Green City Lab

Personal fabrication and collaborative, distributed energy production as catalyst for citizen involvement in the field of sustainability

25 Sep 2008

The central theme of this hands-on workshop is the exploration of the role of personal fabrication and collaborative energy production as catalysts for bottom-up innovation and citizen involvement in the field of sustainability.


- - 3D printer from fablab

Event type
Hands-on workshop


Contact person
Marjolijn Bloemmen,, 020-5579898

Preliminary Programme
In the Green City Lab, the city realm will be used as a design-space for distributed, sustainable energy production. Think of the deployment of little windmills, capturing the energy of revolving doors and machines in fitness centers, and harnessing of energy spent by children in playgrounds. During the Green City Lab, twenty participants from various domains will be challenged to conceptualize and construct prototypes of personal power plants. Hands-on, Do-It-Yourself sessions will be alternated with reflections on the theme, initiated by short presentations by some of the participants. In addition, contributions from various experts working at Fablabs will feed the creative process, by means of a live video stream.

08.30 Welcome + coffee
09.00 Introduction Green City Lab (Marjolijn Bloemmen)

09.15 Introduction DIY Session (Michael Pelletier & Fiona van de Geijn)
09.30 DIY 1/2
11.00 Intermezzo ‘examples distributed energy production’ (Siert Wijnia)
Reflexions of fablab expert via life stream
11.30 DIY 2/2 + lunch

13.00 Introduction Design Session (Bas van Abel)
13.15 Brainstorm 1/3
13.45 Intermezzo ‘Citizen Participation ’ (Daniel Kaplan) + coffee
14.15 Brainstorm 2/3
14.45 Intermezzo ‘Windmills in the urban fabric’ (Hans van Houwelingen)
15.15 Brainstorm 3/3
15.45 3’ Pitch Design Session

16.30 Wrap-up
17.00 End

Target audience
Green City Lab can host up to twenty people. The aim is to compile a multidisciplinary team of participants, involved in sustainabilitiy issues and with a background in personal fabrication or prototyping, research, arts, politics, citizen participation & bottom-up innovation management, distributed energy production from renewable resources and architecture & urban planning.

Background information
The sustainability issue is characterized by the paradox that radical changes at a global scale are required whilst at the moment only minimalistic changes in the behaviour of individuals seem to be feasible. Therefore authorities, politicians and knowledge institutes aim to influence and orchestrate the behaviour of individuals. They look for appropriate means to stimulate and facilitate autonomous ‘civic’ development. In this context Waag Society advocates the provision of open-source networked technology that enables individuals to personally explore, understand and enhance the impact of their lifestyle on environmental issues.

The international network of Fablabs is a good example of a technological infrastructure that facilitates people with this exploration. Fablabs constitute laboratories open to the public and equipped with machines that enable the production of rapid prototypes. With Fablabs, (almost) any type of object can be created beyond the confines of Research & Development departments of industrial monopolists. They facilitate the public to manufacture artifacts supporting ones personal lifestyle. As such Fablabs directly facilitate self expression, which was and still is the driving force of the digital revolution and which -according Waag Society- may be the key to innovation in the field of sustainability. The labs enable the integration of disciplines, result in a diversity of solutions and above all induce a sense of ownership.

Links to relevant information
Some of the results of the Green City Lab will be presented during the RE:LABS event at PICNIC on the evening of the 26th (19h00-22h00).

More information about fablabs in the Netherlands, can be found on

- Marjolijn Bloemmen
- Siert Wijnia
- Michael Pelletier
- Fiona van de Geijn
- Bas van Abel
- Daniel Kaplan
- Hans van Houwelingen

More information on organiser

Do you want to apply for this lab? Then make sure you have an active PICNIC Network acount. If you don't have an account yet, please go to and create one (it's free). It will give you access to profiles of more than 10.000 PICNIC Network members and you will be able to apply for one of the labs (just return to the Lab page of your choice).

The Waag Society will make the final selection of actual participants. Selected participants will recieve a confirmation and a registration code in due time. Make sure your PICNIC Network profile is as complete as possible, to make it easier for us to select you