Evaluating open hardware from an ecological economics perspective

Summary: This project will involve a quantitative and qualitative evaluation of “designed global, manufactured local” (DGML) products from an ecological economics perspective. We will conduct a life-cycle assessment (LCA) of 2-3 DGML technological solutions (e.g. a house, an open source 3D printer, a wireless data transmission, field sensor node). LCA will include an assessment of ...

Open source technology in agricultural production

Summary: This project attempts to explore the open source technology (with a focus on hardware) for agriculture emerging from a mode of production different from the capitalist one, that of commons-based peer production. There are indeed several existing open source projects in relation to the primary sector of the economy, and particularly agriculture. This project ...

The emergence of urban makerspaces

Abstract: The criticism on the smart city is used as a starting point to highlight the promises of makerspaces, that is to say, those emerging urban sites that promote sharing practices; exercise community-based forms of governance; and utilize localized manufacturing technologies. A bird’s-eye-view of the history of makerspaces is provided tracing their roots back to ...

PHYGITAL: Assessing the practices, innovation and sustainability potential of “design global, manufacture local” model

Summary of PHYGITAL: This key project will document, analyse, test, evaluate, and create awareness about a new mode of value creation, based on the conjunction of the digital commons (e.g. open knowledge, software and design) with desktop manufacturing and automation technologies (e.g. from 3D printing and CNC machines to low-tech tools and crafts). This convergence ...

The potential of digital commons to spur technological advance

Summary: This project will include two in-depth case studies of prominent digital commons cases which have arguably propelled much innovation and entrepreneurial activity. First, we will study the Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) patent which expired in 2005 and has widely been used in the 3D printing industry. A comparative data analysis before and after the ...

Digital commons, local manufacturing and sustainability

Abstract: The emerging discussion about the sustainability potential of distributed production is the starting point for this paper. The focus is on the “design global, manufacture local” model. This model builds on the conjunction of the digital commons of knowledge and design with desktop and benchtop manufacturing technologies (from three-dimensional printers and laser cutters to ...

Commoning the “smart city”

During the last decade there has been considerable debate over the relatively vague concept of the “smart city”. Nowadays, the smart city has crystallised into an image of a city permeated with top-down and centrally controlled technological infrastructures that promise to improve the urban environment in terms of efficiency, security and sustainability. However, many scholars ...

The materiality of the immaterial: ICTs and the digital commons

Special issue for tripleC: “The materiality of the immaterial: ICTs and the digital commons“, co-edited by Vasilis Kostakis & Andreas Roos. With an escalating environmental crisis and an unprecedented increase of ICT diversity and use, it is more crucial than ever to understand the underlying material aspects of the ICT infrastructure. This special issue therefore ...

Policy recommendations for a commons-based society

Special issue for the Journal of Peer Production: “Policies for the Commons“, co-edited by George Dafermos & Vasilis Kostakis.

Commons-based peer production and digital fabrication: The case of a RepRap-based, Lego-built 3D printing-milling machine

Through the case of the RepRap-based, Lego-built three-dimensional (3D) printing-milling machine, this paper sets out to discuss and illustrate two points: First, on a theoretical level, that modularity, not only in terms of development process but also of hardware components, can catalyze commons-based peer production’s (CBPP) replication for tangible products enabling social experimentation and learning. ...