Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL), Shenzhen’s first Fab Lab SZOIL, embodies four functions including Fab Lab promotion and FabLab 2.0 research and develop, innovation and entrepreneur education courses, global maker service platform, and supply chain collaboration service.Shenzhen Open Innovation Lab (SZOIL) recently started to offer innovation and entrepreneurship education courses that are clubbed as ‘Fab Academy Courses’, along with a global maker service platform, and supply chain collaboration service, which creatively connects ‘open source design’. The Lab was set up by Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association (SIDA), China’s largest professional design association and in collaboration with Maker Collider.
SZOIL is the first and only node in Shenzhen that offers Fab Academy courses. The instructors provide course counselling services on Fab Academy, a course led by Professor Neil Gershenfeld that has a failing rate of nearly 50%, and translate the course into Chinese after being authorized by MIT to address jet lag between China and foreign countries, which enable domestic makers and other scholars around the world to interact and exchange knowledge-based information.
Furthermore, SZOIL now provides basic maker equipment, such as 3D printers, laser cutting machines and so on for makers. Makers with ideas can come at SZOIL and make their own prototype. These prototypes are free for everyone to recreate. After industrial design redefinition and transformation, these samples will be equipped with different characteristics. “Relying on Shenzhen’s fast and robust manufacturing system, open source design from 1 to 1000 or even 10000 will be realized.” an SZOIL insider commented.
“I like Huaqiang Bei, and it is unfair to say that Shenzhen is a Shanzhai city”, said Professor Neil Gershenfeld, founder of Fab Lab and director of MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms, at Fab12 last year. In Prof. Neil’s view, Shenzhen’s “Shanzhai” is an unique innovation, unlike simple replication and plagiarism.
“In the field of design, open source design is regarded as the style or element designed by designers, which can be used by other designers for free. Instead of copying, other designers must make improvement and the upcoming products will also be stored in the database of open design for public use”, commented a faculty member.
“There is a fundamental difference among open source design and copying, plagiarism. A work without innovative concept compared to the original can only be called a copy. Karim Rashid, a leading American industrial designer, set up his first studio in the Asia-Pacific region in Shenzhen Sino-Finnish Design Park. With the help of SIDA, a Ningbo bamboo ware company facing bankrupt cooperated with Karim Rashid Studio and had its bamboo kitchen ware redesigned. Its newly designed products become popular, leading the company to transformation, which can be called open source design”, he added during the official announcement of the educational courses rolled out.
While acknowledging the pivotal role of SIDA, the faculty member said, “In 2014, SIDA promoted maker education with MIT’s CBA and the American Institute for the Future, created international maker communities with different themes, connected makers with industrial design, connected to the global large-scale manufacturing ecosystem and offered services to small and medium-sized hardware entrepreneurs with the support of the Open Innovation Lab, start-up accelerator, R & D solutions, overseas crowd funding channels, incubation and other resources to further consolidate Shenzhen’s international standing in the digital intelligent hardware development and manufacturing.”
About the Company
Shenzhen Industrial Design Profession Association (SIDA) is the largest professional design association in China.
For more information, please check https://www.szida.org