Materials for a debate on our lifes with technologies for collective (self-)care, independent living & urban accessibility | Materiales para un debate sobre nuestras vidas con tecnologías para el (auto)cuidado colectivo, la vida independiente y la accesibilidad urbana
Son capaces de replicar los productos ortopédicos que hay en el mercado de una forma mucho más original y sin hacer un gran desembolso. El movimiento 'maker' comienza a dominar las prótesis y la accesibilidad, y cada vez son más las iniciativas que surgen para dar de lado a la poderosa industria ortopédica. Proyectos frescos, nuevos y atrevidos (incluso sexualmente hablando).
From its very beginnings modernity could be described as a social formation which values innovation. It embraces the production of new ideas, practices and technologies. The task of innovation, however, was usually carried out by specialized experts (inventors, researchers, and developers) in specialized areas (laboratories of universities, research centers, and R&D departments).
As long as only a small sector of society engages in innovation it might be an exaggeration to speak of modernity as an innovation society, but in the light of recent developments the diagnosis of an innovation society is gaining new plausibility. Innovation has become heterogeneously distributed, ubiquitous, and reflexive: Innovation is increasingly produced by decentralized networks which involve actors from divergent social fields. Innovation therefore leaves the traditional sphere of the restricted laboratory and is transformed into an ubiquitous practice which is also adopted by non-professional as well as non-commercial actors like sports enthusiasts (Baldwin, Hienerth & von Hippel, 2006), private tinkerers (Baldwin & von Hippel, 2011), or „innovation communities” in general (von Hippel, 2006: 96). Hence, the growing knowledge about innovation also leads to a reflexivity of innovation itself (Hutter et al., 2011: 2), extends the scope of innovative practices, and transforms the very processes and structures of innovation: findings from the fields of open source software (Raymond, 2001; Kogut & Metiu, 2001), crowdsourcing (Brabham, 2008; Howe, 2010), or the modes of open-/user-based innovation mentioned above show evidence for these broader transformations.
Tomás Sánchez Criado's insight:
"[…] 3.1 The case of low-cost-prosthesis
The first case we want to introduce as an evidence for the conceptual aim of this paper is the one of “low-cost prosthesis”. Building on a collaboration between Amsterdam’s FabLab, the Indonesia-based House of Natural Fiber (HONF), which is a media and art laboratory in Yogyakarta as well as its associated FabLab (the “HONFablab Yogyakarta”), this project incorporates the principles of the FabLab Charta quite perfectly as it really draws on networking among different Fab-Labs, open knowledge sharing, and free access to community resources (http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/charter/). The general aim of the low-cost prosthesis project is to explore how a developing country like Indonesia can become self-reliant in building prostheses for the cost of about $50. The need for this endeavor is obvious (see: http://www.lowcostprosthesis.org): First, due to the increasing rate of amputations, there is an ever-growing demand for prosthetic limbs especially in developing countries where insufficient supplies of public health services often leads to diabetes, gangrene, and infection. Second, there are significant problems in providing prosthetics to people in need due to the high cost for readily available prosthetic limbs, and the lack of expertise, which is mandatory for proper constructing, fitting, aligning, and adjusting of prosthetics.
To offer a solution for this pressing problem, the low-cost prosthesis project started to develop a lower knee prosthesis by approaching an inclusive open innovation process, where end users, designers, researchers and manufacturers can contribute in a joint effort (Waag 2009). The current state of the project is reflected by a prototype of the “$50 leg prosthesis” (see fig. 1) which was developed in 2012 after several workshops with experts from various related fields (e.g. rehabilitation, biomechatronics, biomedical engineering, orthopedic technology, design etc.).
Since the development of the low-cost prosthesis is still in its experimental phase, this solution is shielded in the niche of the FabLabs, which are engaged in this project. Nevertheless, the potentials to spread the orthopedic as well as construction-related knowledge and to empower the locals by creating new jobs at the same time are already obvious. Besides that, it also captures the very specifics of the experimental learning processes which we consider to be constitutive for the concept of real-life laboratories. Especially the documentation of workshops that were conducted during the project reveals this evidence. As mentioned above, these workshops were attended by experts from various professional disciplines as well as people who got engaged because of their FabLab background. This constellation apparently provided a fruitful setting for e.g. “an exchange of experiences by users on the techniques and the use of materials” or “the search for local materials, a number of design aspects, and an inexpensive and efficient production of quality parts that could raise the comfort of use” (Waag, 2009). This process of co-creation in connection with a social approach to design and manufacturing probably needs the niche of the FabLab, where failures are allowed, and visions are welcome. Since the project also builds on low barrier technologies (like digital fabrication), local materials, and DIY kits, the particular characteristics of decentralized and hands-on innovation development processes that are typical for shared machine shops also facilitated the work and progress of the low-cost prosthesis project"
"[…] the low-cost prosthesis project apparently aims to “stretch and transform” the existing regime for prosthesis supply in developing countries. We have to admit that this notion is rather speculative as the project still remains in its protective nurturing phase. Nevertheless, there are already a couple of hints that this transformative path can be expected. First, there is the constitutive aspect of cost: as stated on the project’s homepage “A typical limb made in a developing country costs approximately $125 to $1,875 USD. Our project aims at cutting the costs to as little as $41 USD (well below the $5,000-$15,000 USD average cost for a prosthesis in the western world)” (http://www.lowcostprosthesis.org/the-need). It becomes obvious that the main motivation for the low-cost prosthesis cannot be measured in terms of business criteria like e. g. monetary revenues or margins, but rather refers to ethical and social values which probably don’t reflect the common references in established fields of medicine technology and its distribution. Second, there is the strong ambition to spread orthopedic knowledge and enable locals to become skilled actors when it comes to the fabrication and adjustment of the prosthesis. This approach to knowledge transfer is important for the empowerment and self-reliance of the prospective users and blurs established boarders between experts and laypeople (Middel, 2011: 218-219). Third, there is also a claim to sustainability which shall be realized by using local materials like e. g. bamboo instead of aluminum. These aspects show that the overall approach of the project is strongly aligned with the needs of local communities. In terms of conventional research and development, this way of creating a novel prosthesis appears very unique. It is very likely that the diffusion of the prosthesis will extend this path which may also stretch the regime for medical health supply in a more general way."
