Global Village Construction Set

Open Source Ecology is “a network of farmers, engineers, and supporters building the Global Village Construction Set.  The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is a modular, DIY, low-cost, high-performance platform that allows for the easy fabrication of the 50 different industrial machines that it takes to build a small, sustainable civilization with modern comforts.

Those 50 machines range from tractors to bread ovens to circuit board makers and founder Marcin Jakubowski and volunteers from all over the world have prototyped eight (as of November 2011) so far.

I love this idea.  Check out Jakubowski describing the concept in this brief TED talk:

As Jakubowski says, “We’re focusing on hardware because it is hardware that can change people’s lives in such tangible and material ways.”  Not just for developing countries, but developed ones too—farmers, small business owners, etc.  ”Our goal is a repository of published designs so clear and so complete that a single DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit.”

For those of you who got excited about the page full of logos for other open-source hardware initiatives like I did, here they are with links—enjoy!

RepRap
Arduino
MAKE:
Lasersaur
MakerBot
TechShop
Willow Garage
DIY Drones
SparkFun 

Anupam Mishra: The ancient ingenuity of water harvesting

“With wisdom and wit, Anupam Mishra talks about the amazing feats of engineering built centuries ago by the people of India’s Golden Desert to harvest water. These structures are still used today — and are often superior to modern water megaprojects.

“To promote smart water management, Anupam Mishra works to preserve rural India’s traditional rainwater harvesting techniques.”  (TED)

Prakti High Efficiency Stoves

I’ve just recently returned from a trip to India as part of an UnBox Fellowship exploring sustainability in Auroville, near Pondicherry on the southeast coast.  Auroville is a sort of experimental utopian community founded in 1968, in an attempt to create a society without nationality, belonging to and driven by humanity as a whole.  Its priorities are on a mix of spirituality, sustainability and the ability to work as a harmonious society, open to anyone from around the world who will participate and contribute to the community.  It was a pleasure to visit and a rewarding experience and I plan to write about in more detail in another post.

Auroville is full of remarkable people researching and developing various technologies and practices for sustainability and development, and one of the people we had the pleasure to meet was Mouhsine Serrar, the founder and CEO of the Prakti Design Lab.  Prakti designs, manufactures and sells a range of high-efficiency, low-smoke stoves that address environmental, economic and health issues for its customers.

Mohsine Serrar welcomes us to the office

Founder and CEO Mouhsine Serrar introduces Prakti stoves to the UnBox fellows

Continue reading