Reciprocity & Exchange

Helping each other reach our goals.

At Fab Lab Wgtn, we are thrilled to welcome collaborators who can contribute a variety of skills and talents. Are you a programmer with the heart of a botanist? Do you work for the government by day but your passion lies in DIY biology? Are you a community activist with experience running sustainability programmes?

Fab Labs have the most impact when they are inhabited by curious and ingenious people to solve interesting and novel problems.

The Reciprocity framework allows us all access to expertise and facilities in exchange for other expertise and facilities. This is not limited to the exchange of hours or dollars. Instead, it’s the alignment of interests by both parties (Fab Lab Wgtn and yours).

How does this work?

  • You have a skill, expertise or facility that is useful to Fab Lab Wgtn
  • Fab Lab Wgtn is offering an expertise or facility that you desire
  • Honest discussions about expected outcomes on an ongoing basis
  • Respecting each other’s time and energy
  • Openness to readjust how the exchange is being delivered

The Reciprocity framework is a relationship. It starts with a conversation. The way to begin this is to attend an About Fab Tour and then arrange to meet with our core team for a great chat.

Working together

Examples of Reciprocal relationships we have had:

Harry is a student at the School of Design, who has discovered Fab Lab Wgtn through the course of her studies. Although her educational activities are covered by student fees, Harry has lots of other exciting ideas that she wants to pursue within the space. Harry came and saw us about how she could go about doing that. We arranged for her to do tasks around the space, such as running introduction sessions, updating documentation and helping with everyday maintenance. As a result, Harry is able to pursue her experiments and learning without incurring debt.

Alison is a mycologist who didn’t have a Laboratory to work in. Fab Lab Wgtn wanted to set up a DIYbio Lab but didn’t have the expertise to do so. After a number of discussions, the team at Fab Lab Wgtn invited Alison to join them as their Mycologist in Residence and she accepted. The discussions established that our goals were aligned and that working together would be mutually beneficial. The basis of the agreement is that the conversations must continue, and that we all are learning and having fun together.

Dan is a recent graduate of the School of Design, who has lots of projects that he’d like to develop with other people. Dan had an idea for running evening classes in exchange for operating in the space. At the same time, Peter wanted to create a project within Fab Lab Wgtn but didn’t have the skills or the time to develop them. Peter is now paying for Dan to work on his project, which means that Dan has the money to spend on his own projects and Peter has his project and an understanding of how it was created.

Jasmin participated in Fab Academy in 2015 with us and wanted to create a project for use in France. She arranged with us to work on our website while she was working on the project; developed and tested her project here and then had it made in a Fab Lab in France so that she didn’t have to ship it around the world.