logo

FABLAB - A CREATIVE HUB AT THE HEART OF VUB

Young designers, engineers and entrepreneurs need places to experiment. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates had their garages. VUB has its FabLab where students can build prototypes and where they can not only share tools, but also insights, knowledge and experiences. All makers in Brussels are welcome to shape their ideas here. Since 2019 the FabLab has a central place on campus Etterbeek. With this project, the VUB wishes to stimulate creativity and entrepreneurship among youngsters. Because the more ideas they develop, the stronger our economy and society becomes. The future starts in our FabLab.

WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE

More space and new machines

The new lab has a surface of 2000m² and is the largest FabLab in Brussels.

A visible location on campus Etterbeek

The FabLab is centrally located on the campus to increase its visibility to the rest of the university and society.

Flexible admission with a focus on safety

The lab can only be a true success when it is used by a wider audience than merely Industrial Engineering students. The diversity of users needs to be wider. We can no longer assume that all users will have the same technical skills. Therefore a well thought out system of access to different spaces and machines is necessary.

Innovation and internationalisation of education

The FabLab is an engine of education innovation through the introduction of assisted independent study, peer tutoring and integrated multidisciplinary assignments in the coursework. It plays an active role in the international network of FabLabs.

FOR WHOM?

Engineering students

Students develop necessary practical skills, to improve their position as engineers in the job market. Students take on the responsibility to run and manage the laboratory.

All others VUB students

Students from other courses will also have the opportunity to turn their ideas into prototypes in the FabLab.

VUB-researchers

Researchers can elevate their studies to the next level by producing scale models and prototypes of their research.

The general public

Everyone is welcome at the lab. All available software and hardware is open source, and we have extensive manuals and tutorials for all our machines.

Excited to get hands on at the VUB FabLab? Find all information here.

WIN-WIN(D) TURBINE

A great example of our hands-on mentality is the win-win(d) turbine project where our 2nd Bachelor students design and build an operational wind turbine during the first semester of academic year 2017-2018. The turbines were presented at a festive closing event on 24 May 2018. We want to use the energy that these prototypes generate to raise funds. The wind turbines will be connected to a digital billboard/LED screen and we offer these environmentally sound media space for sale to corporations that wish to target the entire VUB community. For example a company that has open positions and wishes to recruit students. The electric power of the VUB gives a communicative boost to organisations. Reach the best engineers of tomorrow!

Is your organisation as keen on renewable energy as we are and do you wish to contribute to the education of the engineers of the future? Get in touch with us through the email address below.

INVEST IN THE MAKERS OF TOMORROW

This partner has invested in the FabLab:

YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

You can deposit the amount of your choice on our general account number BE51 001367793562 with reference 'GIFTPR2'. Or you can support by clicking on the link below.

Donate

OTHER PROJECTS

VUB. EVERY DONATION COUNTS.

Learn more about the VUB Foundation
Fundraising Officer
Mats Walschaers

Phone Number
+32-2-629 15 63

e-mail
mats.walschaers@vub.be

ARABIC LANGUAGE CLASSES - A CULTURE STARTS WITH YOUR OWN IDENTITY

Arabic is a world language.
The Vrije Universiteit Brussel now offers a neutral learning platform for children and young people to learn Arabic in a well-founded and qualitative manner. By teaching children about important social themes and Arab, Western and intercultural values, they develop a positive image of their own identity.  Highly educated refugee-teachers are currently participating in this project, most of them on a voluntarily basis. When people get opportunities, we strengthen our society. The more languages we speak, the better we understand each other.

WHAT DO WE WANT TO ACHIEVE?

Creating a neutral learning platform

Children can learn Arabic in a playful manner, free from religion and supported academically.

Shaping the children’s cultural identity

The children are given the tools to build their own cultural identity which helps to give them a sense of community. Confidence regarding their own values and culture will lead to an openness towards other cultures and stimulates tolerance.

Employment opportunities for political refugees

People with a migration background and an educational expertise in Arabic language are given the opportunity to continue their professional experience through the VUB in an area related to the one they were active in in their home country.

FOR WHOM?

Children between 6-15 years

- Refugees

- Children with an Arabic language background

- Children with a mixed or other language background than Arabic

Teachers

- The teachers are refugees with a pedagogical background in Arabic language education.

€50


INTERACTIVE PICTURE BOOK FOR THE CLASSROOM

Invest

€100


TRANSLATION OF TEACHING MATERIALS INTO ARABIC

Invest

€400


DEVELOPMENT OF DIDACTIC IMAGE MATERIALS

Invest

€1200


BOOKLETS FOR 25 PUPILS

Invest

The following partners have invested in the Arabic language classes:

The embassy of the State of Kuwait and the Baillet Latour Fund

YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

You can deposit the amount of your choice on our general account number BE51 001367793562 with reference 'GIFTPR4'. Or you can support by clicking on the link below.

