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Collection of statements from the participants to the network

Technological creation is organically reproduced and shared, but as a fundamental cultural pattern is still seen, nowadays, extensively through binoculars of state and corporate interest. The development of software creation poses an alternative to this binocular vision. Open source codes and open hardware creations experience organic growth, and can be taken as a practical route for the projections of future models of sustainable technological systems. Bricolabs conceptually and pragmatically envisions uses of technology through organic, malleable and transformative patterns. The image that Bricolabs metaphorically recalls is that of the revolution associated with the printing press, where invested thoughts and practice came together in an ongoing process of knowledge diffusion. Parallel to this model, open networks, hardware and source codes flow into depositories of open creation for localized communities defined by specific necessities again fusing knowledge and practice. The need to share, copy and distribute adapts technological systems and localized practice together into personal and socialized networks. Thus Bricolabs becomes a facilitator of creation that contributes to the written bricks of the printing machine. Bricolabs should foster tangible ways to increase awareness and visibility of its model to be distributed through networks of education in different localities. 
( Jerneja Rebernak )

Bricolabs are a collective answer for demands common to a lot of people all around the world these days. How do we share knowledge in order to create an effective and viable innovation network that is both self-organized and productive. How do we not only foster the creation of new uses for technologies, but awake a deeper, more intimate relationship between people and information, supported by open hardware, free and open source software and freely available knowledge and content. Bricolabs should operate like a self-organised network, following a set of consensual governance principles and allowing a dynamic composition of its constituting nodes according to different possible objectives. (Felipe Fonseca)

Open source world is an amazing melting pot of practices, goals and policies. From hardcore coding to community project, or to art projects, the range of open source initiatives is wide and versatile. In that field, we have to take into consideration its policies of self-organization, reverse engineering, and the opportunity to remain reative in an almost copyrighted, industrial products environment, that also aims to provoke uniformity/formatted behaviours. Therefore, there is an urge to let users know that they can be part of the creation process, or that anyone can turn a digital tool into something personal, creative and complying with local issues. So there is an high stake in promoting these concepts, as there are not publicized and even fought by corporate lobbies.
As Bricolabs seeks for open-source initiatives around the world, And as many open source initiatives grow underground with wide-scale or local-scale development projects, Bricolabs could pull links between communities and local policies representatives on one side, and artists, engineers, project holders on the other. In this melting pot of activities, engineers might not be able to conceive artistic projects, artists not able to promote their work into social direction, when politics don't even heard about such initiatives and what they can bring in the future.
Networks have always an important role in that direction, but most often rely on an existing row of venues or organizations, and might sometimes stuck with their internal or membership functions. So I foresee a major contribution in the open source field in convincing local decisionmakers or wider organizations to sustain open source project holders and experimental practises.

Why? : Authors are mostly concerned with their own work, and sometimes can't manage to bring it elsewhere or don't figure out use or development opportunities. Bricolabs has already a strong experience of open-source workshops and an ability to analyze the results at sociological, political and economical levels.

  Where? : in under-developed areas, both in western and non-western countries, where communities can't afford equipments, infrastructures or softwares or have to invent their own on cultural grounds. 

(Mathieu Marguerin )


A new world is emerging where the processes of transfer of knowledge, goods and services are submitted to ethic laws: transparency, democracy, collective intelligence, collaborative organisation, sharing of any ressource including environemental ressource. Theese new economic, politic, cultural, social possibilities are strongly related to the digital world existence: digital industry, digital networks and digital freedom. This is their power, but also their important fragility.

I see Bricolabs initiative as a tool to discover, document and promote all open source projects in the world, with strong emphasis on digital democracy. Bricolabs could serve to gather or inform similar initiatives actually working separately in different parts of the world.

Some examples in different fields:

-Open source hardware to unsalt sea water.

-Open source software to mesh individual wifi routers

-Open source management process for Social Grocery

-Open source organisation process for local democracy referendum.

-Open source educational ressources for personnal health management in hot countries

Bricolabs network should in the future:

-survey, collect links, categorise and mediatize open ressource projects and open source howto's in a multilingual webportal, wikipedia-like. "howtopedia"

- animate and inform the open world by automatised categorized newsletters in the different fields

- create a general meeting and annual conference on the topic of open world

- support local meeting initiatives about open world.

in the next future: 
-gather and inform people interested by this new world, collect funds in an ethic way.

in the present: 
-focus on the creation of the digital and real bricolabs community

How to run Bricolabs ?

The first steps are:

- a forum/mailing list/wiki/portal package

- a permanent "Flashmeeting" access/server or similar service to conference between first members.

- starting the intellectual works by defining the most urgent topics of Bricolabs utility.

Bricolabs organisational structure ?

