Fab City Conference

Meet the speakers

We gathered inspiring and forward thinking experts and enthusiasts.

Designer and creator of Precious Plastic

Dave Hakkens

(NL) Designer and creator of Precious Plastic

Dave Hakkens a 28 year old designer from the Netherlands. Dave's goal is simple: he just wants 'to make the world better by making things'. Whether it's an inspirational video, machines to recycle plastic or a phone concept it doesn’t really matter. As long as it might push the world in a better direction he is interested.
Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Ron Eglash

(USA) Professor of Science and Technology Studies

Ron is a Professor of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
His books include African Fractals: modern computing and indigenous design and Appropriating Technology: vernacular science and social power.
Collaborating with indigenous communities, urban artisans and others, his research program on “generative justice” develops computational, thermal and mechanical systems that nurture the bottom-up circulation of value in unalienated form, from heritage algorithms to decolonized digital fabrication.
Social Entrepreneur and Innovator

Rory Aronson

(USA) Social Entrepreneur and Innovator

Educated as an engineer and Entrepreneur at heart, Rory is the guy behind the renowned FarmBot project, an open-source precision farming machine and software designed for small scale food production. His vision is to create an open and accessible technology to help everyone to grow food.
Photography by Alfred Weidinger, © 2015

Tomás Saraceno

(ARG) Artist and architect

Born in 1973 in Tucumán, Argentina, Tomás Saraceno lives and works in and beyond the planet earth. Informed by the worlds of art, architecture, natural sciences, astrophysics and engineering, his floating sculptures and interactive installations propose new, sustainable ways of inhabiting the environment.
Throughout the past decade, he has explored the possibility of a future airborne existence as part of his ongoing Aerocene/Cloud Cities projects. Building on the progressive proposals and theories put forth by R. Buckminster Fuller, Frei Otto, Gyula Kosice, Yona Friedman and other visionaries before him, Saraceno develops engaging proposals and models that invite viewers to conceptualize innovative ways of living and interacting with one another, and with their surroundings at large.
Saraceno studied architecture at Universidad Nacional de Buenos Aires in Argentina (1992-1999) and received postgraduate degrees in Art and Architecture from Escuela Superior de Bellas Artes de la Nación “Ernesto de la Cárcova”, Buenos Aires (2000), and Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main (2003), attending the IUAV in Venice thereafter. In 2009, he participated in the International Space Studies Program at NASA Center Ames in Silicon Valley, CA, and was awarded the prestigious Calder Prize. That same year he also presented a major installation at the 53rd Venice Bienale as part of the group exhibition Fari Mondi // Making Worlds, curated by Daniel Birnbaum. Saraceno lectures in institutions worldwide, and directed the Institute of Architecture-related Art (IAK) at Braunschweig University of Technology, Germany (2014–2016). He has held residencies at Centre National d’Études Spatiales (2014–2015), MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology (2012–ongoing) and Atelier Calder (2010), among others.
Aerocene, an open-source community project for artistic and scientific exploration initiated from Saraceno’s vision, becomes buoyant only by the heat of the Sun and infrared radiation from the surface of Earth.
In 2015, Saraceno achieved the world record for the first and longest certified fully-solar manned flight. He was the first person to scan, reconstruct and reimagine spiders’ weaved spatial habitats, and possesses the only three-dimensional spider web collection to existence.
Saraceno’s important solo presentations include How to Entangle the Universe in a Spider’s Web, curated by Victoria Noorthoorn, at Museo de Arte Moderno, Buenos Aires (2017); Stillness in Motion – Cloud Cities, curated by Joseph Becker, at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2016); 163,000 Light Years, curated by Gonzalo Ortega, at Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Monterrey (2016); Arachnid Orchestra.Jam Sessions, curated by Ute Meta Bauer, at NTU Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore (2015); Becoming Aerosolar, curated by Mario Codognato, at 21er Haus – Belvedere, Vienna (2015); Cosmic Jive, Tomas Saraceno: The Spider Sessions, curated by Luca Cerizza, at Museo di Villa Croce, Genoa (2014); In orbit, curated by Marion Ackermann and Susanne Meyer-Büser, at Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen K21, Düsseldorf (2013-ongoing); On Space Time Foam, at HangarBicocca, Milan (2012-13); On the Roof: Cloud City, a site-specific installation commissioned for The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (2012); Cloud Cities, at Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin (2011-12), 14 Billions (Working Title), at Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm (2010).
Professor Saadi Lahlou is Chair in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Saadi Lahlou

(FR) Chair in Social Psychology

Professor Saadi Lahlou is Chair in Social Psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He directed 4 research units (in Consumer Research, Sociology of Organizations, Cognitive Science, Social Psychology).
He has worked in industry R&D for 15 years, in government (French Prime Minister’s strategy unit), and academia.
He authored many publications; the recently published “Installation theory” (Cambridge University Press, 2017), his 5th book, examines the influence of context on behaviour, and how to produce behavioural change.
Neil Gershenfeld

Neil Gershenfeld

(USA) Professor and Director of MIT's Center for Bits and Atoms

Neil is the creator of the famous class 'How to make (almost) anything' which later led him to launch the Fab Lab movement. His works and research focus on breaking down boundaries between the digital and physical worlds. Neil is the author of numerous books including his latest Designing Reality.
Architect and Founder 00 (project00.cc)

Indy Johar

(UK) Architect and Founder 00 (project00.cc)

Indy has co-founded multiple social ventures from Impact Hubs to Open Desk and the Wikihouse Open source construction system. He is also involved at Dark Matter labs, which aims to apply complex systems science to Urban & Regional Renewal to solve the wicked challenges society faces in the 21st century.

