The Libre Graphics workstation at Medialab-Prado is planned as an open studio where anyone, whether professional or amateur, artist, designer, developer or general public, is welcome to read, learn, talk, discuss, research, experiment or produce with Libre Graphics.
The Workstation is intended to work as a node of LGRU project in a physical and public space, in the understanding that face-to-face encounters are crucial for disseminating information, turning experience into knowledge and developing a shared understanding. In its functioning there is a crucial element which is the role played by the “cultural mediator”: the person in contact with users and public who works as researcher, facilitator and motivator for the workstation.
The workstation is aimed to work simultaneously in various levels:
An open space where the public and users can find information about the Libre Graphics ecosystem: a display of tools, processes and outcomes and a program of dissemination and learning activities in all levels of expertise.
A flexible, ready to use space kitted out with tools, materials, and infrastructure to support F/LOSS production activities for Medialab-Prado’s users and for other communities and individuals based in Madrid.
A space for research and development which gathers a network of developers, artists and designers interested in discussing and imagining new tools and practices
The workstation will be functioning at Medialab-Prado’s brand new building from March 2013 on.
Meanwhile, a set of initiatives have been put into practice together with Arte 10 school (LGRU associate partner) and Escuela Superior de Diseño de Madrid to start a nomadic workstation which have been collecting materials, ideas and perspectives in different locations, and at the same time building a network and rising awareness and interest among different local communities.
On July 2012 Medialab-Prado organized From Stone to Spaceship: Collaborative Font Design, a three day typography workshop led by Manufactura Independente, with the assistance of Rafael Parrilla Vallespín, dedicated to “rescue” the Old Belgian Saw Mill facade’s typography (the old saw mill will host Medialab-Prado’s from March 2013 on) and then release it under a free license. The goal was to work together on the digitization, design process, packaging and public release of a typeface inspired by the Serrería Belga wall lettering.
On November 2012, Ana García Angulo (Arte 10 school), Luis Conde (Escuela Superios de Diseño) and Myriam Cea (Cultural Mediator Medialab-Prado) led a workshop at DIMAD (Association of professional designers Madrid) in the frame of the Bienal Iberomaricana de Diseño (BID 2012) which consisted on a collective discussion around how a mobile and replicable workstation could be, which can fulfill the different needs for designers to work in a collaborative and open way.
On January 2013, the same 3 people together with Pablo Gamez led another workshop at Arte 10 school under the title “Me pica el Kerning: Pequeñísima introducción al dibujo de letras y safari tipográfico”, an enjoyable introduction to the drawing of letters. It started with a “typographic safari” where participants took pictures collecting the huge diversity and creativity of signs in the public space of Madrid city. Based on those pictures, they worked together to build a new and heterogeneous alphabet which was then digitized and made into a free collaborative typography.