Academic Paper on Digital Crafts and Well Being Presented to FAB 16


An academic paper entitled ‘The effects on wellbeing of participating in digital fabrication sessions’ written by, Dr Andrew Williams of St. Andrews University,  Emma Bland from the University of Exeter, and  myself was accepted and presented at the FAB 16 conference.  Every year the of Fab Lab network comes together for an international conference to celebrate and publicize the work of over 2000 Fab Labs around the world. ‘Involving government officials, academic researchers, and experts in the field of digital fabrication, to present, envision, discuss, and build community around digital fabrication, technology, and innovation’. This year the event was held on line, from Montreal, Canada.

In a nutshell the paper explores the role of participating in digital fabrication or digital craft sessions in improving wellbeing, particularly for those from disadvantaged groups. It describes how, with the help of the University of Exeters’ Smartline Project, the data was collected and analyzed and how the results were interpreted. Effectively the study  shows that there is a statistically significant improvement in well being among everybody who participated. 

A full version of the paper can be downloaded from here. We are looking forward to doing more work in this area, perhaps even getting involved with some social prescribing initiatives. If anyone is interested in learning more or getting involved in ongoing research please get in touch.

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