We will announce finalists in mid-December, Final result will be announced January 2020

About YouFab

We are calling for entrants from around the world that challenge
the idea of what is sensible and “hack” the common sense model.
We look forward to seeing entries that align with this spirit.

Conviviality

Emerging from the space
between the old and new OS

Whenever I look at events and revolutions that are shaking up the world, I relive the feeling that systems from an older era are finally approaching their limit. Regardless if we are thinking of issues in business, culture, or politics, it has become more and more challenging to address them through a stream of constant updates, and the limitations of the entire system have become increasingly apparent. When people perceive this to be a minor issue and attempt to find a solution to it, they are led to a myriad of problems entrenched in the entire industry, issues with the legal system, or even problems associated with deep-rooted mindsets, which often result in them ultimately losing sight of the actual site of the problem itself.

Initially, I had thought that it would be all right to simply get hold of a new app, but I realized it has become apparent that an update of the OS itself is required. Updating the OS on your own PC is a tedious process. It is indeed odd to imagine that an OS can be easily updated if the OS is connected to not only companies, businesses, industries, but the entire society. Naturally, if it were that easy, there would be a lot of resulting conflict.

Moreover, when it comes to updating an OS, it is not a matter of simply replacing the old system with a new OS by purchasing new components at a place where they are sold, downloading them, and setting them up all by ourselves. A new OS must undergo a seemingly endless cycle of planning, trials, an implementation phase, verification, further trials, and so on, before gradually taking its form as a finished product. One of the biggest challenges is that the typical process of first taking a good look at everything and drawing up a highly precise design before ensuring that all is perfect and proceeding with implementation does not work in this case. On the contrary, every update has to be performed in the spirit of “let’s try this and see if this works.”

Of course, this means that there is no choice but for us to grapple with the inevitable fact that whenever a problem has been resolved, a new problem may crop up elsewhere, and vice versa. In this complicated world, we need to accept that it is next to impossible to put in all our efforts in the hope of solving every existing problem at one go. Precisely for this reason, we must accept the insecurity of the present moment as we are in a period of performing updates without a definite end in sight.

This is a very uneasy and frightening situation. Because of the unease and discomfort, discontent and contradictions may arise in the absence of certain knowledge regarding the ripple effects of attempted improvements, which will lead to conflict, stand-offs, and the rapid fragmentation of society. Under these circumstances, we will lose sight of the ways and means that are essential for us to lead a better life.

If I remember correctly, the historian and intellectual Ivan Illich had advanced the idea of “conviviality” in the 1970s. Since that time, it has been acknowledged that the OS that drives nations and society today is approaching its limit, and Illich has introduced the concept of “conviviality” to the world as a way of thinking and an attitude that can help us to overcome this limit.

“Conviviality” can be interpreted as independent symbiosis or self-sustaining collaboration. Simply put, it is a call for individuals and communities who are confronted with issues and difficulties to seek out systems, structures, or tools that would enable them to transform or revolutionize the status quo and to maintain the new system in a sustainable manner. In other words, when the government or the industry is unable to solve the problems around us, we will do it ourselves. In the case of OS, the idea of conviviality lies at the heart of the conceptual foundation of Linux.

The idea, then, is to lead an independent and autonomous life as much as possible without relying on external entities. There should be no such thing as having too many systems, structures, or tools that can aid us in this objective, either now or in the future. On the contrary, a society that is abundantly equipped with these systems and tools will create a symbiotic effect which will start to take root throughout the entire society. I believe that will be the moment when we will finally discover the contours of the new OS, which will be completely different from its predecessors.

If the voice for change is loud enough, developers and creators will be obliged to seriously reconsider the question of whose benefit technological progress should actually be for. Meanwhile, the idea that convenience can automatically bring about a richer life is nothing but a logic that has been built into the system of the old OS. All of us ought to sit down and carefully think about how we can safely sustain the livelihood of people and communities around us in the event that this logic falls flat.

Kei Wakabayashi

Editor

Kei Wakabayashi was born in 1971 and spent his early childhood in London and New York. After graduating from the School of Humanities and Social Sciences in French Studies at Waseda University, he joined Heibonsha, and became part of the editorial department for "Gekkan Taiyo." In 2000, became an independent editor. Afterward, he edited a wide range of publications, including magazines, books, and exhibition records, and became active as a music journalist. He was assigned as the Chief Editor for the Japanese edition of "WIRED" in 2012, and left the post in 2017. In 2018, he launched blkswn publishers, Inc. and authored the book, "Sayonara Mirai" (Goodbye, Future), published by Iwanami Shoten (April​ 2018).

MESSAGES

Introducing a message from the creators community of YouFab.

Keiichiro Matsumura

Okayama University Literature Department Associate Professor

Keiichiro Matsumura

Keiichiro Matsumura

Okayama University Literature Department Associate Professor

We are entering an era in which people are being asked to be more and more productive. This is what everyone is believing in now. But what exactly does it mean to be "productive in a human way" or to do "creative work"? What I want is to encounter works which seek to shake up the very definition of "productivity/creativity."

