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Parc at Duluth
3315 Peachtree Industrial Boulevard
Duluth, GA 30096
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Parc residents have the peace-of-mind knowing that ParcCare offers homecare services designed to help enrich our residents’ lives and maintain the highest possible quality of independent living. ParcCare services are available exclusively to Parc Communities’ residents. As needs arise, residents are able to create an individual program of care based on their specific or changing needs. We understand the unique challenges of aging and take pride in our ability to assist with the individual wishes of residents.
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The subject is digital fabrication.
Here is Neil Gershenfield – MIT Center of Bits and Atoms, Founder of FAB LABS – speaking about FAB LABS to a group of 1000 in Monterrey, California. He speaks about the digital revolution and the new twist – which is to move from two dimensions into three dimensions:
He argues that the revolution underway is a revolution akin to mini-computer’s role – they were the bridge between tops-down thinking a la mainframes and bottoms-up thinking represented by personal computers.
He was talking about the role of integrating “bits” and “atoms”.
The canon of computer science – prematurely froze the model of compassion, based on what was available in the fifties.
“We still look at fabrication as top down. A revolution is underway that will break organizational boundaries, just as happened with computers, when mainframes gave way to mini-computers, which in turn gave way to personal computers.
My (random) notes:
“Personal fabrication helps make you unique”
These FAB LABS are the cost and complexity of the
“we are now in this mini-computer era of fabrication”
“There is a fabrication divide.”
“a micro-VC fund”
Empowerment: “I can do it!”
$20,000 in equipment
– focused nano-beam writers
Kelly – my “scream body” – a portable container for holding a scream.
“you can’t segregate digital fabrication”
“how to make almost anything”
The Internet of Devices
Fungible computers – prototype that make small chips and pour them out by the square inch. “Computing as a raw material”
Chemistry as bubbles.
“We all know we have had a digital revolution but what is that? Shannon took us (in the forties) from a phone as a wire that degraded with distance…he proved that if you add information and remove it to a signal, you can compute perfectly with an imperfect device.
Internet Zero – web server costs $1
(the way it encodes the internet – let’s devices inter-network)
Computers that are tools.
The field is going to explode.
The model for co-working is ROAM. GREAT business model – huge uptake. Place was packed.
They currently are in Alpharetta and Dunwoody, and are opening a Buckhead facility in Tower Place this summer. They have a mini-cafeteria, office space, mail handling, membership services, printing, etc.
Here is the download:
“Roam is the innovator’s workplace; a meeting and gathering experience for the new workforce. We are partnering for success by creating environments where people focus, collaborate, learn and socialize.”
“We are a Collective, a Local Community of Innovators, Pioneers and Visionaries.”
From a member: “Patrick also thinks that energy is Roam’s differentiator. “When you walk into Roam Dunwoody, it’s like you walk into a room full of vibrations,” he says. He loves interacting with the other members here and feeding off of that energy. “Every Roam member is passionate about whatever they do. They really want their business to make an impact.” The members as a whole are a forward-thinking group, open to new ideas and supportive of innovation, “
Another great idea from Clay Johnson: let’s create the first “Fab Lab” in Atlanta – at Serenbe.
“Fab” is short for “fabrication” – and a Fab Lab is part of a global network of Fab Labs, initiated by the MIT Center of Bits and Atoms to encourage fabrication by lay people.
The idea is that making things with tools, particular things that are a part of the emerging digital economy, is much easier and much more fun than people think. Participants can learn a lot, and create a lot.
Serenbe needs a Fab Lab!
A very rough guess was made to answer the question: what would it cost to make this happen? Clay’s best guess is $100K.
Where would the Fab Lab be housed? Not clear at this time, but surely we can find a great place.
The section below of the WWW.Fabfoundation.org website makes it clear that there are four criteria, all of which we can meet:
1. Must be open to the public
2. Must subscribe to the FabLab charter
3. Must have a common set of tools and processes*
4. Must participate in the global network (there is a Fab Lab academy, and annual global summit, etc)
* a laser cutter for 2D/3D design and fabrication, a high precision milling machine for making circuits and molds for casting, a vinyl cutter for making flexible circuits and crafts, and a fairly sophisticated electronics workbench for prototyping circuits and programming micro controllers. Optional: large wood routing machine for furniture and housing applications and 3D printers.
From the Website
Who/What qualifies as a Fab Lab?
