A visit from Fab Lab Bhutan
Following Field Ready's assessment visit to Bhutan in November 2018, the Fab Lab Bhutan management team, headed by Karma Lhakyi and Tsewang Lhundup, visited Nepal to lend their wisdom and experience to Field Ready's project partners Nepal Communitere. We have facilitated this collaboration as a part of the Humanitarian Design Challenge project currently running in Nepal and we hope the relationship will continue to grow and expand as Field Ready facilitate the establishment of Nepal's first official Fab Lab.
The visit was organised in part by Pradita Pradhan, Field Ready's program coordinator in Nepal. She writes:
Two inspiring people from FabLab Bhutan, Karma Lhakyi and Tsewang Lhundup visited Nepal on the 24th of June 2019. Ms. Karma Lhakyi is Fab Lab Bhutan's Operations and Programming Lead and Mr. Tsewang Lhundup is the Program Development and Resource Mobilization Lead at FabLab Bhutan. They visited Nepal for what felt like a very short visit of about three and a half days.
The guests landed here at about 2:30 in the afternoon where they were met by Mr.Ram Chandra Thapa who is an Entrepreneur and a 3D printing & design expert from Nepal, he is also Field Ready's former Lead Design and Production Engineer in Nepal from 2016 to 2018.
Our Bhutanese guests were welcomed at the “Demo Workshop of Humanitarian Design Challenge”. Despite a national strike, more than the expected number of participants showed up with around 30 participants. The target audience for the demo workshop were University students and faculty members. After completion of the first part of the workshop, a presentation session was kept for the guests from Bhutan.
Mr. Lhundup presented the inspirational story of the establishment and growth of Fab Lab Bhutan. He explained how it all started and what was the importance of the FabLabs and the benefits its network can have. He also explained how different types of projects are running from the FabLab and its impact. It was a great session where participants were excited to know about the FabLab and its network. They insisted on having the FabLab here in Nepal ASAP and wanted to know more about the accessibility criteria.
On the 26th of June, the guests visited the SpaceTech and aerospace company Orion Space at Bhaktapur to see Nepal's only pico-satellite ground station. They also visited Nepal Innovation Center (NIC) and Zener Technologies, two locally significant innovation-focused companies. Presentations were exchanged from both the sides in NIC. After the visit, a lunch meeting at Nepal Communitere (NC) was organized for the guests from FabLab Bhutan. It was an interesting meeting where most of the organizations based at NC were introduced to the FabLab concept and the works that they have been doing. Everyone left these meetings inspired and connected.
Ms. Lhakyi and Mr. Lhundup shared a lot of their experiences and guided through the do’s and don’ts of setting up a Fab Lab for future success. Director of operations and programming at Nepal Communitere, Ms. Bahar Kumar along with her team were excited to have the opportunity to learn from our Bhutanese guests. The guests shared words of wisdom on the topics such as equipment selection, engaging more people with the lab and on the management of the FabLab as well.
It was a truly an extremely helpful visit with loads to suggestions and wisdom from FabLab Bhutan.
Field Ready hopes to maintain and grow this reciprocally beneficial relationship creating an trans-himalayan maker community. This could be transformative for digital manufacturing and local humanitarian making in Nepal and Bhutan. Watch this space for more...