Solar Sinter

“In a world increasingly concerned with questions of energy production and raw material shortages, this project explores the potential of desert manufacturing, where energy and material occur in abundance.

In this experiment sunlight and sand are used as raw energy and material to produce glass objects using a 3D printing process, that combines natural energy and material with high-tech production technology.

Solar-sintering aims to raise questions about the future of manufacturing and triggers dreams of the full utilisation of the production potential of the world’s most efficient energy resource – the sun. Whilst not providing definitive answers, this experiment aims to provide a point of departure for fresh thinking.”


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Enterprise 2.0

From wikinomics

“A new force in business is emerging. We’ve called it mass collaboration. Linux, MySpace, and Wikipedia may have captured the popular imagination, but mass collaboration goes way further. It’s a new way for people to socialize, entertain, and transact in self-organizing peer communities of their choosing. Companies can design and assemble products with their customers, and in some case customers can do the majority of the value creation. Scientists can reinvent science by open sourcing their data and methods to offer every budding and experienced scientists in the world an opportunity to participate in the discovery process. Even governments can get involved, by using the new digital collaboration tools to transform public service delivery and engage their citizens in policy making.”

(pg 314)



From wikinomics:

Customer co-innovation goes self-serve

David Pescovitz, senior editor for Make (…) says…: “Communities are forming every day in part because the technology enables it.” there is no need  for users to innovate in isolation or wait for the next monthly amateur electronics meeting to share thir customized wares. Pescovitz also highlights the allure of prestige and the sense of social belonging that develops within prosumer communities. “People get big thrills from hacking a product, making something unique, showing it to their friends, and having other people adopt their ideas,” he said.


British artist Finn Stone

“One of the earliest, and still most vibrant, prosumer communities has formed around Lego products. lego itself has become  a flagship for how to get your customers deeply involved in co-creating and co-innovating products.”

When users sent their  suggestions to Lego, the company initially threatened lawsuits. When users rebelled, Lego finally came around, and ultimately incorporated user ideas. It even wrote a “right to hack” into the Mindstorms software license, …

Today Lego uses mindstorms.lego.com to encourage tinkering with is software. The Web site offers a free, downloadable software development kit, Lego’s customers in turn use the site to post descriptions of their Mindstorms creations–and the software code, programming instructions, and Lego parts that the device requires.”


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Second Life

“SECOND LIFE” Print Ad for Youth Fashion Store by Leo Burnett Beirut

From wikinomics:

The prosumers

“…all players in Second Life, are not just consumers of game content: they are at once developers, community members, and entrepreneurs … This means Second Life is no typical “product”, and it’s not even a typical video game. It’s created almost entirely by its customers –you could say the “consumers’ are also the producers, or the “prosumers.” After all they participate in the design, creation, and production of the product,…”


“Companies should follow Linden Labs‘ lead in building a “product”that invites and enables customers to collaborate and add value on a massive scale. These opportunities to add value should extend throughout  the product life cycle, starting with design and extending to aftermarket opportunities for customer-driven commerce and innovation.

In the same way that Second Life is an infinite platform for customer innovation, not a product, this new generation of prosumers treats the world as a place for creation, not consumption. This new way of earning and interacting means they will treat the world as a stage for their own innovations. Just as you can twist and scramble a Rubik’s Cube, prosumers will reconfigure products for their own ends. Static, immovable, noneditable items will be anathema, ripe for the dustbins of twentieth-century history.”


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“Code is Speech”

Gabriella Colleman

“It is now well known that Free Software first emerged as the brainchild of MIT hacker Richard Stallman, who in 1985 founded the Free Software Foundation and began writing what he called Free Software—software that, unlike proprietary software, could be copied, shared, circulated, and modified.

“Linus Torvalds, who wanted to rewrite the proprietary UNIX operating system for the personal computer, initiated the Linux kernel project in 1991 as a hobbyist pursuit and eventually used an electronic mailing list to request feedback.”

“As these virtual organizations got off the ground in the mid- to late 1990s, Eric Raymond, a libertarian-leaning hacker, sought to refashion the public persona– presentation of Free Software to attract business investors (Raymond 1999). To do so, he replaced the term “Free Software” with the ostensibly nonideological termi-nology of “Open Source Software.” Although Free Software foremost emphasizes the right to learn and to access knowledge, “Open Source” flags practical benefits of what are the same collaborative methods, licenses, and virtual organizations (Kelty 2008).”

“Both lawyers and programmers develop mental habits for making, reading, and parsing what are primarily utilitarian texts. As noted by two lawyers who work on software and law, “Coders are people who write in subtle, rule-oriented, specialized, and remarkably complicated dialects,” which, they argue, pertains also to how lawyers make and interpret the law (Cohn and Grimmelmann 2003).”

“The first widely circulated paper associating free speech and source code was “Freedom of Speech in Software” (1991) written by a programmer, Peter Salin. He characterized computer programs as “writings” to argue that software was unfit for patents, although appropriate for copyrights and, thus, free-speech protections.”


