For the last couple of days I’ve been studying the website of Factor E Farm and Open Source Ecology trying to really understand what this group of young visionaries is trying to accomplish.
Their goal is breathtaking in concept. They are trying to design the basic machinery required by a small community to operate in a sustainable way with a certain degree of modern comfort. The following two minute video provides a quick overview of what this project is about:
Marcin Jakubowski is the leader and visionary behind this effort and was recently named a TED Fellow.
They are also a finalist in Make Magazine’s Green Project contest.
Open Source Ecology is a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters that for the last 4 years has been creating the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS), an open source, low-cost, high performance technological platform that allows for the easy, Do It Yourself (DYI) fabrication of the 40 different Industrial Machines that it takes to build a sustainable civilization with modern comforts. The GVCS lowers the barriers to entry into farming, building, and manufacturing and can be seen as a life-size lego-like set of modular tools that can create entire economies, whether in rural Missouri, where the project was founded, the mountains of Oregon, or in the heart of Africa.
Key Features of the GVCS: Open Source – we freely publish our 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, and product manuals on our open source wiki and we harness open collaboration with technical contributors.
Low-Cost – The cost of making or buying our machines are, on average, 8x cheaper than buying from an
Industrial Manufacturer, including an average labor cost of $15 hour for a GVCS fabricator.
High Performance – Performance standards must match or exceed those of industrial counterparts for the GVCS to be viable.
Flexible Fabrication – It has been demonstrated that the flexible use of generalized machinery in appropriate-scale production is a viable alternative to centralized production.
Distributive Economics – We encourage the replication of enterprises that derive from the GVCS platform as a route to truly free enterprise – along the ideals of Jeffersonian democracy.
Industrial Efficiency – In order to provide a viable choice for a resilient lifestyle, the GVCS platform matches or exceeds productivity standards of industrial counterparts.
Modular – Motors, parts, assemblies, and power units can interchange, where units can grouped together to diversify the functionality that is achievable from a small set of units. User-Serviceable – Design-for-disassembly allows the user to take apart, maintain, and fix tools readily without the need to rely on expensive repairmen. DIY – The user gains control of designing, producing, and modifying the GVCS tool set.
Closed Loop Manufacturing – Metal is an essential component of advanced civilization, and our platform allows for recycling metal into virgin feedstock for producing further GVCS technologies – thereby allowing for cradle-to-cradle manufacturing cycles
This is a project worth following and supporting.