On August 4, Lebanon became the center of the world. A major explosion devastated the city of Beirut, leaving $15 billion in damages and 250,000 homeless. In response to the events, different organizations began to come together to help in this humanitarian crisis.
Such is the case of #BuildforBeirut, a Wikifactory initiative in partnership with Makers for Good, Smart Impact and Berytech Fablab. They brought together the global community of developers, creators, designers and engineers to work and collaborate in the production of furniture and reconstruction efforts with open digital designs to help the affected population in downtown Beirut.
“What matters most to us is that the accumulated digital designs and documents are used for production. We found out that many of the prototypes could be easily manufactured with the technology and local materials available in Beirut. That is why we decided to help,» said Óscar Velásquez, Director of Smart Impact accelerator fund, in an exclusive interview for Cuatro Cero.
Berytech Fablab, located in Beirut, launched an open call on Wikifactory and through social media on August 19 during the commemoration of the United Nations International Humanitarian Day. They assured that, with the projects published on the Wikifactory platform, and with the help of the machinery they have in their maker space, it would be possible, through digital manufacturing techniques, to build tables, chairs, benches, sofas, beds, shelves and even walls, doors and windows for the Beirut victims.
With this initiative, the global community of 3,000 FabLabs powered by Wikifactory’s online design to production infrastructure demonstrates that they can become a proactive player, both in solving daily life problems and in emergency or crises situations. Undoubtedly, #BuildforBeirut is an initiative that demonstrates how technology will be the great ally to solve social problems in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
You can learn more about the humanitarian initiative #BuildForBeirut here.