Maker Express being the first project emerging from the discussions.
In late 2016, GIG board member Victoria Wenzelmann took the opportunity to buy an old, big, blue truck that its previous owner had turned into a campervan. Slowly but surely, she tranformed it into a mobile home and workshop – complete with bedroom, kitchen, desk, workbench, and of course a Kanban Board.
#BigBlue had its public debut as a #Labmobile and as part of the GIG Makerspace at re:publica 2017. With its unique combination of maker and vanlife spirit, usefulness and rustic beauty, it added to the LOVE OUT LOUD spirit of the event. Children of all ages played in and around #BigBlue, ideas for future projects were discussed, it was used as a maker workshop, people put pins into the maps for where a labmobile should go.. It was overwhelming and beautiful!
GIG Mobile Labs
After re:publica, we had our annual GIG Workshop Weekend, and one of the workshops was about Mobile Labs. The ideas, the stories of similar projects, the creativity, the list of potential sponsors, the spirit of sharing – it was an amazing and very productive workshop! #BigBlue now really became the GIG Labmobile – wherever it goes and whatever it is being used for, it is a part of GIG.
First Project with Communitere
As a result of this workshop, Victoria and Sam Bloch from Communitere together with a team of filmmakers hit the road in June, crossing through the Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, all the way to Thessaloniki in Greece. During its deployment in Thessaloniki and together with a trailer turned into a workshop on wheels, the #Labmobile forms the prototype of a Mobile Resource Center, which Communitere will provide to local partner organizations working with refugees and the local population. During the trip they made stops at Makerspaces like the MakersLab in Prague, HappyLab and MetaLab in Vienna, Makerspace in Budapest – and also at organizations that pursue innovative approaches to support refugees, such as the OPENmarx Project of the Future Lab of the Vienna University of Technology and the Council of Refugee Women in Sofia.
Learn more on our blogpost Big Blue on tour!