Donate

OTHER PROJECTS

Project Coordinator
Sami Azar

Phone Number
+32-2-6148099

E-mail
Sami.Azar@VUB.BE
Fundraising Officer
Mats Walschaers

Phone Number
+32-2-629 15 63

E-mail
Mats.Walschaers@vub.be

SUPPORT THE RENOVATION OF THE BRAEM BUILDING

The cigar, Caprice des Dieux, … the rectorate building at Vrije Universiteit Brussel has many nicknames, some of which refer to the elliptical shape of the building. On campus the building was given letter M and so it is that today within the university it is known as "building M", but the rectorate building is so much more than just the 13th letter in the alphabet. It is an icon, a monument that embodies the ideology of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. That is why we prefer to call it the BraeM building, as an hommage to architect Renaat Braem. Besides, VUB has big plans for the monument in the coming years. 

Heritage Days 2019

On Saturday the 14th of September the VUB Foundation invited the first donors of the renovation works of the Braem building for a guided visit. After the opening speech of Vice-rector Innovation and Valorisation prof. dr. ir. Hugo Thienpont, the donors were taught about the history of the building, witnessed the symbolism that hides behind every corner and beheld the breathtaking murals.

A monument

In 2007 the rectorate building, including its murals, gardens and pond, receive monument status from the Brussels Capital Region for of its historic, artistic and aesthetic value. Today there is a lot of attention for the structure again, a complete piece of art that reconciles science and art in an astonishing fashion. 

History

At is foundation in 1969, VUB started building a new university campus on the former mounted police training grounds - campus Etterbeek, known today as Brussels Humanities, Sciences & Engineering campus. The assignment for the construction of the administrative and rectorate building was entrusted to the Antwerp modernist architect Renaat Braem (1910 – 2001).

Braem wants to bestow upon VUB a building with the appeal and beauty of a temple. According to him a university is so much more than a place where "students are prepped for the collective production process and everything that goes with it" and he wants to express that in his design: the university as a temple of culture and of the community of tomorrow. Furthermore Braem want to underline the ideology of Vrije Universiteit Brussel: an open and tolerant university with Free Inquiry as it basic principle. He therefore integrates a strong symbolism in all aspect of the structure.

Design

Braem places a lot of significance on the entrances of his realisations. In the lobby an energetic line play brings colour with tiles in "orange-white-and-blue". The facade of the BraeM building is embellished by a waving concrete canopy that contains a number of symbolilc reliefs that refer to VUB, Free Inquiry and free thinking. Among other things we find the crest of the university in there. A torch - symbol for creating light in the darkness - is srrounded by elements that depict scientific research: a compass for measuring, an eye for seeing, the spiral for understanding, the wall with trowel for building (the future and the truth).

The murals

Inside the ellipse we find 2 weight bearing concrete cores. On its concrete walls a story is presented. In total these murals cover a distance of 500 meters

From bottom to top they depict the origin of the cosmos and earth, the origin of life, the evolution of plants, animals and humans, the never ending battle of mankind for its freedom, and finally the ultimate objective: a free man in a free, creative and thinking society. The design starts from almost abstract shapes - because how to you portray energy? - and becomes more and more stylised.

Restoration of the murals

Braem himself works on the murals for years . Where his early paint works are beautifully crafted, it becomes very clear that towards the end he paints in a much coarser style. Braem, well over 65 at the time, couldn't always muster the energy.

The renovation

After all these years though a thorough renovation of the building imposes itself. After significant historic study work this will be dealt with in different phases starting next fall. Not only are interventions in terms of energetic comfort, functionality and stability necessary, we emphatically return to the spirit of the vision of architect Braem. Where he initially drew the short end of the stick in discussions with the university, the minds have evolved considerably. That is why we will now create the office landscape he envisioned, with wide views of the murals, and we will re-appreciate the event and meeting space that was originally present.

We need your support

Government subsidies are insufficient to fully fund the renovation works. That is why VUB is still looking for partners to cooperate with us in restoring the final masterpiece of Renaat Braem. Your contribution is needed for the restoration and refurbishment works of the rectorate building and for the sensibilisation of the wider public for this special but somewhat unknown monument, that furthermore embodies the spirit of Vrije Universiteit Brussel. We are proud of our heritage and want to share it with the VUB community and the world.

YOU MAKE THE DIFFERENCE!

You can deposit the amount of your choice on our general account number BE51 001367793562 with reference 'GIFTPR7'. Or you can support by clicking on the link below.

Donate

OTHER PROJECTS

VUB. EVERY DONATION COUNTS.

Learn more about the VUB Foundation
Fundraising Officer
Mats Walschaers

Phone Number
+32-2-629 15 63

e-mail
mats.walschaers@vub.be