Based on a concept originally from Shibuya in Tokyo, Japan, FabCafe brings an innovative DIY vibe to the bustling Ari neighbourhood of Bangkok. The space serves as an indie cafe with healthy dishes, hearty baked goods, and organic coffees, as well as a casual co-working space and workshop. As of 2018, FabCafe has expanded to 10 locations in seven countries around the world.
The name ‘Fab’, in this case, refers to the fabulous fabrication revolution that’s growing around the world — for creations free from the constraints of mass production and market theory. The origins go back to the FabLab concept in 2002, presented by MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld in his book, “Fab: The Coming Revolution on Your Desktop — from Personal Computers to Personal Fabrication”.
Sharing this spirit in a fun, accessible, and user-friendly manner, each FabCafe fosters a local creative community and connects that community to the global network. Essentially, they provide an introduction to and outlet for everyday ‘fabbing’, where anyone, including children ages 6+ (or so) and teens, can casually participate.
“FabCafe is a space where people can come together, and connect with each other,” says Kalaya Kovidvisith, Co-Founder of FabCafe. “Here, people can enjoy the thrill of making new things together, bringing their digital data and imagined creations to life. ‘What do you fab?’ is our motto and what we’re always asking.”
The open platform supports individuals in their efforts to make new things with both traditional and digital fabrication and design tools. Patrons are welcome to use a glass-walled workshop equipped with mallets, pliers, measurement instruments, and more, as well as 2D laser cutters, 3D scanners and printers, and an automated sewing machine. Staff are on hand to provide assistance.
FabCafe offers regular workshops for adults and kids, each based on different themes and materials. A recent kids’ camp fused science, technology, and creative arts; the one-day sessions included using robotic kits to make drawing bots, creating music with a synthesizer that turns electric conductivity into sound, printing t-shirts with personal artwork, and making clay vessels with a 3D printer.
Follow FabCafe on Facebook to learn more about their monthly workshops; the language of instruction can be in English and/or Thai, based on participants’ requirements. Private workshops for design professionals can also be arranged.
FabCafe is located at 77/1 Soi Ari 1 (off Paholyothin Road), across from the Suan Bua Por Dee School. Parking is available on the premises. For those taking public transportation, the cafe is an easy 7-minute walk from the Ari BTS Station. There is an additional FabCafe facility at Thailand Creative Design Center (TCDC) on Charoen Krung Road.