Marcin Jakubowki started a project to write and share an instructions set for building an entire self-sustaining village. He launched a group called Open Source Ecology to create the “Global Village Construction Set.” First the group identified the 50 most important machines that are used for modern life to function – tractors, bread ovens, circuit makers. Then it created an open-source, DIY or do it yourself version that can be built by anyone and maintained at a fraction of the cost.
In Marcin’s words, “A greater distribution of the means of production, environmentally sound supply chains, and a newly relevant DIY maker culture can hope to transcend artificial scarcity. We’re exploring the limits of what we all can do to make a better world with open hardware technology.”
“When he started a farm he realized he needed tools that were robust, modular, highly efficient and optimized, low-cost, made from local and recycled materials that would last a lifetime, not designed for obsolescence. I found that I would have to build them myself. He published the 3D designs, schematics, instructional videos and budgets on a wiki. Then contributors from all over the world began showing up, prototyping new machines during dedicated project visits. So far, we have prototyped eight of the 50 machines. And now the project is beginning to grow on its own.
Open source has succeeded with tools for managing knowledge and creativity. And the same is starting to happen with hardware too. We’re focusing on hardware because it is hardware that can change people’s lives in such tangible material ways. If we can lower the barriers to farming, building, manufacturing, then we can unleash massive amounts of human potential.
Not only in the developing world, the tools are being made for the American farmer, builder, entrepreneur, maker. We’ve seen lots of excitement from these people, who can now start a construction business, parts manufacturing, organic CSA or just selling power back to the grid. Our goal is a repository of published designs so clear, so complete, that a single burned DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit.”
To learn more, you can watch Marcin’s presentation at this TED conference: