Fab Academy for happiness

By Martin Risseeuw, Fab Academy student
Since my internship at Waag Society, I feel different, I have more energy, laugh more and am generally just a lot happier. Now this has several causes, but the most important is that I 've found something, something I had lost for years. When my parents were looking for me as a child they did not have to search for long: " Martin will be in the garage." The garage was a great place for me where I felt at home, a domain with all these great tools and materials. In this real , I could build my own fantasy objects for hours, which made no sense mostly, but were beautiful to me. In my view, this is actually the beginning of my passion for design and the maker movement .
The maker movement is a great thing for me, the ideas I have in my head as a designer, I can now make tangible. My passion for design also came back when I stepped into the Fablab the first time. I felt just like that little boy in his parents' garage again. Instead of building a house for my guinea pig, I can now be engaged in 'social design', an interest that I developed during my training at the Royal Academy of Arts. Not design for a guinea pig, but for society. I found myself now in a great environment again, but it didn't feel like home like earlier in my parents' garage. The machines are all digital, and I was not yet familiar with them. But my desire to get to know these machines was great, because without this knowledge my ideas would only survive in my head .
When, during an afternoon working in the Fablab, I heard Fablab manager Alex on the phone about the Fab Academy, this aroused my interest. After doing some research about the Fab Academy, I was hooked - I just had to follow this course. However, I was still busy with the internship that I ran at Waag Society. After a conversation with Alex and Marise, my internship supervisor, we came up with the idea that I could combine the academy with a project I was working as a concept developer. In this project I would get to work as - as I like to call it - a concept designer. The purpose of my internship was realized, and I could work with both my hands and brains.
During the Fab Academy, I worked on the project " Design for Happiness". For this project, I started working with prototypes of the ideas that Marise and I came up with during our brainstorming sessions. This combined with the Fab Academy worked super. The Fab Academy gave me the opportunity to make our ideas for " Design for Happiness" come to life. One thing all people have in common is that everyone wants to be happy. But sometimes we need a traffic light to reflect on what makes us happy. The happiness lamp helps you occasionally stand still in this fast paced life. The lamp helps the user to not lose sight of her needs and above all, it is a reminder of what really makes the user happy.
During the Fab Academy, I learned to deal with all the machines and much more. The Fab Academy honors its slogan ( "how to make almost anything" ). For any idea you can think of, they give you pointers or a specific technique to achieve your goal. From electronics that I had to zero sense of, to 3D milling and molding and casting, I learned it. You get to know a lot of people who you can call on. The Fablab network is a great place for help and inspiration. The Fab Academy has offered me the opportunity to not keep my ideas in my head forever, but to make them. Putting my own, tangible stamp on society.
At the time of writing I feel at home. I feel at home in the Fablab and now and again I feel like that little boy in his parents' garage.

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