Interview to Fedoua Kasmi, researcher at Lorraine Smart Cities Living Lab (LSCLL)


How can you learn more about LAUDS Factories? Read the interview with one of the key protagonists: Fedoua Kasmi researcher at Université de Lorraine – Lorraine Smart Cities Living Lab (LSCLL)

What LAUDS means and how do you envision the future of production in Europe?

Since the end of the 20th century, there has been a trend towards the revitalization of urban areas and the resurgence of manufacturing, albeit in a more modern, creative and sustainable form. The advent of a collaborative economy and technological advances have played a key role in this transformation. Innovations such as 3D printing, intelligent automation, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) and the interconnection between digital and physical environments (like fab labs, makerspaces, third places...) have enabled the establishment of flexible and democratized smaller-scale manufacturing units in urban areas based on commons-based peer production.
LAUDS factories are a manifestation of this transformation of production in Europe, characterized by smart, green and locally integrated factories that should contribute to economic growth and improved quality of life in urban areas. They are seen as sustainable, flexible, local and innovative production units. They combine traditional manufacturing with modern technologies, diversified skills and sustainable practices, reflecting an evolution towards more localized and environmentally-friendly production methods.

Europe is thus moving towards the development of renewed forms of productive organization on a local scale - a contemporary form of local development based on communities, common goods and shared values. This new trend in production will mark a transition from traditional industry, which has long operated according to the post-Fordist model that advocates an international division of production processes.

In this production model, more manufacturing activities will be integrated into urban areas, favoring local production and consumption cycles while enabling global circulation of information flows thanks to open digital technology (open source... ); better optimization of urban land use through mixed-use spaces combining residential, commercial and industrial spaces; and greater proximity to users and consumers, rethinking their place in production, by enabling them to become prosumers and benefit from greater personalization of their needs, while being aware of the impact of their consumption decisions on the environment and society as a whole. This ideal vision, however, requires collaboration between governments, businesses and communities to realize the full potential of these innovative manufacturing models.
In the spirit of the New European Bahaus, which lends a cultural and creative dimension to the Green Pact for Europe, LAUDS Factories should play an important role in this transition, occupying the place of "Middleground" connecting the "underground" composed of talented and creative individuals and the "Upperground" representing formal public and private institutions (local public institutions, companies, research centers...). LAUDS could be intermediary spaces imbued with local geographical, cultural and historical characteristics, ensuring the connection between these two spheres, and thus contributing to the emergence of an environment conducive to the development of the innovative and creative capacities of European cities and territories.

What’s the role of the Lorraine Smart Cities Living Lab?

The Lorraine Smart Cities Living Lab (LSCLL), piloted by the ERPI laboratory and the ENSGSI engineering school acts as an intermediary that facilitates innovation, supports the local economy, and promotes sustainable and collaborative practices. It connects local communities (citizens, entrepreneurs, creatives, researchers) with formal institutions to create an environment conducive to urban innovation.
The LSCLL, via the Lorraine Fab Living Lab®, supports research and experimentation to design systemic innovations (products, processes, services, organization, value chains) according to the Do-It-Together approach (INEDIT project, 2023)1 for sustainable industries and territories. It uses advanced technologies and a collaborative approach to promote local, sustainable urban production.

By facilitating the move from abstract ideas (2D) to their materialization (3D) and evaluation (4D), LSCLL encourages co-creation, physical or virtual prototyping and testing in immersive or real-life conditions.

LSCLL promotes a technological framework based on the commons and the circular economy. The "Green FabLab" incubated within Octroi Nancy, the cultural, creative and citizen-oriented third place, is a case in point. This project, which recycles local plastic waste by transforming it into new raw materials using 3D printing, works in close interaction with creative people, entrepreneurs and artists, fostering the establishment of collaborative and committed projects.

What expertise can you offer?

LSCLL offers diversified and specialized expertise in urban and sustainable innovation, while relying on industrial engineering, to support a variety of research, prototyping and demonstration activities.

  • Collaborative Engineering: our expertise in collaborative engineering, based on the Living Lab and Do-it-Together concepts, integrates users into the design process, facilitating innovation through active collaboration with end-users.
  • FabLab: our FabLab is equipped with 3D printing machines, plastic injection systems, laser cutters, digital milling machines and vinyl cutters. This digital fabrication workshop turns ideas into personalized objects, making innovation accessible to all our users.
  • Prototyping Spaces and Immersive Technologies: an open, functional prototyping space where ideas can move from abstract concepts to concrete prototypes. Our immersive technologies also enable virtual visits to complete usage diagnostics or project future solutions, making up for the impossibility of physical visits.
  • Usage-based assessment: We create the scientific conditions for assessing usage practices with tools such as eye-tracking, physiological sensors and video capture. These methods enable us to objectify feedback and improve products and services.
  • Nomad Lab: our mobile FabLab, the Nomad Lab, brings innovation directly into companies, towns, schools and colleges. This proactive approach establishes a new proximity with users, facilitating the adoption of innovative technologies.
  • Open Citizen Lab: A unique opportunity to test a product or concept on the Université de Lorraine stand, in front of the 100,000 visitors to the Foire Expo de Nancy, held every Spring.

With our equipment, collaborative engineering know-how and advanced prototyping spaces, we are the ideal partner for developing and testing your ideas, turning them into concrete, sustainable solutions. Join us to innovate and shape the future of smart, sustainable cities.