Once upon a time, if you said you were doing a spot of DIY, everyone would know you'd be doing something involving wobbly ladders, pots of paint and, depending on the decade, either stripping your floors or recarpeting them.
No more. Or at least ladders and pots of paint might still be involved, but the end result could be a aerial drone you've built yourself. Or a biotech lab.
Last week's TEDGlobal conference in Edinburgh - the festival known as "Davos for optimists" - shone a light on the DIY revolution - a movement that encompasses items ranging from manufacturing to synthetic biology to medicine. After a decade in which digital technologies have disrupted industries from music to the media, it's capitalism itself that is now under attack. A decade ago, open-source software revolutionised the internet. Now the idea has entered the realm of physical things: open-source hardware. Why stop at making your own website when you can make your own PC? Or car? Or satellite?
Catarina Mota, a 38-year-old Portuguese PhD student, is typical of the new breed of DIYers, or, as they tend to call themselves, "makers". She's a member of a 40-strong "hackerspace" in New York - a co-operative workshop where members share tools such as laser cutters - and develops and... Source/Origin >> Read More