FAB FEST is a celebration of creative thinking, design and making that will generate a tiny and temporary yet extraordinary Pop-up City within Ambika P3. The aim for participating teams will be to design and fabricate a pavilion that will make a distinctive and positive contribution to this micro-City, and that will help to facilitate the week of events and parties that constitutes the festival.

The brief is intentionally open, so that teams can use their imagination and explore their personal interests. We encourage diversity, eclecticism, and creativity. Do please go ahead and think the as yet unthinkable, and make it from card! There are however a few rules you will need to follow in order to make the event possible.


help facilitate festival, sensory experience, propose new event

There are constraints on the materials that may be used, but few restrictions on the proposed function. The pavilions must help to facilitate the festival, but may do so in many ways, to be proposed by each team. They might simply be a place to rest and enjoy the spectacle, or might respond more specifically to the workshops and events already planned for the public opening e.g. hosting a making workshop, or serving as a stage for screening films or giving presentations. They might equally serve as platforms for new events, to be proposed by the pavilion team, or might offer a stimulating sensory or cerebral experience for the pleasure of passing festival-goers. We are leaving the exact contribution of the pavilions to the festival to the imagination and ingenuity of participants.


free standing & self supporting, lightweight, structural testing

Pavilions should be free-standing and self-supporting - though in some circumstances we can provide some facility for suspending pavilions. The materials available are lightweight and thin, but can also be very strong depending on how well they are used. Designs must take the properties of the material into account and take advantage of their structural potential. It is essential to test ideas for working with the materials in advance to ensure that they will perform as intended and support the load of the pavilion. Teams will be provided with a budget of  FL€100 specifically for testing materials and pavilion components. The testing budget must be used within the design phase (by the end of May) and cannot be added to the budget available for the final build. Note that the festival is indoors - there is no need to weather the pavilion, it is unlikely to rain...


5-8 students + professional or academic mentor, apply together as a team

Teams will comprise five to eight students and one or more professional Mentors. Students can come from across disciplines and from all levels, undergraduate and postgraduate. They can either be homogeneous groups (e.g. all from one design studio), or might be from different disciplines and levels. Note that last year we formed the teams for you. This year we are asking teams to form themselves. You will need at least two other team mates to apply to join the festival. Please find some like-minded people you want to work with, and submit your application together as a team.


Ambika P3, approach routes, size limit 3m x 2.5m

Most of the making for the festival will take place in the Fabrication Lab, as well as other areas of the Marylebone campus as required. The festival itself will be held primarily within Ambika P3 (see Facilities for further details), although it may also include the approach routes to the Festival and parts of the Learning Platform.

Ambika P3 will be fitted with two raised stages, with light and sound rigs to accommodate the main music events on the event nights. We will allocate sites for the pavilions around these fixed stages to facilitate as best we can the proposed concept for each pavilion. You will therefore be able to consider what might be the ideal site conditions for your concept, but will also have to accept that there will be limitations in how well all the different programmes can be accommodated. You will need to build some flexibility into your scheme.

There are limitations on the size of the available sites. Unless by prior agreement, pavilions must fit within a site that is 3m x 2.5m. There is no restriction on height, though consider the fact that your pavilion must stand up and be stable!


materials only supplied by Fabrication Lab, fixed budget of FL€1500.00 

All materials for the festival will be supplied by the Fabrication Lab - and you may only used materials supplied by us. We will give each team a fixed budget of FL€1500.00, to enable teams to choose as they like from a selection of lightweight, recyclable and inexpensive materials. The materials on offer with provisional FL€ prices are available now on the FAB FEST website shop.


cardboard,correx, CNC tangential knife & router, plan, pre-fabricate

The resources and equipment of the Fabrication Lab are available to participants of FAB FEST '17 to design and make their pavilions. The cardboard on offer is an excellent quality material supplied by DS Smith, and it has been selected to cut well on our CNC tangential knife and CNC router. So you can use digital fabrication to cut the components for your pavilion. The materials have however been chosen to be equally easy to use with simple, traditional methods (e.g. craft knives and straight edges). All teams will be supplied with a basic tool kit that is sufficient to make a pavilion in this way. Teams wanting to use digital fabrication will have the opportunity to cut complex and accurate components, but will also need to take careful note of the demands that will be placed on the machines and on the Lab close to the event. If you plan on taking this option, you need also to keep cutting times down, and to plan on pre-fabricating components well ahead of the event!

Everyone will as usual also require training in the safe use of the machines. This will be available as always via the Fabrication Lab website . Professionals from outside practices that participate in FAB FEST '17 will also receive full training if desired, and free Professional Membership of the Fabrication Lab for two Mentors from the practice.