The OpenStructures blog.

We like > Open Source Ecology

on 2012-03-12 22:07

Open Source Ecology is accelerating the growth of the next economy - the Open Source Economy
- an economy that optimizes both production and distribution - while promoting environmental regeneration and social justice. They are building the Global Village Construction Set. This is a high-performance, modular, do-it-yourself, low-cost 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.

Needless to say we are big fans ...

We like > The Free Universal Construction Kit

on 2012-03-12 20:23

F.A.T. Lab and Sy-Lab are pleased to present the Free Universal Construction Kit: a matrix of nearly 80 adapter bricks that enable complete interoperability between ten* popular children’s construction toys. 
By allowing any piece to join to any other, the Kit encourages totally new forms of intercourse between otherwise closed systems—enabling radically hybrid constructive play, the creation of previously impossible designs, and ultimately, more creative opportunities for kids. As with other grassroots interoperability remedies, the Free Universal Construction Kit implements proprietary protocols in order to provide a public service unmet—or unmeetable—by corporate interests.

connecting four different systems together

We like > Wikispeed

on 2012-03-12 08:46

Team WIKISPEED is a green automotive-development company that builds cars utilizing agile methodology and has prototyped a mass-manufacturable, ultra-low-cost, 100-mpg commuter car. WIKISPEED is an all-volunteer distributed agile/scrum team: members contribute their work from various locations globally and iteratively enhance the vehicle every two weeks. This model allows extremely high-speed development, especially when paired with rapid-prototyping manufacturing tools.

The open-hardware movement got a tremendous boost today when WIKISPEED and Open Source Ecology (OSE), a group committed to providing free plans and processes necessary for building the global economy, announced that they are teaming up to revolutionize transportation in the developing world.

Taking on traditional, proprietary manufacturing R & D, the two companies aim to create an open-source product-development methodology that would allow communities around the world to quickly develop their own machinery and processes to support themselves, removing a dependency on industrialized nations for costly solutions.

Truly amazing project ...

We like > LittleBits

on 2012-03-08 14:48
LittleBits is an opensource library of electronic modules that snap together with magnets forprototyping, learning and fun.

We like > Giffi: Gift for Future Inventor

on 2012-01-12 16:20

Giffi, GIft For Future Inventors let children build their own robots or kinetic sculptures.
It consists of moving parts and support parts.

There are currently three types of moving parts: rotating, linear actuating and sweeping. Each part has its own microcontroller inside, by simply assembling and plugging them in to power with a battery box or
wall plug box, children can quickly build a moving object. There are also many passive parts that enable them to design different forms.

more info on the website of Kuan Ju Wu

We like > LEGO® BrickArms

on 2011-02-12 17:15
Even LEGO is becoming an open system!
People are designing the LEGO blocs they always dreamt of but that where never built. LEGO is making the transition, whether they like it or not, from a closed, hierarchical system towards an open, horizontal system.

BrickArms LLC is a small toy company specializing in custom designed LEGO® compatible weapons and custom minifigs. 

We like > ThereIfixedit

on 2010-02-17 16:10
A series of 'hardware hacks' that crossed my path.

A lot of these hacks were found at

"Anytime anyone anywhere has used duct tape, zip-ties and bubble gum to hold something together with just enough tensile strength to not instantly kill everyone in the room…that’s a kludge. Whether it was to get your first car, which was older than you, to last another month or simply to avoid having to buy new headphones, almost everyone has kludged something. We just encourage taking photos for e-fame."

What all of these hacks have in common is that each of them tells a kind of personal story, they all add a human layer to the mass-produced, as if you can almost hear the cursing or laughter of the people who performed the hacks.

Customizing by adapting one or more components.

Customizing by transforming the function of the object

Customizing by replacing one or more components.

We like > Gekgasifier

on 2010-02-16 08:11

"The Gasifier Experimenters Kit (GEK) offers beginners through experts an easy way build and customize a wide variety of gasifier types and run configurations. Whether you’re a DIY power enthusiast, university researcher, or industrial engineer, the GEK will get you quickly over the starting hurdles of gasification, and on to the more rewarding work of making power and making biochar.

The GEK is designed in a modular fashion for easy switch out between common reactor types and operating regimes. You can use the GEK to run an expertly configured downdraft gasifier for running engines and generating electricity. Or you can use the same base to create a pyrolysis retort for biochar making and soil studies. Each reactor is a separate assembly that bolts into a common gas cowling and ash handling base. Within each reactor type, all variables are easily adjusted and sub-assemblies are simply replaced via standardized “bolt to” flanges.

This modular design makes it easy to add performance parts and process elaborations as your needs require. Gasifiers are seldom “one design fits all”. Different fuels and different uses require different solutions. Thus the GEK is designed for easy integration of add-ons and customizations such as: auger fuel feed, in-situ fuel drying, IC exhaust gas heat recovery, active tar recycling systems, electronic instrumentation and control, and automated ash removal systems.

The result of is a uniquely powerful “LEGO system” of biomass thermal conversion. The GEK gives you access to all the commonly discussed, but rarely implemented “expert solutions”, and does so at the smaller-scale and lesser price relevant for personal energy projects.

The GEK project is solving the longstanding problems of small-scale gasification and pyrolysis. We invite you to join us on the cutting edge of the adventure– or least follow the derivatives via one of our growing number of imitators . . ."

We like > Christian Ernsten and Joost Janmaat

on 2010-01-08 16:33
Posted in: What we like ... .

User City in a Voter World – Ernsten, Christian and Joost Janmaat — Volume magazine #16

'A future as messy as the present' .. great scentence, we always imagine the future as a kind of slick 3D rendered version of the present, but in reality we observe an accumulation of layered diversity and complexity.

We like > Filip Dujardin

on 2010-01-08 06:21
Posted in: What we like ... .
Filip Dujardin — Fictions
Manipulated images