#ampqamp14 – Weeek 1
First weeek =) of#ampqamp14 started at Hub Accra by a discussion of AMP’s objectives for the three coming weeeks: to co-design and build with AMP makers (comprising of STEAM students and graduates and eventually e-waste workers) a module of the spacecraft–AMP’s makerspace–and share its progress with the community in Agbogbloshie.
Participants started discussing the design of the spacecraft, its frame and interior frame comprising of an octet truss system, prefab panels, soft and roof systems. We then developed a critical path for each system so to know what to do at each step of the way until we build the spacecraft. The brainstorming sessions were very intensive, with some of the participants sketching/drawing the various concepts related to the spacecraft.
By the second day we enthusiastically produced fully developed critical paths, identified and quantified in terms of duration and dependency of the various tasks
We also prepared for the first workshop ahead, the plastic workshop to be carried out at the Rex Cinema in collaboration with Brad Marley and Efya from the POLY Bank GH organization. In preparation for the workshop, we conducted background research on the physical properties, melting methods and stewing methods. We sourced the plastic–shredded-PET (polyethylene therephatlate) old plastic bottles and stewed shredded-PP (polypropylene)–and a number of molds from Agbogbloshie. This was also a good occasion to share our process with the Agbogbloshie community. This is a picture of the tools we brought to the Rex Cinema to conduct our experiments.
The Rex is an open-air cinema, a wonderful space to experiment within. There, young Ghana makers were busy melting, stewing and molding different types of plastics and exploring the production of architectural parts, panels, brick or tiles, made of recycled plastic. Sam and Idrissou, Agbogbloshie community agents, helped with burning the charcoal.. They were far more skilled than us!
Below are some of the observations from the experiment:
- We observed that the PET melting process was very slow and began really late, also at temperatures slightly higher than 260◦c, which is the theoretical melting point value. PET began to char and thus underwent incomplete carbonation and changing color from a transparent blue color a marble brown colored plastic. PP however, started melting at a lower temperature and rather melted over a larger temperature range and also produced a smooth finish.
- We may have over heated the PET plastics, which led to the formation of a brittle-porous tile.
- Contributing factors to such brittleness of the plastic panel are associated to the cooling rate and media and this caused cracks.
- Also, the temperature of the charcoal flame could not be controlled and hence over heating ensued.
- It was also observed that stewing of PET did not work. This is probably due to the fact that it has a high melting temperature and the oil doing not facilitate that phenomenon.
- PP plastics however work well with stewing in oil. From the experiment, we formed a very strong mold which can be used for wall panels, table tops and many others.
Find here the Lab report.
We were honored to host Prof. Kwadjo Osseo-Asare (AMP co-PI) and Dr. Victor Oteng-Atiemo (retired from MD of DOW chemical Ghana) who gave us advices on how to proceed and continue our experiments.
Here is the link to Flickr photo set.
Call for Summer Internships
Are you interested in technology? Do you like making things? Does environmental pollution bother you? Have you ever imagined the future as something awesome?
Are you a student or recent graduate in the fields of science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics, planning, architecture and design, or environment and natural resources?
Apply today to be a part of this year’s AMP QAMP, a three-week camp for young makers in Accra.
Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP) is a collaborative project to upgrade the quality of life and environment at Agbogbloshie, the largest e-waste ecosystem in Ghana. AMP is an experiment in design innovation and youth-led M&D (makers & development). The short-term goal is to design and build a makerspace for the hyper-local context of Agbogbloshie, together with an open-source technology platform to support its operation. The long-term goal is to rehabilitate the environment of Agbogbloshie and to help green the community’s current recycling practices. We believe this can happen through the site’s transformation into a network for more advanced materials processing and small-scale distributed manufacturing. AMP as a open-source project seeks to create an alternate convention that partners e-waste, scrap and recycling industry with the technical know-how and social entrepreneurial framework to remake the landscape themselves, over time.
AMP contends that (domains of) architecture and electronics have converged. At such a moment—if we capitalize on this opportunity to make open, democratic and collective the capability of manipulating materials from the level of chemistry up, by means of digital technology, we can move beyond the notion of “e-waste”. Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE or 3E)—old or new—constitute a vital stream of raw material for the global production chain. Not only are such 3E-materials in reality the physical building blocks of electronic landscapes and digital space, but many are also recyclable, i.e. plastics, steel, aluminium, copper, glass or other valuable materials. If successful, AMP will amplify the economic potential of Agbogbloshie and Ghana’s makers.
