Pick your favorite colour
View our vacancies

© Orange 2021

Privacy Cookie policy
to article overview

FABulous ideas are welcome at the Orange Digital Center

6 April 2023

In March, the second edition of the Maker Faire took place in Brussels. The Maker Faire celebrates the "culture of making". This edition was organized by the Brussels Fablab Network, of which - surprise, surprise - the Orange Fablab is also a part. But what is a fablab? And above all: what is an Orange fablab? 


Julien, you are IT SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT and 'fablab manager' for Orange. But what exactly is a fablab?

A fablab is an environment where all ideas come to life. Our fablab is equipped with a laser cutter, several 3D printers, a CNC machine to cut wood, a digital embroidery machine, a vinyl cutter and a machine to do plastic thermoforming. Recently, we also added a manual plastic injection molding machine.  

What do you do with this equipment?

We organize workshops where people can learn to make a variety of objects. Tonight, for example, we're holding a workshop to learn how to shape stamps with laser cutting. But we also want to be stimulate start-ups. We organize Openfabs where everyone is welcome to come and to turn their idea or project into an object by using our machines. It's fascinating to see how ideas and solutions come to life.   

And what does a fablab have to do with Orange?

Our fablab is part of the Orange Digital Center which aims to reduce the digital divide and promote the Internet of Things and recycling. It is a purely philanthropic project that is in line with Orange's CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) ambition. The aim is to introduce people seeking employment or training in these fields, to help them acquire new skills to strengthen their place in the job market. But everyone is welcome! This is also why our digital hub is located at BeCentral, just above Brussels Central station, in the heart of the capital.   


Is this why you were present at Maker Faire?

Yes, the purpose was to make ourselves known to a large audience. At the Maker Faire, the audience was very mixed, there were students, grandparents with their grandchildren, ... but it also allowed us to reach our target audience, which are 18 to 30 years old without any training.But in the end, we are open to everyone!  

What did you do there?

We illustrated the Internet of Things. We also demonstrated an innovative tool that allows us to melt plastics and transform them by injecting them into a mold. For example, we insert a plug and it comes out as a top. And all this in 10 minutes. It's fun, it has a wow effect, it stimulates creativity, it makes you want to learn new skills in the field, and it motivates you to recycle. Not bad, right?  

How is this project perceived at Orange Belgium?

Little by little, we are realizing that it also creates possibilities within the company. We are starting to host internal team buildings. During a team building, we teach the team members to make their own key ring. This way, our colleagues discover the incredible possibilities of a fablab. Needless to say it generates innovation. Sometimes, our workshops also allow us to detect interesting profiles for Orange and to direct them towards a new function.  

And what about you, as an Orange employee, does this make you #ProudToBeOrange?

This is one of the aspects that motivates me every day. First of all, there is great internal mobility and there are no silos. That is very stimulating. I’ve been working for Orange for 10 years: I've gone from an IT analyst role to a more operational role. And when I felt like moving back to IT, I was able to become a cloud architect. So you can move from customer service to marketing without any problems. Recently and on top of that, I’ve been able to take up this role in the fablab, recently. And it is also extremely motivating. It allows me to see something else, to bring some variation in my week. It's refreshing, it’s interesting, it brings a lot to people and yes: it definitely makes me proud!


Discover our vacancies

Follow us