GlobalVillages, was Re: [ox-en] more on RepRap
- From: "Franz Nahrada" <f.nahrada reflex.at>
- Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2005 10:17:15 +0200
magius <magius inventati.org> on Mittwoch, 8. Juni 2005 at 08:38 Uhr [PHONE NUMBER REMOVED]
Imho we have to try a way to fund Dr. Bowyer RepRap: ideas?
I dont want to wait 4 years as he predicted for the end of the project ;)
Let's abolish the economy as science of scarcity..through money!
A very good way to do some efficient fundraising would be to rally around
He has managed to convince the South African Government to sponsor the
first NewWork Village with Fabricator technology.
Same could work with other countries, and once we get the avalanche going
no power in the world can stop it. And he has a sharp eye on monetary
here is a comprehensive description of some measures he proposed: if you
read the it carefully, you see how things fits in the picture and how
RepRap Technology might be the finishing stone of a large gothic arch ;-)
However, we have much more fun if we consider the incredible array of new
raw material that technology can craft from plants (a whole green
chemistry to replace our current one after "peak oil" and make us really
independent) also part of the picture....Hence also the emphasis on Open
Building the post industrial Village
Many groups in many different countries are currently working on the idea
of a new 21st century village. One could also call it the new
Post-Industrial Village. This New Village will be dramatically different
from what villages and rural life have been like in the past.
Two main points can be made quickly:
1. The Post-Industrial village will combine the best of the rural past
with the very best of what the cosmopolitan cities formerly had to offer.
They will not be backwards and isolated, but will instead be
internet-connected to the latest developments in science and technology.
They will use these to manufacture 80% of the products one needs for a
fulfilling and pleasurable modern life directly for themselves ? many of
them in their own crucially important Community Centers. In these Centers
they will also learn and develop skills, but also play and engage in
sports. There they will also have access to every piece of music that was
ever composed and to every book that was ever written. Life in these New
Villages will therefore be incomparably more interesting and exciting, and
also far less dominated by spirit-extinguishing work than was true in the
2. The development of this Post-Industrial life in villages and rural
regions is of the most urgent and pressing necessity: In all countries a
huge migration from the country into the cities is now occurring. The
results are slums, violence, unemployment and genocidal poverty. This
migration can be reversed only if a genuinely new form of life evolves in
the villages of the world.
In what follows some possible first steps in that direction are outlined.
In our present conference the primary concern is with a number of
technologies that can be used to achieve this beginning. In every case
these technologies represent only suggestions, only possibilities. All
decisions from the first day on will be made by the members of the
communities with whom we shall work. The question will always be: What is
it that they really want?
I: VERTICAL AGRICULTURE
At our last meeting, on Sept. 6th, we reached a unanimous consensus
concerning Vertical Agriculture. (It was most forcefully formulated by
D.G.Vusi Madonsela.) The technology of Vertical Agriculture has multiple
High yield on very small lots of land
Conservative of water
Ease of use
The technology is simple
Minimal need for tools
The technology supports Food Security
It also provides the materials for a business. (Selling NOT tomatoes,
but high-quality foods and vegetables to upscale restaurants.)
To reach decisions on the manufacturing of the needed containers is a
mandatory next step. (We cannot introduce Vertical Agriculture on a
significant scale unless we have the needed containers.) Use of local,
recycled materials, possibly a combination of agricultural waste-products
? (chaff, corncobs, etc.) ? with recycled plastic looks like a
possibility. How crucial the use of a Fabricator will be may depend on
the combination of materials used. The aim is to design and implement a
manufacturing process in which advanced Hi-Tech ? the Fabricator ? is
optimally combined with the use of intensive labor. (The making of these
containers will serve two parallel purposes: both, for the communities own
use, but also for the establishment of a profit-making enterprise, which
will sell these containers.) Mounting the Fabricator in a ?small,
mobile, digital manufacturing shop? so that it could travel from one of
our projects to others, and could be used by all our project sites in
rotation would be a way to reduce costs and maximize efficiency.
Required will be a large number of containers: (Several hundred for each
We anticipate the intensive involvement of the network of local experts in
every aspect of our projects, from the development of the best possible
compost for various crops, to the possible marketing of the upscale
products we aim to sell. We shall aim at the cheapest possible purchase
(and possibly partial manufacturing) of the required infrastructure
components: pipes, hoses, faucets, covered boxes for raising seedlings,
etc. A next step will be to combine Vertical Agriculture with small
animal farming: turkeys, chicken, ostriches, mushrooms, fish-farming, etc.
The construction of greenhouses could be a further development. These
greenhouses might wherever possible be combined with the use of
Crucial will be to develop a structure for the training of the
participants. All aspects of the training will be performed by local
experts or practitioners in the great range of relevant fields ? from the
selection of the project sites up to the manufacturing of the containers.
The selection and preparation of these staff-participants must begin as
soon as at all feasible.
II: WATER AND SANITATION:
One cannot grow food, nor animals -- for that matter, one cannot live --
without water, hence the whole complex of activities dealing with
sanitation, sewage, the possible production of bio-gas, the re-cycling and
filtration and the purification of water must begin simultaneously with
the raising of crops.
Currently a very large number of complex, multi-stage configurations are
used in many different countries. Often these combine the treatment of
sewage and waste with the production of fertilizers, of compost and
bio-gas, and of course also with the clearing and recycling of water.
There exists now a world-wide network of extremely knowledgeable experts
for each of the several components that make up these complex
configurations. New Work will be able to assist in establishing
connections with this network, and with the development of collaborations
with experts from South Africa.
