Demotech, design for self reliance

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Here you can find information about Demotech publications and of publications of others that are interesting to our approach.

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Home Work: Feasibility test Home Work
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Feasibility test Home Work

Instructions for students that do an internship at Demotech
Demotech asks intern(s) to do a test on "Home work" to find out about its feasibility in practice. Demotech enables you to do so with one of her designs, the StorageStool (see
The steps it takes to do it are:

Week #1 of Home Work

  • Use the first week to study the making of the Storage Stool, together we will look at all of the details
  • Make a "Factory package" that it takes to make the Storage Stools at home. This package will contain one finished product, templates for parts, some spare parts to copy. It will also contain the digital photographs you will make with your camera.

  • Week #2 of Home Work
  • Start setting up your workspace at home, little is needed for that. Do this at your own home, at Goldsmiths or at any location you find convenient. This stool can be produced in a normal home setting, one sturdy table is enough.
  • Start collecting materials that you need: get wooden battens from a carpentry shop, get thin metal sheet via Yellow pages, rent a staple gun.
  • Start the first production run of 4 units, make parts, assemble them. Add creative coloring on the side panels, as I had done with the sample from Africa that is a part of the Factory package.
  • Where you find yourself lacking ability to do certain work, organize it to be done by a friend. Actually there is nothing in this design you can not do or can't learn to so at short notice. But be aware not to block yourself in your progress and planning. Consider to ask support from Goldsmith in case you need it in this respect.
    Any initiative that arouses interest, like this Home Work endeavor, can encompass more players half way the game. Be flexible and see what advantages it could have for you.
  • Consider to have the panels painted by people working in social workshops or getting creative therapy. Contact these people. Organize that they get materials to make a start: boards cut to size and sides finished, the type of paint you like them to use.
    Work people do when they are in therapy, mostly mentally disturbed people that often get creative therapy. Very beautiful things can come out of their hands. Painted panel boards of the Storage Stools could be an example.

  • Week #3 of Home Work
  • Start producing a series of 16 pieces. Do this in batches of four, learn the way you find it works best. Report to Demotech by mail, illustrated with your digital photos. Demotech will give you feedback where relevant. If your panels from the social workshop come in time and if you consider them good enough, only then use them. If not make your own decorated or colored panels. The hard board panels are so cheap, that you can afford to have extra
  • Demotech will report your progress, findings and illustrations at the Wiki Research pages of her website. This to illustrate the potential of the Open Source approach.

  • Week #4 of Home Work
  • Contact places and people to sell the stools. Organize your marketing. Selling can be done in markets or to shops who like your finished product. Organize integration of production and sale. Make stock little or not existing. Develop all steps into one smooth unit that is easy to do. So your cost can also be low and selling becomes easy, as the product itself will appeal to enough people.

  • Week #5 of Home Work
  • Run your business for an other week. Find out what works and what not. Make good notes about your findings. Plan how it could continue and for whom this could be a good idea (other students?).

  • Following-up weeks
    Prepare reporting for your school at two levels:
  • Report about your own Home Work adventure.
    Make your presentation into a good transparent report, easy to access later on by others. Success is not the necessary outcome. Display your struggle, the outcome and if it yes or no feasible under what conditions.
  • The second level is to discuss, apart from your presentation, if your initiative can become an approach that is taken up by your university.
    Meaning that the many products as designed by students are actually taken into (test) production, or made completely ready to do so. Thus a database is created for work for Home Work that is accessible world wide and that is applicable world wide.

    Home Work: Feasibility test Home Work
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