Ani Liu

Artist, Researcher, Lecturer, Arts Fellow at Princeton

Ani Liu

Ani Liu

Artist, Researcher, Lecturer, Arts Fellow at Princeton

I am a big believer in learning through making. I've learned how to use most of the tools in my life, from coding electronics to engineering bacteria by becoming inspired in making an artwork. I believe the best way to learn is through joy and passion, and I believe some of the best innovative break throughs can emerge when unexpected disciplines cross path. I encourage all YouFab-ers and makers to continue exploring, supporting each other, and sharing their work!

Bartolomeus Leonhard

Artist collective ruangrupa & Gudskul Ekosistem

Bartolomeus Leonhard

Bartolomeus Leonhard

Artist collective ruangrupa & Gudskul Ekosistem

Even though the YouFab Global Creative Award is taking form as a competition, we should nevertheless see it as a way of expanding the networks, as a meeting platform, and as a space to exchange knowledge with others. Following last year theme “Polémica”, we might start to shift our perspective from Do It Yourself (DIY) to Do It with Others (DIWO). This will hopefully strengthen ourselves to even more questioning of the status quo, trying to find an alternative structure, and also open up unimaginable possibilities that could be useful to our environment. So let's join and share your knowledge to everyone!

Akihiro Kato

Starburn Co., Ltd. Engineer

Akihiro Kato

Akihiro Kato

Starburn Co., Ltd. Engineer

YouFab is a fantastic award that encourages today's people to reconsider what it means to make something at a time when most of us tend to pursue superficial comfort. I feel that, as technology advances rapidly, it is getting all the more significant to make something or to try something. I am looking forward to seeing works that help me discover a new relationship between technology and people that we are only now able to perceive. I look forward to seeing why the artist made that work or what the work is desperately trying to convey.

Keisuke Shimakage

Otonglass President, Assistant Professor, University of Tsukuba

Keisuke Shimakage

Keisuke Shimakage

Otonglass President, Assistant Professor, University of Tsukuba

What will happen when everything is democratized/decentralized? You can create a tool with your own hands. By testing the reinforcement, recovery, reversal, and decline that the tool brings about to your future society, you again remake that tool. That kind of open-ended activity is becoming possible. You can create a tool by yourself to change reality and involve everyone. At the same time, by doing this, you live for the moment while speculating about the future and envisioning a desirable society within that community. With YouFab, we want to see works that provide a glimpse of these kinds of situations which Fab will undoubtedly bring about.

Kazuya Kawasaki

Speculative fashion design / Synflux presiding

Kazuya Kawasaki

Kazuya Kawasaki

Speculative fashion design / Synflux presiding

In the year 2012 when YouFab had begun, I entered Fab Campus Keio SFC. Inspired by digital fabrication and biofabrication, I began my own creative activities. There, a democratization of design had been loudly exclaimed and the possibility of individual creativity had been actively debated. To me, the fab mind is the origin and is still the basis of my creative inspirations even now.

However, in recent platforms, there are exploitative structures and ever complexifying environmental problems leading to rapid change in the current natural/artificial environment of Fab. Has the Fab ideal exclaimed at the time been fundamentally realized? Also, does Fab really contribute to individual creativity? It is necessary for us to ask this question again.

Now, I would like to see what a "post-Fab" looks like. Actually, I believe it is important to completely and utterly destroy the concept of Fab to show the next generation. I am hoping such extreme works are submitted to YouFab. YouFab is an award covering theory/practice, design/engineering, digital/physical, and those greedy "radicals" who want to master both. Don't miss out on your submission to update the meaning of Fab!

Amy Karle

Artist, YouFab Grand Prize Winner (2017)

Amy Karle

Amy Karle

Artist, YouFab Grand Prize Winner (2017)

The personal and professional relationships were the best part of winning the YouFab award. I feel so grateful for the opportunity to get to know the team, creatives, and extended professional network through YouFab and am happy to consider many of them as my friends. I continue to work and keep in touch with the connections made through winning this award; this opportunity opened to many further related professional opportunities to show and share my work through the extended YouFab network and connections, serving as a platform to share innovative ideas and processes, advance my artwork, mission and career while receiving sincere and genuine support for my success and positive growth. I feel so thankful to be a part of this mission and community.

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

TAKT PROJECT Inc. President / Designer

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

Satoshi Yoshiizumi

TAKT PROJECT Inc. President / Designer

To the extent that the word "Fab" feels almost transparent, digital fabrication has perhaps already become something taken for granted.

On the one hand, while at first Fab was largely just associated with being a tool, with increasing sophistication and the incorporation of AI, Fab is now beginning to almost seem like a type of personality.

