Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Open Source Ecology - The Global Village Construction Set

I stumbled upon this on good old TED.com. It is a network of farmers, engineers, designers and builders developing, as founder Marcin Jakubowski calls it, a 'Civilization Starter Kit'.
The project is called 'OPEN SOURCE ECOLOGY' and they are harnessing the power of 'open source' collaboration to endow the modern man/woman with the skills to be self-sufficient.

Marcin Jakubowski

In his speech at TED in April last year, Marcin mentioned he left his twenties highly qualified but barely useful.

 “I finished my 20s with a PhD in fusion energy, and I discovered I was useless.” - Marcin Jakubowski

In an urge to strip back to the roots of living he bought a some land and became a farmer. However, his lack of practical know-how become evident again when his old tractor kept breaking down. The lack of reliability in his farm equipment coupled with his lack of mechanical expertise proved to be draining, mentally and financially.
In push to promote be more self-sufficient and make have machinery he himself built and could maintain, Marcin founded Open Source Ecology.

This open sourced network of innovators are creating a series of  construction manuals collated in a package called the Global Village Construction Set (GVCS).

'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.'

So far they have developed the comprehensive training guide, material lists and detailed instructions for the construction of 4 of the 50 industrial machines.


CEB Press

CEB Press

A high performance machine for producing Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB) from onsite soil, at production rates of up to 16 bricks per minute.



A versatile, 4-wheel drive, hydraulically-driven, skid-steering tractor with 18 to 200 horsepower capacity for agriculture, construction and other utility duties

Soil Pulverizer

Soil Pulverizer

A tractor implement that tills soil with blades via rotary action.

Power Cube

Power Cube

  A multipurpose, self-contained, hydraulic power unit that consists of an engine coupled to a hydraulic pump.

Other machines yet to be developed include:
  • 3D Printer
  • 3D Scanner
  • 50kW Wind Turbine
  • Chipper
  • Bakery Oven
  • Induction Furnace
  • Laser Metal Cutter
  • Nickel Iron Batteries  

Below is the talk Marcin gave at TED in April 2011

Sourced from TED.com

Using the collective skills and knowledge of many to provide free knowledge to all is a noble endeavor. I like how more and more people are exploiting the potential of open source platforms. I will be following their progress closely.....

Would you try and build one?

Photos sourced from opensourceecology.org

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