Open Source: The Global Village Construction Set

People around the world have aspirations to create happily sustainable, affordable communities, but often the lack of construction grade tools and vehicles derail their efforts: enter the Global Village Construction Set. The project was started by Open Source Ecology, a network of farmers, engineers and supporters. Together they are bringing to life a modular, DIY, low-cost, open source, 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. That’s a mouthful, but this big project is making great progress and getting much deserved attention.

The Global Village Construction Set (GVCS) is like a life-sized Lego set: it uses interchangeable parts, motors and power in its construction, lending reliability, redundancy and simplicity to the designs. Thus far, 8 of the 40 machines deemed necessary to create a small society have been designed. The remaining 32 are in the works and extensive real-life testing is underway on the machines completed thus far. Excitingly, the average cost of building the machines is 8 times less than buying them from a conventional manufacturer… that’s many tens of thousands less when you’re looking at a new tractor.

The projects completed construction manual will include 3d designs, schematics, instructional videos, budgets, user manuals and more. Founder Marcin Jakubowski says of the final product: “Our goal is [to create] a repository of published designs so clear, so complete, that a single burned DVD is effectively a civilization starter kit.”

In a world, increasingly dependent on large corporations to make things happen, Open Source Ecology hopes to foster a “newly relevant DIY, maker culture, that can hope to transcend artificial scarcity.” Find out more by checking out their recently funded Kickstarter project then head to for more.

A quick, 2-minute video about the project:

Marcin Jakubowski’s TED Talk about the project:

Below, the “backbone of the system,” the Lifetrack Multi-purpose Tractor

Benjamin Starr

Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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  1. Now, combine this with 3D Printing, Permaculture and Hemp and what do we need Economies, Markets, Corporations and Governments for?

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