OSE summer internships begin

OSE's summer interns choose whether they want to stay in the HabLab (above), which functions as a dormitory and meeting place, or tents.

OSE’s summer interns choose whether they want to stay in the HabLab (above), which functions as a dormitory and meeting place, or tents.

Day 1

Sunday June 1 marked the first day of Open Source Ecology’s 2014 Summer of Extreme Design-Build. The interns, who came from all over the world and a wide variety of educational backgrounds, will help improve existing OSE designs, create prototypes and help conduct workshops.

This is the first time Factory e Farm, the organization’s headquarters located on a farm in Maysville, Mo., has hosted this many interns at once. OSE Founding Director Marcin Jakubowski greeted each intern individually, expressing an interest in and knowledge of everyone he shook hands with.

Who’s all here

Those who showed up today came by car or were driven from the airport after flying into Kansas City, Mo. Nine people came, giving us a total of 15 interns to start the summer with. Along with engineers, we have people with backgrounds in anthropology, community organizing, computer science, environmental sciences, history, journalism and social sciences.

Interns will be staying anywhere between a few days to the end of August.

While a few interns got interested in OSE from seeing Marcin speak at their school, most came across OSE online and were inspired by Marcin’s TED Talk. Several of the interns have been following the project for a few years.

What we did

Those who were already on site or showed up earlier in the day helped clean up and organize the workshop and Hab Lab. Hospitality Manager Danny Kirk prepared dinner with the help of a couple interns for late in the evening, after most people had arrived.

Following dinner, Marcin expanded on his vision for the project and goals for summer. He emphasized how he considers open source information on how to build and use the machines needed to meet basic needs is the key to “true freedom.”

His agenda for the next three months includes hosting several workshops, the first of which will take place offsite at Mid-State Technical College in Wisconsin in a couple weeks. Those attending will learn how to create OSE’s Compressed Earth Brick Machine by going through the process of building it.


  1. Luis Albanes

    Wow, I admire all your work guys. I need help in my country El Salvador to offer poor people technologic solutions can you help me?

  2. Elke Sommers

    Luis, great idea! Clair, I love you and therefore could not resist reading your blog, but I am also intrigued by the good things you are doing. Looks like I soon will be saying: My student saved the world. Awesome.

  3. Alan Blanes

    Anyone at Open Source Ecology serving as a contact for Pyramid 2030? I am the contact for the Okanagan Valley. I am interested in meeting others who are serious about transcending carbon based fuels by the year 2030.

    An area that we have found to be of great interest is developing the aluminum air battery as a community economic development [CED] based goal, rather than leaving this up to the schedules of multinational corporations. We are interested in communicating with Phinergy and Alcoa – to determine how much public interest participation may be possible on this ultra high capacity long distance EV battery.

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