Commons-Based Peer-Production of Physical Goods: Is There Room for a Hybrid Innovation Ecology?
Paper presented at the 3rd Free Culture Research Conference, Berlin, October 8-9, 2010
23 Pages Posted: 21 Oct 2010
Date Written: October 8, 2010
This paper examines how in commons-based peer-production of physical goods a hybrid, private-collective innovation ecology is developing. Using the Fab Lab community as the field of investigation, it collates three studies: a survey of Fab Lab business models, an interview study asking Fab Lab managers and assistants about the pain and pride of their Fab Lab, and a selection of cases describing innovation in Fab Lab projects. The paper finds that there is a desire and intention to establish a hybrid innovation ecology in the Fab Lab community, but that Fab Labs have not yet established business models that would e.g. replicate the known models from open source software. However, the studies indicated the possibility of such models. The paper finally puts the results in perspective to the free fabbing ecology, and the wider context of peer-production of physical goods.
Keywords: commons-based peer-production, fabbing, Fab Lab, open source hardware
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