At such a time, how will people face Fab? A reinterpretation of the relation between a new sense of life and view of nature, in other words technology, human beings, and nature—this is what I have come to hope for with YouFab. This is my Youfab, but what is Fab or YouFab for you? I think YouFab is a place to discuss this very definition, something that changes with every moment. I look forward to encountering your point of view.

Julia Cassim

Professor at KYOTO Design Lab Kyoto Institute of Technology

Julia Cassim

Julia Cassim

Professor at KYOTO Design Lab Kyoto Institute of Technology

The world of digital fabrication in a paradise for the intrepid digital explorer. Each day, it seems, new tools are added and existing ones are evolved into more sophisticated versions. All of this offers creatives as well as those using them for more functional purposes to explore alternative scenarios around making in all domains.

This explosion of activity in the digital realm has had a revitalising effect too on the traditional physical world of making - this is especially true in the world of 3D design. In a pre-digital age, designers would make laborious physical models of their prototypes. In the process, they would understand the nature of materials and how design failure could be overcome when the cherished conceptual drawing was challenged by the laws of the physical world or the realities of how it could be used.

The physical prototype was often replaced wholesale by an onscreen digital version. As a result, the essential skills of thinking through making were weakened for a whole generation of designers who were trained digitally but had little experience of the workshop. Thankfully that situation has been dramatically reversed thanks to the range of tools available for digital fabrication which have allowed designers to revisit this older tradition, gain confidence from a dialogue between the two and use both in combination.

This is evidenced by the ever-rising quality of entries to the YouFab Awards and its existence as a vital platform for creatives - one that allows the full range of possibility to be displayed , evaluated and curated. As a result, it sets a benchmark for excellence across categories which in turn raises standards in terms of both concept and realisation on an international level.

I have been privileged to be involved with the YouFab Awards for the past two years and wish it all the best for the future. Onwards and upwards!

MHD Yamen Saraiji

Assistant Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media Design

MHD Yamen Saraiji

MHD Yamen Saraiji

Assistant Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media Design

In research, we imagine the future by realizing it. YouFab attracted me as a conjunction between creative design and fabrication, showcasing radical projects in engineering and art. I particularly enjoyed the panel discussion during the event, which hosted the judges and shared their take on the accepted work. Overall, YouFab was a great opportunity to mix and connect with various designers around the globe.

Michael Koehle

Artist

Michael Koehle

Michael Koehle

Artist

It was such an honor to receive recognition from YouFab. It gave the opportunity to bring my work to a broader audience and connect with other members of the YouFab community. Traveling to Japan to present my work was an amazing experience. The prize money allowed me to deepen my explorations in digital fabrication in fine art.

Neil Mendoza

Artist

Neil Mendoza

Neil Mendoza

Artist

Being part of the YouFab award was a great experience for me. To begin with, entering the competition was quick and straightforward. The competition website brought lots of cutting edge work to my attention from international artists and designers that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Winning an award then meant that I had the opportunity to travel to Japan, meet some of these people in person, exhibit my work to a new audience and experience the amazing hospitality of the YouFab team. I highly recommend taking part!

READ MORE

Organized by FabCafe

Tokyo, Kyoto, Hida, Taipei, Bangkok, Barcelona, Toulouse, Strasbourg, Monterrey, HongKong. FabCafe is a creator's cafe network, extending 10 locations around the world. At the FabCafes, unique creators gather, meet, pit their talents against each other, and give presentations on their ideas and creations every day. Since the beginning, the FabCafe Global Network has supported the birth of over 15,000 ideas by holding a various kind of creative workshops and events, all while also offering delicious coffee and comfortable spaces to relax.

The YouFab Global Creative Awards is a compilation of the year's activities. Curators at each location call out to creators they have met and networked within that year to compile a number of impressive submissions from around the world.

At the same time, we are discovering and supporting creators who are likely to change the next generation by recognizing and celebrating their unique works. The large number of YouFab winners so far are connected globally through winning the YouFab Award and their field of activities have expanded.

From Local to Global, Global to Local.
We believe that the next generation of talent is not only born from advanced research facilities or university labs, but also from small towns and communities around the world. The transmission from local to global returns results back to the local. Through this cycle, YouFab is ever becoming more supportive of the world's creatives, as well as international creative businesses.

Toshiya Fukuda

Hakuhodo Fellow / Chief Creative x Technology Officer
Osaka University of the Arts Professor of Design
Triple Seven Creative Strategies Co., Ltd. Representative Director
Co-Founder of FabCafe

Toshiya is a professional in communication planning, directing and consulting media platforms. His own company, 777 Interactive, responds to the cutting-edge demands of companies and he considers the future of fabrication through FabCafe. He also raises next-generation creators at Hakuhodo and teaches digital design at Osaka University of Arts. His exemplary efforts are highly regarded overseas and has been awarded multiple international design awards and has taken part as a judge for such awards.