I wanted to share with you a recent TED talk by Alastair Parvin on citizens designing for citizens. Alastair is one of the creators of WikiHouse, an open-source construction program that allows anyone to share model files for structures, which can then be downloaded, printed and easily assembled. Parvin calls WikiHouse a very early experiment, the seed of what he sees as design’s great project in the 21st century: the democratization of production. I, myself, believe we had already democratized production of housing – if not what are favelas? – but I think his talk brings out some of the ideas and innovations we have been discussing on Favelissues in the past months:
(1) Expanding the market to cover the ones in the bottom.
(2) Bringing innovation to find solutions for some of the basic problems in human nature: housing, basic services, health…
(3) The idea that the main purpose of architecture is solving problems and not building buildings.
For more information, here is a link to Wikihouse: http://www.wikihouse.cc/