Brenchie’s Lab is a publicly accessible makerspace in Aruba, located in the National Library of Aruba in Oranjestad. It is a learning space for students, artists, hobbyists, and entrepreneurs to share ideas and experiment together in an open and collaborative environment. The space is equipped with digital design and fabrication tools, expertise, and room for anyone to explore their own ideas and projects. Open weekdays from 1pm, feel free to drop by!
Plastic Beach Party is a community-driven effort to introduce plastic recycling to Aruba. Started through an open design thinking workshop, a wide range of community members engaged to brainstorm and prototype new products, experiment with working with plastics, and envision an organization to facilitate plastic recycling. Starting with the Precious Plastic machines, the mini-factory was collaboratively built by volunteers, and recycled over a tonne of plastic in it’s first year.
In the community of Ha Tanwa, Chiang Mai, we worked with residents to design and build a vertical bamboo gardening system to produce herbs and vegetables for locals. Residents asked us to help them build low-cost gardens which could be productive in the small amount of available space in the high density community. We adapted a three level vertical bamboo garden design, making use of readily available and affordable materials to produce… Read More
Following a community development approach, we started a student sustainability group at Colegio San Nicolas in Aruba. The group is aimed at supporting students to think about sustainability in a systematic way, and to guide them in planning and carrying out their own projects. We first showcased DIY clean-tech systems at the school to garner interest from students on clean-tech design and do-it-yourself technologies. The exhibition included: renewable energy (solar cooker) waste… Read More
In a collaboration with Ateliers ‘89 art academy and Colegio EPI technical school, we held a unique kind of workshop to build Aruba’s first fab lab with a group of 9 enthusiastic and creative participants. Together we set out to build, diy-style, 4 machines to equip a basic fab-lab-ish workshop to be made accessible to the public. These included a 3D printer, a CNC router, a laser engraver, and a fume filter…. Read More
In Chiang Mai, Thailand, we collaborated with the Ha Tanwa local women’s group to design and build a pilot system for the treatment of household kitchen wastewater. With the goals to better manage open drainage networks, productively and safely reuse water, and decrease the community’s impact on nearby water streams, the project was seen as important to communities in defending themselves against accusations of polluting the canal. The design was adapted and… Read More
It is often poor people who are the most vulnerable to the impacts of environmental degradation. This environmental injustice is made worse by the lack of openly available tools for scientific environmental monitoring. Understanding and monitoring environmental quality is central to not only improving it but in empowering people to demand appropriate action from their political representatives. In northern Thailand, we collaborated with Chiang Mai University in a research thesis on water… Read More
Our first project in Aruba was a presentation of diy cleantech art. By the light of the full moon, we showcased four technologies built out of repurposed and natural materials to demonstrate the beauty of sustainability to the island community. On display (and in use) were: Pishi Hooiberg – a haystack urinal for reduced water use and nutrient recovery Moooon – a ‘lunar cooker’ built from a reclaimed fresnel lens The Water… Read More
Environmental degradation disproportionately impacts the poor, adding to issues with basic services and increasing the challenges they already face. In Chiang Mai, Thailand, household security and environmental quality in Ha Tanwa and other communities living along the Mae Kha canal are threatened by the pollution of the nearby waterway. Faced with government inaction, these communities asked us for help in tackling this issue. As communities were already active in taking solid waste… Read More
Our first field office, Thailab, was located in the city of Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. We mapped communities, stakeholders, and needs during our time there. We also aimed to establish a long-term community working space there and managed to get interest in the idea from the Chiang Mai University, local NGOs and experts, as well as communities. Due to our limited time there, we weren’t able to get the place up… Read More