Software developers have helped reconfigure central tenets of the liberal tradition—and specifically the meaning of free speech—to defend their productive autonomy. Many hackers, understood to be technologists, became legal thinkers and tinkerers, undergoing legal training in the context of the F/OSS project and building a corpus of liberal legal theory that links software to speech and freedom.

By means of lively protest and prolific discussions, the connection between source code and speech was debated continuously between 1999 and 2003 by hackers, as well as new publics. It became a staple of Free Software moral philosophy and has helped add clarity in the competition between two different legal regimes (speech vs. IP) for the protection of knowledge and digital artifacts.

To be sure, the idea of free speech has never held a single meaning across the societies that have valued, instantiated, or debated it, but it has come to be seen as indispensable for a healthy democracy, a free press, individual self-development, and academic integrity.

New free speech sensibilities, which fundamentally challenge the coupling between copyright and literary creation, must therefore be seen as a political act and choice, requiring sustained labor and creativity to stabilize these connections.

Whether it is the constitutional recognition of multiculturalism across Latin America and parts of Africa, or new avenues of commoditization like the patenting of seeds, these new political and economic relationships are “heavily inscribed in the language of the law” (Comaroff and Comaroff 2004:26).

We must remain alert to these amateur forms of legalism and to the alternative social forms that they imply. What this article suggests—indeed, what tracing out the relationship between hackers and the law suggests—is the extent to which the thing at issue in struggles over code is not only hackers’ productive freedom but also the very meaning of democratic citizenship.”

Read the full paper here

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Design Hacktivism

Otto Von Busch

“Hacking as a modifying culture as always been around but became a broader technological activity with amateur radio and car modding in the 1020s. It is rooted with classic Do-it-yourself (DIY) culture but became “hacking” first with the introduction of computers. As such it started out as an academic subculture where the computers were rare and software programs shared among users and programmers.” (29)

It is usually an activity on making technology work the way one wants by direct interventions into the functional systems and operations of a machine or device;”

“Hacking is a practice of re-design by furthering the central copy and paste commands of programming. It’s more about using parts in unexpected ways or creating cross-over than creating something truly unique, but at the same time preserving original parts. Repurposing original tools and modus operandi.” (31)

“Hacking can also label the field where crafts meets political activism-‘craftivism’. Craftivism is a reinvention of craft, by updating or hacking tradition…the same crafts find new meanings through adapting the for new uses and patterns, and reinserting the activity itself into contemporary society, now meaning something else.” (33)

“In the sectors and modes of production in society there is also a production of immaterial property. This is something getting especially apparent when the production lines and products become intangible, as in code, innovation, or myth” (36)

“hacking is the creation of interfaces where fields of action becomes ready to use and at hand, unlocking a closed border to become a palpable interface. The hack is a practice that makes tools accessible and open for further exploration, revealing possibilities. Replacing monologues with a position of talking back – to engage in dialogues. The hack is this process of opening and sharing, exposing the inside of a black box, but not necessary demystifying it. A magician hat hacked will still be the home of rabbits, but also much more.” (56)

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Sustainable Fashion and Textiles: Design Journeys

Kate Fletcher

“Open source offers a more inclusive, ecological and engaging model for fashion and textiles. In open source people are active and progress towards a collective goal. They share the work and share the benefits. A sense of network is also important – while they may be autonomous individuals, they are also part of a bigger project. The key questions for us in fashion and textiles are: What is our shared goal? And what will it take to make it happen? From a sustainability perspective, any goal would have to include a mandate to transform underlying sustainability problems, including our addiction to consumption.”

“The aim is to enable us to engage in a process of enrichment that is chiefly concerned with skills, knowledge and experience and one where our focus is switched away from the accumulation of possessions to one where possessions, while still important, are used as a tools to help us to become better skilled”

(pg. 191)

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The Third Wave

Alvin Toffler 

“For Third Wave civilization, the most basic raw material of all–and on that can never be exhausted–is information… With information becoming more important than ever before, the new civilization will restructure education, redefine scientific research and, above all, reorganize the media of communication… Instead of being culturally dominated by a few mass media, Third Wave civilization will rest on inter-active, de-massified media, feeding extremely diverse and often highly personalized imagery into and out of the mind- stream of the society.” (

“Because it can remember and interrelate large numbers of causal forces, the computer can help us cope with such problems at a deeper than customary level.” (174)

“Our remarkable ability to file and retrieve shared memories is the secret of our species’ evolutionary success. And anything that significantly alters the way we construct, store, or use social memory therefore touches on the very wellsprings of destiny” (176).

“The step beyond this, of course, is complete customization– the actual manufacture of one-of-a-kind products. And that is clearly the direction in which we are heading: products custom-cut for individual users” (183).

Apart from encouraging smaller work units, apart from permitting a decentralization and de- urbanization of production, apart from altering the actual character of work, the new production system could shift literally millions of jobs out of the factories and office into which the Second Wave swept them and right back where they came from originally: the home. If this were to happen, every institution we know, from the family to the school and the corporation, would be transformed” (194).

“This holds that the more we automate the production of goods and lower their per-unit cost, the more we increase the relative cost of handcrafts and non automated services” (273).

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