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An initiative of Logo Howest
"Old tools get a new life in local MakeAbility café"

D4E1 launches sharing platform on customized tools

No two persons or disabilities are the same and yet these unique users can only choose from a small range of universal tools. Assisted by the rise of digital manufacturing and the unlimited amount of knowledge accessible via the internet, basically anyone can now make and develop tools themselves, something that was previously reserved to large factories.

A new generation of occupational therapists and makers is taking actions and innovates custom-made tools in fablabs in the project Design for (every)one (D4E1), the result of a collaboration between the Industrial Product Design and Occupational Therapy study departments. Fablabs (fabrication laboratories) are cooperative workshops where inventors and developers can make use of a collective infrastructure. D4E1 opens the way to new open-source design scenarios in which citizens are able to develop and produce customized tools and to distribute the same among them. Unfortunately, until today there is no Belgian sharing platform where they can meet or share their experiences. In addition, many tools are no longer used after a certain period of time. With minor adjustments we can often put these back to good use.

The Design for (every)one living lab is one of the global pioneers within Do It Yourself - Assistive Technology (DIY-AT). Since 2009, a lot of knowledge has been acquired not only through community service learning, but also through scientific research. However, the demand for personalized tools is even higher than the supply that we, as Howest, can transform.


Your support

With your support, we want to develop an online sharing platform to facilitate Do It Yourself Assistive Technology (DIY-AT) co-design processes in fablabs. This sharing platform links supply and demand in the field of knowledge (draft guidelines, open design building plans, tutorials), materials and machines (old tools, compatible components), and manpower (connections between actors and skills) for makers, occupational therapists and citizens with a disability. From this sharing platform emerge 'Makeability Cafés': free meetings where tools are customized and/or upgraded according to the rules of the circular economy.

More concretely, we can develop a digital starter kit for fab labs, we can produce an analogue starter kit in the form of a booklet and we can make short tutorial videos.

Questions? Contact Lieven De Couvreur from the Howest Bachelor Industrial Product Design - or Anne Dejager from the Howest Bachelor Occupational Therapy -


Target amount:
€ 12 250
Project manager:
Lieven De Couvreur
Anne Dejager
Programme manager/ department manager:
Industrial Product Design
Occupational Therapy


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