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Design Global, Manufacture Local


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Presentation given at Transforming Production: An Open Design Distributed Manufacturing Symposium (Melbourne, Australia), May 2017

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Design Global, Manufacture Local

  1. 1. Design Global Manufacture Local Relocalising Production in Cities Sharon Ede Transforming Production: Open Design Distributed Manufacturing Melbourne, May 2017
  2. 2. digital technology + the open source movement = lowering the financial and practical barriers to production the physical means of production is being democratised
  3. 3. cities are the economic and political powerhouses of the 21st century by 2025, 600 cities will generate more than 60 percent of global GDP growth
  4. 4. CITY NATION Tokyo South Korea New York Spain, Canada Los Angeles Australia Seoul Malaysia London Netherlands Paris South Africa Shanghai Philippines City Economies vs National Economies equivalent in size to
  5. 5. to sustain this growth, cities are running ‘ecological deficits’ - dependent on extensive, fossil-fuel powered supply lines, and access to resources + ecological capacity from elsewhere
  6. 6. estimates at the time of the 1992 Rio Earth Summit found that 75% of the natural resources harvested and mined from the Earth are shipped, trucked, railroaded and flown to the 2.5% of the Earth’s surface that is metropolitan, where 80% of those resources are converted into ‘waste’
  7. 7. shipping is projected to be responsible for 17% of global emissions by 2050 both shipping and aviation are excluded from international climate change negotiations due to the difficulty of allocating emissions to one country
  8. 8. ‘frequent flyer prawns’ - caught in Scotland, sent to Thailand for shelling, shipped back to the UK for distribution because Thai labour is cheaper - a 13,000 mile round trip a typical container of strawberry yoghurt in Germany clocks up over 12,000 miles of transport in the process of being made, assembled into its pot and delivered to the point of sale
  9. 9. …what if we swapped information (recipes, or designs) on how to make the product, instead of the product? ‘boomerang trade’ eg. exporting sugar cookies to Denmark while importing sugar cookies from Denmark… wouldn’t it be more efficient to swap recipes?
  10. 10. GLOBAL = LIGHT economy of BITS - ‘light’ things (data, information, shared/open source design) travel LOCAL = HEAVY economy of ATOMS – ‘heavy’ things (atoms, physical production, manufacturing) stays local
  11. 11. harnessing these spaces + digital manufacturing technologies: potential for returning production to cities – microfactories, distributed manufacturing, small scale, clean, on demand production makerspaces and Fab Labs: physical space, equipment and networks for relocalised production
  12. 12. there are over 1,000 Fab Labs in the world today
  13. 13. these places represent a potential distributed infrastructure for relocalising production
  14. 14. create, upload, and distribute ‘bits’ (data, recipe, design)
  15. 15. download, customise, and make with ‘atoms’ (materials, tools, energy)
  16. 16. Fab City Research Laboratory in Barcelona works to harness these trends of open digital fabrication, and the ability to produce locally, to create more self sufficient cities
  17. 17. Poble Nou a productive neighbourhood in Barcelona, supported by local and international communities, using new technologies to build the Fab City prototype
  18. 18. FOOD
  19. 19. ENERGY
  21. 21. hyper-local production - the designs for the fitout of LEKA Restaurant in the Poble Nou district were fabricated in the Fab Lab in Barcelona, walked down the street, and assembled on-site
  22. 22. ‘The first city to become self-sufficient – simultaneously increasing employment by creating opportunities through open innovation, and radically reducing carbon emissions by re-localising production – will lead the future of urban development globally.’ Tomas Diez Director, Fab City Global Initiative