Non-profit organisation, or Foundation. An online "who is who" of the members.
(Jean Noël Montagné)

Aymeric Mansoux

The existence of a core is linked to the need or not of guidelines and milestones for the whole project. 

is bricolabs a label/ethic/manifesto/tag ? -> no core

is bricolabs a structure for concrete projects ? -> core

is bricolabs both ? -> core

from what I heard so far, I think the strenght and weakness of the project is its current definition. With that, I mean that so far a lot of people have been involved on a basis that is presenting too broad concepts.

It would be the same as inviting people on "happiness: join the group to be happy and spread the hapiness". Now what is one's "hapiness" and is it even compatible with another's ? because ... of course we all want to be happy :)

What I try to explain here, is that we have here without no doubts a list of great people that signed on something that can be interpreted and even implemented in very different ways. That's why I suggested Rob to simply ask everyone h+ere and on the current list of invited people, what do they want or think bricolabs should be. Hopefully a pattern will emerge from the answers if everyone can contribute on something *very* concrete and not yet another abstraction of a meta concept. This pattern should be used then as a basis/guideline to proceed to the next step and eventually naturally filter the people involved.

If Bricolabs has already a very precise and concrete plan of action, then it should be communicated ASAP so everyone can see if they're still interested to particpate in it and how this relate to their activities, how they can contribute back etc...

It would be sad to end up with a list of people who are in bricolabs for the sake of it.

"My" bricolabs would be a concept that can be concretely applied, that can make sense on the industrial and ecomic level, that could be easily understood from both a political point of view and the public.

I do not want to start a revolution but I like intellectual contamination. I do not aim at saving the world but I want to start spreading ideas that could have positive effects on the long term while bringing immediate awareness on some issues.

This bricolabs could be the leader of a new movement that I would call "fair-trade hardware".

Industrial could label a device "fair-trade hardware" if:

- Its specifications are clearly documented in an open-content licensing fashion and do not rely on any proprietary components.

- Its design/production/manufacturing have been done in a country where human rights and labor rights are not violated

- Its design/production/manufacturing have been done with a focus on maximizing recyclicity and prevention of pollution.

- It is based on components that are traceable and on which the fair-trade hardware rules can be applied to.

Drica Veloso

Bricolabs in an ideal world would be a physical place where people will all kinds of knowledge - from a a gardener to a PhD in robotics - could share responsibilities, conflicts and most of all friendship while building interfaces that could express a how to empower communities to bring social justice to their local and global life.

Aoife Johanna Giles

Bricolabs offer a way for people to make art using "other" tools. And to feel empowered by doing so. I think that they are a way to move away from technology for technology's sake. By showing how technology can be ours, we can play and the "wonder" of art can be the first thing to grab you rather than just being amazed at how technical it all is. I think Bricolabs have a role to play in changing how we look at networked communications and access to information. It's a tangible way to demonstrate how artistic and creative freedom can be achieved by stepping away from cast top down structures.


bricolabs should DE-FACTO stand to build collaborations between them. To 'bricolab' means there must be projects to be develop, placed, installed, set to operate in the city, neighborhood or place where the other bricolab has its base. Otherwise we will keep on the good and precious local work but miss the chance this network gives us. Bricolabs should parasite each other. one BL colonizes the "other".

In the colombian case we lack local support, and thats good since we dont get our efforts institutionalized but is bad cause we dont grow enough, we are slow and depend on what each individual can give. Also in colombia (as it might be in some other palces), sadly, only when you get some international presence or partnership you are listened and supported by the state organizations otherwise your attemps are simple disregarded (i tell from personal experience). I see bricolabs can help us get some more care and attenntion from local institutions or at least be an appointments in their cultural agendas....but im unsure how good could that be in a place where corruption is the law.........

model: the one of the mafia kartel, to share, traffick and smuggle ideas, media, mediums and all sort of cultural dispositives but always in the most unpredictable and resourceful way following the "take by surprise" strategy inspired by alchemist, the nomad and the hacker.


When we are face-to-face, eye-to-eye with misery, the needy, the negligence of others, we feel a little something- which can be the difference. The jealousy of the miserables cannot triumph over love because sharing the light of knowledge transforms the darkness Living in a community like Livramento, Municipality of Manaus, Amazonas and experiencing all of the communities difficulties can shoot away all balance. Malaria, problems with electricity, health care and education are cruel facts. Metarecycled spore Borala is nothing more or less than an unremarkable solidarity of desire. The virulence with which a minority, ignorant and scared fight us is the best signal that "Borala" vai emborra, "Borala" lives and fights. Democracy does not exist without the participation of everyone. Change is in the future and it is in the present @ Bricolabs.