The four qualities and requirements listed below altogether create an enabling environment that we call a Fab Lab. If your lab effort meets all these criteria, “Welcome!” If you feel you are in synchrony with the Fab Lab form and spirit, please use our logo in your fundraising efforts, and keep us informed of your progress. Please register your lab effort or new fab lab on the world map here. Here are the criteria we currently use for defining a Fab Lab:
First and foremost, public access to the Fab Lab is essential. A Fab Lab is about democratizing access to the tools for personal expression and invention. So a Fab Lab must be open to the public for free or in-kind service/barter at least part of the time each week, that’s essential.
Fab Labs support and subscribe to the Fab Lab charter: http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/charter/
Fab Labs have to share a common set of tools and processes. A prototyping facility is not the equivalent of a Fab Lab. A 3D printer is not a Fab Lab. The idea is that all the labs can share knowledge, designs, and collaborate across international borders. If I make something here in Boston and send you the files and documentation, you should be able to reproduce it there, fairly painlessly. If I walk into a Fab Lab in Russia, I should be able to do the same things that I can do in Nairobi, Cape Town, Delhi, Amsterdam or Boston Fab Labs. The critical machines and materials are identified in this list: http://fab.cba.mit.edu/about/fab/inv.html and there’s a list of open source software and freeware that we use online as well (embedded in Fab Academy modules here: http://academy.cba.mit.edu/classes/ ) But essentially it’s the processes and the codes and the capabilities that are important. So you want a laser cutter for 2D/3D design and fabrication, a high precision milling machine for making circuits and molds for casting, a vinyl cutter for making flexible circuits and crafts, a fairly sophisticated electronics workbench for prototyping circuits and programming microcontrollers, and if you can possibly find the funds, you’ll want the large wood routing machine for furniture and housing applications. We are also testing fairly inexpensive, but robust and with fair resolution 3D printers—the most current favorite is listed in the inventory.
Fab Labs must participate in the larger, global Fab Lab network, that is, you can’t isolate yourself. This is about being part of a global, knowledge-sharing community. The public videoconference is one way to do connect. Attending the annual Fab Lab meeting is another. FAB10 is in Barcelona this year, July 2-8. Collaborating and partnering with other labs in the network on workshops, challenges or projects is another way. Participating in Fab Academy is yet another way.
Robert Pulliam tells me that this is a big deal, catching on as an alternative to standard approaches to zoning.
Institutions help give a place its unique identity. They come in many shapes and sizes and types. There are schools, museums, playhouses, photography centers, fitness centers, parks, playgrounds, daycare centers, bike shops, coffee shops. The “invisible hand” of capitalism can design, implement, and organize some of these on a sustainable basis – but very few. Most require leadership, a “coalition of the willing”, and financing that goes beyond investment with the normal paybacks and returns on capital.
Moreover institutions that can create a sense of place need planning, so that they are symbiotic and not redundant.
A master plan for institutions is every bit as important as a master plan for physical design.
Place-making is normally a phrase which is attributed to physical place. But institutions are places too, and they need to be designed with as much care as physical places.
Institutional place-making can be approached from the standpoint of a physical place, or from the standpoint of a virtual place.
From the vantage point of a physical place
From a physical place, such as Serenbe, obviously place-making is about building a vibrant community. No matter how beautiful or sustainable or well-thought-out the physical place is, every community will be made more vibrant by the institutions that are a part of it. Again, using Serenbe as an example, the Blue Eyed Daisy is a bit hard to imagine as an institution, but is it? Architecturally, there is no doubt in the minds of Serenbe residents that it is a place.
The question arises: what is the institutional master plan for a physical place? No one questions the need for a master plan for a community. In Serenbe, Phil Tabb laid out a brilliant master physical plan, and continues to evolve it, update it, etc. In like manner, Serenbe needs an institutional place-making master plan, and is creating it and evolving it every year. The emergence of the Serenbe Playhouse as a major institution that brings joy to Serene residents and non-residents alike is just one example of institutional place-making. The Serenbe Institute, The Photography Institute and the Chattahoochee Hill Charter School are other examples.
From the vantage point of a virtual place
Any institution must choose – will it be in one physical place, or many? Will it have a virtual presence and a physical presence? If yes, which will be the stronger component? Amazon, for example, skews its institutional place-making to virtual. Starbucks, as a second example, skews its place-making to be physical.
Will the institution be designed to appeal primarily to local sensibilities or to global sensibilities? McDonalds clearly strives for a global appeal, as do most well-known global brands. Starbucks, again, is a counter-example – of a global brand that strives to present itself as very local.
The point is that institutional place-making architecture is a very real need. Good institutional place-making has an architecture all its own. It starts with a master plan, and evolves into governance issues, technology platform issues, unit-business-model issues etc. Doing it well for any physical place makes that place really special. Doing it poorly is recipe for disaster.
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