Michelle Obama is into DIY, as is her husband. The First Lady planted a garden at the White House and added some beehives. By planting this garden, she is promoting the concept of community gardens. With the bees’ honey, the US President brews his own beer: a Honey Brown Ale. Its recipe has been published by the White House, so that everyone has access to it and it is said to be not bad at all.
Urban gardening, do-it-yourself and the collaborative revolution are the ‘green’ topics of the feature pages over the last two years. No doubt there is a trend towards people working more, and this does not refer to paid full-time work. In these times, when nearly everything can be done digitally, doing something with your hands is a growing social phenomenon, doing more yourself and doing it together with others. Do it yourself is not just an attitude.
In fab labs, hacker spaces or repair cafés, a cultured and self-confident elite encounters people whose financial and manual skills are not sufficient to have something done or to do it themselves. In Greece, even entire hospitals are built by the do-it-yourself method nowadays.
Part of the economy is changing: typical consumers are becoming prosumers who co-design and co-produce as companies turn part of the value chain over to them. Entrepreneurs have discovered that a high degree of manufacturing penetration helps them to cater to clients’ wishes in a flexible way. They are more productive if prosumers help them. If there are new technologies like 3D printers, the relation between consumers and producers can shift even further – to one side as well as to the other side. It will change in any case. And if, on top of that, resource protection and sustainable development become the focus of DIY enthusiasts, … oh, they already have? Well then, have fun homebrewing!
Ralf Bindel, Editor
Translated by Christin Schell, Melanie Haschka
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