* We 'bear witness' to imposed constraints on generic infrastructures in a peaceful, non-violent manner;

* We use non-violent confrontation to raise the level and quality of public debate;

* In exposing threats to generic infrastructures and finding solutions we have no permanent allies or adversaries;

* We ensure our financial independence from political or commercial interests;

* We seek solutions for, and promote open, informed debate about society's infrastructure choices.

In developing our strategies and policies we take great care to reflect our fundamental respect for democratic principles and to seek solutions that will promote global social equity.


Bricolabs should foremost create a real exchange between free hardware and software practitioners, artists and activists that work towards social change. By merging concepts of FLOSS, DIY, embedded and ubiquitous computing, Bricolabs should foster the creation of self-regulated ad-hoc networks of people, permeated with wireless devices and sensors that communicate through a free spectrum. This should be done preserving privacy and the environment, these devices should be recycled from the pool of e-waste that is already available to us and should be completely open so as to never invade our privacy unwillingly! These devices need to be simpler, but not stupid, in the sense that people should get smarter and understand the "human creation" behind gadgets, conquering the languages of math, software development, and basic electronic-hardware manipulation so as to be real actors in the creation process and exercise their right to solve problems with gambiarra. All projects should be open so they will be able to evolve, be recycled and remixed, creating a true environment for digital evolution, where patterns emerge out of our self organizing process, towards a new, socially just world. Governments should back this effort by opening up the regulation process and also fostering the development of this network. Companies should also participate by providing access to new resources for experimentation. Bricolabs should, however, protect themselves from the powers of corruption and assimilation that most definitely will be pursued by governments and capitalists. We should fight to create a global commons of generic infrastructures, but that will be born out of real local needs and solutions. The frontier between arts and science should be broken so as Bricolabs explore new technologies from subjective desires! The whole concept of media has to be reshaped as well, everyone should have their own radio/tv channel and newspaper! We are not a parallel movement, we are not a resistance, we ignore the current capitalist democratic "utopia" because we see the surreal lie it really is, instead we focus on a re-existence, a re-invention of the world using technology but at the same time never forgetting the very real human beings behind their creation and use. For me Bricolabs can bring in the resources and knowledge available in "developed" countries so I can act locally. It can connect me to my peers, and it can provide the minimal infrastructure I need to work with. What we lack most is access to hardware resources and top-notch technological research and experimentation.

as for how we should be structured:

- every Bricolab should be autonomous and free to use it's share of the global budget to set up infrastructure but also invite people from other Bricolabs for residencies.

- we should accept that human time is different than net time and give people enough time to express themselves and search for their own path

- we should adopt agile methodologies and share a global plan that will change constantly

- we should share global values and invest in global inter-exchange of people, not just projects or gadgets

- we should share a global information repository, multimedia and multi-language

- we should use the Internet and connectivity tools to synchronize our efforts and foster collaboration 
- we should thrive for consensual decisions and a horizontal hierarchy, through a completely open and visible decision making process


Let's not reduce bricolab to its democratic potential. There must be more to it than 'fast prototyping for the Johnsons' -- or the Dasguptas for that matter. What we envision is a transdisciplinary lab where activists, designers, artists and theorists can meet, and work. Bricolabs is soooo 2007! We're no longer stuck in 1997. Bricolabs is looking into wireless, open source and free software, object hacking and micro manufacting in order to close the real-virtual devide once and for all.

Maja Kuzmanovic

I see Bricolabs as a loose community of people engaged in a participatory, DIY, DWO and open (re)source culture. Bricolabs could become a pool of people, knowledge, skills and resources that is flexible enough to be able to accommodate a variety of collaborations and situations. I see it as a place where experts can join forces with enthusiasts, where knowledge gained in formal schooling doesn't have any more or less value than knowledge accumulated through informal workshops, tinkering in one's own kitchen, or learning from stories of elders and children. It should value motivation and curiosity more than professional, detached expertise. The Bricolabs people enjoy working with technology, not so much for technology's sake, but because it empowers them in a social, cultural and political sense. A group that is technically literate and has a critical approach to emerging technologies. This approach is far from purist - we scavenge, develop, reverse-engineer, appropriate, refute and re-appropriate technologies, to create self-sustaining, but interdependent systems (both technological and social). These systems are designed based on principles of collaboration and sharing, rather than competition and greed. Bricolabs could be an amorphous entity. It could change form, context and function as needed by its constituents. Sometimes it might only function as an online resource, a reference for the 'bricolabs' culture (I can't think of an appropriate name for this culture at the moment). At other times, it can come alive in different events, workshops, clubs and organisations. Or it can be a place where an individual node can turn to for help, and receive it from many different and unexpected angles. On one hand an archive, that can at any moment be turned into a functioning manual, and on the other, it could become an experiment in growing a robust trans-local ecology (made up of interdependent alternative cultures), a contrast to the fragile monoculture that is the globalised consumerism.

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