Danielle Wood

(USA) Director of the Space Enabled Research Group / Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Dr. Danielle Wood is assistant professor of Media Arts and Sciences at the MIT Media Lab. Dr. Wood leads the Space Enabled Research Group seeking to advance justice in earth's complex systems using designs enabled by space. Dr. Wood is a scholar of societal development with a background that includes satellite design, earth science applications, systems engineering, and technology policy for the US and emerging nations. In her research, Dr. Wood designs innovative systems that harness space technology addressing development challenges worldwide.Wood’s research also develops systems analysis tools improving decision making duringcomplex systems design. Most recently, Dr. Wood worked as the Applied Sciences Managerwithin the Earth Science Division of Goddard Space Flight Center. Previously, she served asSpecial Assistant and Advisor to the Deputy Administrator at NASA Headquarters inWashington, DC. Prior to working at NASA, Dr. Wood held positions at the AerospaceCorporation, Johns Hopkins University, and the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs.Dr. Wood studied at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she earned a PhD inengineering systems, SM in aeronautics and astronautics, SM in technology policy, and SB inaerospace engineering.
President of the Fab Foundation

Sherry Lassiter

(USA) President of the Fab Foundation

Sherry Lassiter is one of the architects of the MIT global initiative for field on-site technology development, the Fab Lab program. Sherry is currently engaged at the Fab Foundation in the deployment and growth of Fab Labs around the world, enabling grassroots technology development by, for and of the community.
Professor of Sociology at Columbia University

Saskia Sassen

(USA) Professor of Sociology at Columbia University

Saskia is a student of cities, immigration, and states in the world economy, with inequality, gendering and digitization three key variables in her work. Her books are translated in over twenty languages. She has received many awards and multiple doctor honoris causa. She coined the term Global City.

Francesca Bria

(ES) Barcelona City Council. Chief Technology and Digital Innovation Officer.

Francesca Bria is Senior Researcher and Advisor on Technology and Innovation policy. She has a PhD in Innovation Economics for Imperial College, London and MSc on Digital Economy from University of London, Birbeck. As Senior Programme Lead at Nesta, the UK Innovation Agency, she has led the EU D-CENT project, the biggest European Project on direct democracy and digital currencies. She also led the DSI project on Digital Social Innovation in Europe, advising the EU on digital social innovation policies. She has been teaching in several universities in the UK and Italy and she has advised Governments, public and private organizations and movements on Technology and Innovation policy, and its socio-economic impact.

Francesca Bria is an adviser for the European Commission on Future Internet and Innovation Policy. She is currently the new Commissioner of Digital Technology and Innovation for the city of Barcelona in Spain and she is leading the DECODE project (http://decodeproject.eu) on data sovereignty in Europe.

Curator and Researcher

José Luis De Vicente

(ES) Curator and Researcher

José is interested in digital culture, innovation and new media art. He is currently the curator of Sónar+D, the Creative Technologies and New Media area of Barcelona’s acclaimed Sónar Festival, as well as a curator at FutureEverything Festival, Manchester. He is Senior Faculty at IaaC - Institute for Advanced Architecture of Catalonia.

Gerardo Pisarello

(ES) First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona

Born in Argentina in 1970, he has lived in Barcelona since 2001. He holds a Doctorate in Law and he is Tenure Professor in Constitutional Law at the University of Barcelona.
He is currently First Deputy Mayor of Barcelona City Council and is responsible for Economy and Labour, Digital City and International Relations. He is also in charge of International Relations and Global Justice, Historical Memory, and Technology and Digital Innovation.

He is President of Barcelona Activa, the municipal local development agency, the Municipal Institute of Finance, as well as the Municipal Institute of Informatics.

As author of several works on constitutionalism, human rights and the right to the city, he has published “Vivienda para todos. Un derecho en (de)construcción” (2003); “Los derechos sociales y sus garantías” (2007); “La ofensiva del constitucionalismo antidemocrático” (2011) and “Procesos constituyentes. Caminos para la ruptura democrática” (2012). He is the co-author of “No hay derecho(s). La ilegalidad del poder en tiempos de crisis” (2012) and “La bestia sin bozal. En defensa del derecho a la protesta” (2014).

For over more than ten years he has been Vice-President of the Observatory of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (Observatori DESC).

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