Conversation recorded with Michelle Murphy in Toronto on June 21, 2014
This conversation with Michelle Murphy is divided into two parts:
BIOPOLITICAL FEMINISM: The first part introduces Foucault’s concept of biopolitics and applies it to forms of economization of life particularly in relation to female bodies. Paraphrasing Foucault, Michelle affirms that governmental capitalism needs for “some must not to be born so that future others will live more consumptibly, productively in the logic of macro-economy .” She thus unfolds the political history of regulation and ‘marketing’ of reproduction and contraception that organizes such an economization of life at a scale of a population. Further, we discuss of Michelle’s concept, “The Girl” as the problematic current vessel of financial investment in the context of imperial humanitarianism.
CHEMICAL INFRASTRUCTURES: The second part considers the body as topological, blurring the limits between inside and outside and, following Peter Sloterdijk think of it as a “being-in-the-breathable.” Michelle has been working on the elaboration of the concept of “chemical infrastructures” to think of our era as the Anthropocene: a time when all atmospheres are fundamentally manufactured (deliberately or not) by human activity. Following Spinoza and his approach of the Genesis’s apple, we talk of our ignorance, as humans, of what ecologies really are, and how we can start thinking of them as ethical systems rather than moralistic ones.
Michelle Murphy is a Professor in the History Department and Women and Gender Studies Institute at the University of Toronto, with graduate appointments in Science and Technology Studies at York University and the Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology at U of T. She is an organizer of the Toronto Technoscience Salon. I am also coordinator of the Technoscience Research Unit. She is the author of Seizing the Means of Reproduction: Entanglements of Feminism, Health, and Technoscience (Duke UP, 2012) and Sick Building Syndrome and the Problem of Uncertainty: Environmental Politics, Technoscience, and Women Workers (Duke UP, 2006), as well as the co-editor of Landscapes of Exposure: Knowledge and Exposure in Modern Environments, Osiris v. 19 (University of Chicago Press, 2004).
In Seizing the Means of Reproduction, Michelle Murphy's initial focus on the alternative health practices developed by radical feminists in the United States during the 1970s and 1980s opens into a sophisticated analysis of the transnational entanglements of American empire, population control, neoliberalism, and late-twentieth-century feminisms. Murphy concentrates on the technoscientific means—the technologies, practices, protocols, and processes—developed by feminist health activists. She argues that by politicizing the technical details of reproductive health, alternative feminist practices aimed at empowering women were also integral to late-twentieth-century biopolitics.
Murphy traces the transnational circulation of cheap, do-it-yourself health interventions, highlighting the uneasy links between economic logics, new forms of racialized governance, U.S. imperialism, family planning, and the rise of NGOs. In the twenty-first century, feminist health projects have followed complex and discomforting itineraries. The practices and ideologies of alternative health projects have found their way into World Bank guidelines, state policies, and commodified research. While the particular moment of U.S. feminism in the shadow of Cold War and postcolonialism has passed, its dynamics continue to inform the ways that health is governed and politicized today.
Con Handiwheel conviertes tu silla de ruedas manual en un vehículo de autonomía personal reutilizando un patinete eléctrico de bajo coste.
Handiwheel es un sistema casero de sujeción y tracción a motor eléctrico exclusivo que no modifica silla de ruedas y que permite ser conectado de un modo fácil y cómodo.
Se me ocurrió al ver tanta gente yendo por el paseo de la Barceloneta con patinetes y pensé ¿por que yo no puedo usar un patinete con la silla de ruedas? Compré un patinete eléctrico de 300w y estuve pensando como modificarlo para que se pudiera poner y quitar facilmente y me permitiese circular por la ciudad sin esfuerzo y sin gastarme mucho dinero. Creé la web para que la gente la viera y se lo pudiese hacer uno mismo y si no saben o no quieren hacerlo les hecho una mano.
This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. How might we help rare disease research using our medical records? This is the challenge launched by last year's TedxMadrid audience to the H2i Institute students. It is tough to obtain medical records when we talk about rare diseases: there are not many, they are difficult to access and there is not a standard format yet. This project involves an on-line platform which tries to deal with all this difficulties.