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Innovation spaces of the future: research notes on China's shanzhai meeting the Makers

Over a few months in early 2011, in the course of doing research for an IFTF Tech Horizons Program’s study on the future of “open fabrication,” I convened what turned out to be a remarkable, free-wheeling conversation among a set of pioneering thinker/makers in China, Singapore, and the U.S.

Plastic is Not Fantastic

A growing movement against plastic will define a large segment of values-based consumers. Visceral reactions to images of the “great garbage patch” and BPA effects will drive adeep and long-standing backlash against plastics and plastic–makers.
Strike 1:

Fine Time For A Manufacturing Comeback

The Economist's The World in 2009 arrived this morning, and with it a fascinating piece by Rolls-Royce CEO John Rose. Calling for a renewed emphasis on high value-added manufacturing in Britain, Rose argues:

3D Print-On-Demand

Whenever the topic of low-cost 3D fabrication comes up, one inevitable question (after "how expensive is a printer?") is "does anyone do print-on-demand fabbing?" 3D print-on-demand services have been around for awhile, but they're largely aimed at design pros with healthy bank accounts.

Get Ready for the Carbon Neutral Factories

MAS Holdings claims to have built the world's first carbon-neutral garment factory in Sri Lanka. The plant will make underwear for Marks & Spencer in the UK (they also make sexy lingerie for US-based Victoria's Secret).

While the plant cost 25% more to build than a traditional design (it would have been 15% without some frills due to being a showcase), with rising fuel prices it's expected to pay for the difference in less than five years.

Get ready for the carbon-neutral plants to pop up faster than garment factories after a Pearl River Delta rain.

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