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ABOUT YouFab

We continuously look forward to seeing
new ideas that are “hacked”,
that excites us and provokes our imagination.

WHAT,S YouFab

YouFab is an award run by FabCafe since 2012, which first began as a competition for creators to simply come together. We aim to build an influential community of creators, by building a platform that connects the creators directly with society.
We seek for works that reflect upon current events that affect our world today.
We look at how bridges are connected between various elements such as the environment, the social, the economic, and the political, with design.
We call on creators from around the world who challenge what we see as normal, by “hacking” into these norms with the medium of design.
We continuously look forward to seeing new ideas that are “hacked”, that excites and provokes our imagination.

MESSAGES FROM YouFab COMMUNITY

YouFab forms a strong creative community with past winners, judges, and industry leaders.
Here are some of the inspirational messages for creators.

  • Kyle Li

    Assistant Professor of Intermedia / YouFab2016 Judge

    Kyle Li

    Assistant Professor of Intermedia / YouFab2016 Judge

    Teaching online for the first time inspired me to explore a new world of design and technology. I studied online videos on new tools and gadgets that streamers and online influencers use to perfect their video and online presence. I tried to remix my own skill sets to shorten the gap between in-person and online learning. I experimented with MMD, VRoid, and FaceRig. I created an interactive virtual background in Unity 3D and Arduino. I pick up Lens Studio. I built a 3D printer. I fired up my old image processing sketches to manipulate the video feed...etc. If you are like me, 2020 probably failed to stop you from being more creative. Let’s make more!

  • Patrick Morgan

    Artist and Educator, Former Director of Wallpaper* RCA Masterclass, founder of Fida
    Worldwide

    Patrick Morgan

    Artist and Educator, Former Director of Wallpaper* RCA Masterclass, founder of Fida
    Worldwide

    As a creative, opening yourself up to new ways of being different and exposing yourself to critical feedback, is one of the main reasons why events like Youfab help the best in the innovation field grow. The questions you will ask yourself, is the work relevant, is it original and will it change the world. These are all great questions that the best in the industry ask themselves everyday, so if you are asking these questions and are trying to do something new or maybe be different, then this is the perfect competition for you.

  • Keiichiro Matsumura

    Okayama University Literature Department Associate Professorr / YouFab2019 Judge

    Keiichiro Matsumura

    Okayama University Literature Department Associate Professorr / YouFab2019 Judge

    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 / YouFab2019 First Prize Winner

    Ani Liu

    Artist, Researcher, Lecturer, Arts Fellow at Princeton / YouFab2019 First Prize Winner

    Designers and artists play a pivotal role in imagining and shaping the future. 2020 has been challenging and transformative in a myriad of ways- how might we go forward from here? I encourage designers and artists from all disciplines to reflect on today’s challenges, from the technical to the emotional, from the personal to the political and beyond. I look forward to seeing how Youfabbers can utilize their talents to explore the current condition that we live in.

  • Leonhard Bartolomeus

    YCAM Curator, Artist collective ruangrupa & Gudskul Ekosistem / YouFab2019 Judge

    Leonhard Bartolomeus

    YCAM Curator, Artist collective ruangrupa & Gudskul Ekosistem / YouFab2019 Judge

    In the last YouFab, we talked about tools, methods, and strategies to bring people being together. However, the situation is changed now after the COVID-19 prohibited us to socialize. The virus is affecting not only our health but also our relation and our culture. Despite the physical distance that we should follow, the collaboration between individuals to help each other and overcome the situation continues. One of the best examples to look at is at the maker and open-source tech community who are taking a quick response, creating several DIY designs for the mask, face shield, and PPE.

    This year YouFab is coming with the theme of "Contactless [by default]" could be a portal for artist, maker, scientist, and also engineer to rethinking the possibility of human interaction. These changes may be looking temporary but could affect ourselves in a more significant way. Using different mediums and tools of art and science, let's come and think together to overcome this pandemic.

  • Akihiro Kato

    Starburn Co., Ltd. Engineer / YouFab2018 Finalist

    Akihiro Kato

    Starburn Co., Ltd. Engineer / YouFab2018 Finalist

    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, FabBiotope Founder / YouFab2016 Grad Prize

    Keisuke Shimakage

    Otonglass President, FabBiotope Founder / YouFab2016 Grad Prize

    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 / YouFab2017 Finalist

    Kazuya Kawasaki

    Speculative fashion design, Synflux presiding / YouFab2017 Finalist

    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

    Internationally Acclaimed Artist, Designer & Futurist, YouFab Grand Prize Winner (2017)

    Amy Karle

    Internationally Acclaimed Artist, Designer & Futurist, YouFab Grand Prize Winner (2017)

    The world as we know it has stopped in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. Things will never be the same… and in this, there is great opportunity to shape our future.

    It is vitally important that we find new ways of coming together, and seize this opportunity to redesign and reframe humanity, physicality, and “experience” in this world where being contactless in quarantine has become the default.

    We must challenge how we think about our world and come up with new and inspiring concepts and projects. YouFab is a celebration and showcase of this kind of thinking. It is both recognition of individual achievements and of a collective community using fabrication tools to create works that can shape our future.

  • Satoshi Yoshiizumi

    TAKT PROJECT Inc. President / Designer

    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

    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

    Assistant Professor at Keio University Graduate School of Media Design

    It is amazing how we humans are capable of adapting to new lifestyle conditions and practices not only to survive, but also to empower our society and community. Although in 2020 the physical distancing became rather a habit we practice protecting our self and communities, digital social solidarity became the new lifestyle we live in, yet we are still exploring it. True that the emergence of COVID-19 carried a lot of stress, close physical contact phobia, and economical disaster, but also it provided us an opportunity to push our technological boundaries and testing our digital communities. This year's YouFab theme addresses such new form of society and explores creative ideas and topics that may radically improve our society and global community.

  • Michael Koehle

    Artist

    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

    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!

ORGANIZER

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.

Co-Founder of FabCafe

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

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.

WHAT,S FabCafe

FabCafe is a series of ‘Fab’ innovation labs that specialize in creating products, services and experiences of the future. Here, maker enthusiasts, businesses and everyday people can access digital fabrication tools and experiences for fields ranging from fashion to bio. Founded in Tokyo in 2012, FabCafe’s global network now serves and fosters creative communities in 11 locations around the world, including Bangkok, Barcelona, Hong Kong, and many more.