The initial first step in all cases might well be the collecting,
channeling and saving of rain and storm-waters. Frequently this is one of
the simplest and least expensive improvements in areas of water scarcity.
The collecting of water can make a far greater difference now than was
true in the past because water can be kept fresh and rainwater can be
turned into drinking water through the use of technologies.
One promising and central technology, along these lines, we have already
discussed in some detail. That is the Micro-Filtration System produced by
Weise?s Water Systems.
A brief summary of the Information sheets concerning this system that my
colleagues from New Work prepared can be distributed.
We need to create a comprehensive, coherent, integrated approach. Given
our emphasis on technology, it is crucial to understand that a large
number of new developments in this field occur literally every month, and
that it is now possible (through the Internet) to know what these
developments are. (Here, too, New Work can be of assistance with the
establishing of contacts and of connections.)
Among the most important recent developments are:
1. The so-called ?thin? solar technology. A spectacular advance over the
traditional ?photovoltaic ? solar? technology that should be discussed --
even though at the present time it is still expensive. (Among the best
websites <unisolar.com>) (The use of a Fabricator might reduce the cost of
this technology significantly.)
2. The Stirling Motor.
3. The ?Generator Kit?
4. Advanced Diesel Engines
Many other possibilities very much including that of the production of
Biogas should be considered. The refurbishing of used generators and used
diesel engines might be an economic way to begin. Much of thast can of
course be done in traditional shops, but using a fabricator for the
production of intricate and expensive spare-parts is once more an option.
IV. BUILDING THE VILLAGES
In his book Spaceship Earth Buckminster Fuller wrote: ?The technologies
used for the building of homes are obsolete, backwards and medieval.
Compare the tools we use for the making of automobiles, these intricate,
powerful and impressive machines, to the nails, hammers and saws we use
for the construction of houses. Add to that the absurd waste involved in
traveling perpetually from the building site to the businesses that sell
the materials and parts, and from there again to the workshops of the
carpenters and electricians. We are ready for a great leap ? for a vastly
more intelligent, cheaper, less wasteful way of building.?
The homes in these villages should above all be inviting and attractive, a
source of pleasure and pride. Conceivably they should be quite
individuated and scattered ? not built in rows ? surrounded by gardens
(vertical and otherwise), with fruit-trees, fish-ponds, and a smattering
of small animals. (Here discovering what the participants really want will
be especially important.)
One of the points of special emphasis in the development of New Work has
been the identification and exploration of technologies ? of ?building
systems? that are specifically designed for inexperienced, low-skilled
?amateurs? who are building for the first time when they are building
their own home.
Two examples are:
a. The Ability Forms.
b. The ?Mortarless Constructions?
Naturally, there are numerous other, similar systems, but there exists
also a veritable host of materials, tools and building components that
facilitate building by non-experts. There is no excuse for not assessing
these in detail, and making them available wherever they would be of use.
Some further special topics would be the use of clay, an area in which the
Center for New Work in Gotha is especially active, the exploration of
alternatives to cement (which is expensive and not easy to use) and ?
In the case of New Post-Industrial Villages the Community Centers are
exactly what that word already says: they are the center of these
communities, their core, the heart that feeds and energizes the people
connected with them. They are utterly indispensable for the economy, the
culture and the life that will evolve around them.
Two technologies might proves especially useful for the building of these
1. The technology for ?Monolithic Domes.?
2. The technology of ?Geodesic domes.?
The first visual impression upon seeing them should be that of a
plenitude, of a profusion of various activities: this would be the place
where the people of the village gather to reach decisions and formulate
plans, but it would also be the space in which they make music, dance and
perform. If at all possible there would be a library and shops for a gamut
of crafts, but prominent and indispensable would also be a platform on
which the villagers could use computers in a shared fashion, and beyond
that also have access to the equipment for the printing of articles and
books, or even for the making of their own videos and films. In regard to
the computers a great deal of emphasis would be placed on putting them to
most practical and life-enhancing of uses: and these would of course
include their employment for the gathering of medical information: for
becoming far more self-reliant and independent also in this most personal
sphere, might become a part of the pervasive strengthening of that
capacity. This building would thus also be a new kind of school, a school
appropriate for the life and work of the Post-Industrial Age. In this very
different school the learners would participate in the myriad activities
that are performed in this center. Yet, all of these would still leave
ample room for the two activities of the greatest moment and weight: the
activities of Community Production, and the activities of the New Work
On the first level these would be the work of tending the vertical as
well as the other agricultural crops, and using these, on the one hand,
for the establishing of ?Food Security? for the village, but developing
these also at the same time into profit making, cooperatively owned
This double, parallel pattern would run through all four of the areas so
far discussed. Naturally, our expectation is that this same double pattern
would be maintained as we progress to areas beyond these four domains. At
this point the network of New Work Enterprises has done some preliminary
developmental work in regard to: (1) the manufacturing of spare-parts for
cars,(2) the manufacturing of far more efficient, small refrigerators,(3)
the manufacturing of stoves, and (4)the manufacturing of very much simpler
and cheaper (walkie-talkie) mobile cell-phones.
The general developmental dynamic that we would hope to achieve in all the
communities with whom we will work will thus be threefold:
1. Gradually, the products and services which the community provides for
itself would become expand and become more numerous. In other words, the
self-reliance and economic independence of the community would increase.
2. The profit-making enterprises established by the community would also
increase and grow. The four last-mentioned endeavors, spare-parts for
cars, etc. are quite especially promising as possible future ?cash-cows.?
3. There would be a gradual shift from the reliance on traditional tools
and technologies to the more extensive use of the Personal Fabricator, and
other advanced, cutting-edge technologies.
Contact: projekt oekonux.de