Jean Lievens: Open Source Urbanism & “Right to Infrastructure”

Access, Architecture, Crowd-Sourcing, Culture, Design, Geospatial, Governance, Innovation, Manufacturing, Materials, P2P / Panarchy, Politics, Resilience
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

The right to infrastructure: a prototype for open source urbanism

Alberto Corsín Jiménez

Abstract. This paper develops an analytical framework to place the rise of open source urbanism in context, and develops the concept of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as expressive of new ecologies of urban relations that have come into being. It describes, first, a genealogy for open source technology, focusing in particular on how open source urban hardware projects may challenge urban theory. It moves then to describe in detail various dimensions and implications of an open source infrastructural project in Madrid. In all, the paper analyses three challenges that the development of open source urban infrastructures is posing to the institutions of urban governance and property: the evolving shape and composition of urban ecologies; the technical and design challenges brought about by open source urban projects; and the social organisation of the ‘right to infrastructure’ as a political, active voice in urban governance. In the last instance, the right to infrastructure, I shall argue, signals the rise of the ‘prototype’ as an emerging figure for contemporary sociotechnical designs in and for social theory.
Keywords: open source urbanism, infrastructures, urban ecologies, urban commons, right to the city, prototypes

Corsín Jiménez A, 2014, “The right to infrastructure: a prototype for open source urbanism” Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 32(2) 342 – 362

PDF (21 Pages): 2014 Open Source Urbanism Right to Infrastructure

Jean Lievens: Paracity High Tech Slums as Solution

Crowd-Sourcing, Culture, Design, Materials, P2P / Panarchy, Resilience
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens


“To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now.”
– Samuel Beckett

Paracity is a biourban organism that is growing on the principles of Open Form: individual design-build actions generating spontaneous communicative reactions on the surrounding built human environment and this organic constructivist dialog leading into self-organized community structures, development and knowledge building.

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

The growing organism the Paracity is based on a three dimensional wooden primary structure, organic grid with spatial modules of 6 x 6 x 6 metres (6 meters is approximately 18 feet)constructed out of CLT cross-laminated timber sticks. This simple structure can be modified and grown by the community members working as teams or by an assigned Paracity constructor.

Paracity’s self-sustainable biourban growth is backed up by off-the-grid environmental technology solutions providing methods for water purification, energy production, organic waste treatment, waste water purification and sludge recycling. These modular plug-in components can be adjusted according to the growth of the Paracity and moreover, the whole Paracity is designed not only to treat and circulate its own material streams, but to start leaching waste from its host city becoming a positive urban parasite following the similar kind of symbiosis as in-between slums and the surrounding city. In a sense Paracity is a high-tech slum, which can start tuning the industrial city towards an ecologically more sustainable direction.

Learn more — superb range of photographs and graphics.

Jean Lievens: Robot Can Print House in 24 Hours

Advanced Cyber/IO, Design, Innovation, Manufacturing, Materials

The world’s largest concentrations of slums exist in the “global south:” Africa, Asia, and Latin America; places where urbanization has not led to economic development, and are characterized by poor sanitation, crowded living conditions, low quality structures, and populations vulnerable to disease and natural disasters.

Robot Printing House in 24 Hours

Click on Image to Enlarge
Click on Image to Enlarge

Sepp Hasslberger: Hemp Replaces Plastic

Innovation, Materials
Sepp Hasslberger
Sepp Hasslberger

Great renewable material that is also biodegradable…

Australia: New Plastic Means Almost Anything Can Be Made From Hemp

Today’s plastics are made from petroleum, which means we are polluting the atmosphere and putting products that cannot biodegrade into our environment. But Zeoform, a new company based in Australia has created a new kind of plastic made only from water and cellulose taken from hemp plants — meaning the plastic is not only eco-friendly but biodegradable.

The company’s patented process converts the cellulose fibers found in hemp into a super-strong, high tech molding material capable of being formed into 100 percent nontoxic and biodegradable products, reports Joe Martino at Collective Evolution.

The company hopes to expand its patented technology and start offering manufacturing licenses to larger facilities around the world. Switching over from non-sustainable and toxic forms of plastic to Zeoform plastic can be done with existing infrastructure, according to the company.

The company says their product relies only upon the natural process of hydrogen bonding that takes place when cellulose fibers are mixed with water. No glue or other bonding material is necessary, because the bond already created is so strong.

The final material can be turned into almost anything, and can be cut, routed, machined, drilled, screwed, nailed and glued in the same way wood can be. It can also be colored and finished however product manufacturers would like.

Zeoform plastic is water- and fire-resistant naturally, and can be enforced further in both categories with added ingredients. It can be made into anything from car bumpers to paper, furniture, and even musical instruments.

Learn more.

Danielle Villegas: First Carbon Fiber 3D Printer

Manufacturing, Materials
Danielle Villegas
Danielle Villegas

Check out this next step in 3D printing! First there were plastics, then food, now carbon fiber! What will be next?

The Mark One Is World’s First Carbon Fiber 3D Printer

A new 3D printer can print carbon fiber and other composite materials.

Created by Boston-based startup MarkForged, it’s called the Mark One.

Company founder Gregory Mark showed off the printer at the SolidWorks World design conference in San Diego, Calif. this week.

“We took the idea of 3D printing, that process of laying things down strand by strand, and we used it as a manufacturing process to make composite parts,” Mark said in an interview with Popular Mechanics. “We say it’s like regular 3D printers do the form. We do form and function.”

In addition to carbon fiber, the Mark One can print other composite materials, including nylon, fiberglass and PLA (a thermoplastic made from renewable materials).

Learn more.

Jean Lievens: The Circular Sharing Economy — Profitable Beyond Measure?

Economics/True Cost, Innovation, Manufacturing, Materials, P2P / Panarchy, Resilience
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

ANALYSIS: Circular and sharing, when two become one?

If there is one thing the sustainability movement appears to want ownership of, it is the word ‘economy’. A circular version has been doing the rounds for some time, but it could be under threat from a new kid on the block, equally as caring, but perhaps, well, more sharing.

A circular economy. Or a sharing economy. Which would you put your money on? The first would claim to have more gravitas as it involves a seismic shift in not only how business works, but how resources are utilised. It is also potentially worth big bucks to corporations – hundreds of billions within the EU alone, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Some would also argue that a true sharing economy could not exist unless a circular economy was already in place.

Continue reading “Jean Lievens: The Circular Sharing Economy — Profitable Beyond Measure?”

Jean Lievens: The Do It Yourself Maker Movement

Hardware, Manufacturing, Materials, Resilience, Software, Transparency
Jean Lievens
Jean Lievens

“In this chapter, we investigate the maker subculture and its manifestation in fabbing ecosystem. In other words, how the love of making things, hacking, tinkering, circuit bending and doing/making everything so-called DIY is a significant peculiarity of Fab Labs. We first look at the meaning and the emergence of the maker subculture and the development of hackerspaces and shared machines shops. Secondly, we explore how the maker community is shaped and organized. In a third point, this chapter details a Fab approach of architecture, art and fashion. Finally, we see how hobbyists moved from do-it-yourself (DIY) to do-it-together (DIT) activities with examples of making music instruments and biotech.”

Complete P2P Foundation Page below the line.  Links added.

Continue reading “Jean Lievens: The Do It Yourself Maker Movement”