AMP QAMP is a series of informal maker “camps” to build the future of Agbogbloshie. The primary session of QAMP for 2014 runs from the 1st to the 20th of July in Accra, Ghana.
Participants will work collaboratively as part the AMP makers collective to address key aspects of building an ecology of makers in and around the Agbogbloshie e-waste stream, from the ground up. We are interested in young people who are proactive, intellectually curious, open-minded, imaginative, detail-oriented and able to work in teams.
If interested, please submit a cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 30th including the following information: Area of Specialization / Course of Study (year of graduation); Digital Media and Graphics Software (with level of proficiency); CAD/CAM and 3D Modeling Software (with level of proficiency); Programming Languages (with level of proficiency); and Fabrication Experience (sewing, cabinetry, furniture-making, jewellery, glass-blowing, welding, circuit board etching, breadboarding, etc.) Short-listed candidates will be scheduled for in-person interviews starting the week of June 23, 2014.
Archibots: Re-making Agbogbloshie (intro session)
The first session of the Archibots workshop came off as scheduled on the May 30th 2014. The event was well attended by people from various disciplinary backgrounds. There were engineers, architects, CAD technicians, business men & women and lecturers as well as from various nationalities, such as Spain and the Netherlands. This was the introductory session for Archibots, a design workshop to prototype architecture robots for Agbogbloshie. As part of the event, all three collaborating organizations (tap, AMP and MESH) made presentations on what they do. AMP co-lead DK Osseo-Asare, introduced participants to Agbogbloshie E-waste circuitry, which is the context for the architecture robots to be designed and the key design concepts as far as AMP is concerned. Some of the videos that were selected to provide inspiration for participants can be found here . The team is eagerly awaiting the next phase which is the design session scheduled for June 7th 2014 at Hub Accra. This promises to be just as exciting as the May 30th event. Thanks to our friend and ally, media partners MESH Ghana for compiling footage of the event, which can be found at Archibots: Remaking Agbogbloshie.
Archibots: Re-making Agbogbloshie
Re-making Agbogbloshie is a tap:Build design workshop conducted as part of the Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform QAMP series of maker workshops. MESH Ghana is the media partner.
AMP approach contends that (domains of) architecture and electronics have converged. At such a moment — if we can make open, democratic and collective the capability of manipulating materials from the level of chemistry up, by means of digital technology, we can move beyond the notion of “e-waste”. Electrical and electronic equipment (EEE or 3E), old or new, constitute a vital stream of raw material for the global production chain. In particular, while there is fundamental overlap with the elemental “stuff” of digital space, it is equally important to note that the majority of EEE materials* are generally recyclable such as plastics, steel, aluminium, copper, or other specialized or high-value materials.
Re-making Agbogbloshie is a collaboration between Agbogbloshie Makerspace Platform (AMP) and The Architects’ Project (tap:). The workshop seeks to design and prototype practicable architectural interventions — at the level of equipment — that can inform the discourse of industrial landscapes like Agbogbloshie scaled through kiosk-size 3E materials processing machines, i.e. micro-industrial digital fabrication bots.
Re-making Agbogbloshie design workshop is an exploration of small-scale architectural interventions that operate more than as kinetic micro- shelters — they additionally include “robotic” or electronic systems and tool/equipment functions. The workshop seeks to design “architecture robots” that could assist humans in processing 3E materials, phytoremediation of the contaminated landscape and actively supporting the Agbogbloshie lifecycle.
Agbobloshie: Every year, tons of electronic waste arrives on the shores of Ghana. A huge proportion of this deluge of e-waste flows through Agbogbloshie, where a vibrant community of e-waste workers and makers reuse, recycle and upcycle end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. However, some of the crude methods used for dismantling e-waste and processing scrap (such as burning wires and cords to recover the copper) are highly polluting: they negatively impact the health of e-waste workers and have led to Agbogbloshie’s notorious position as “the most polluted place on Earth” for 2013, according to Green Cross Switzerland and the nonprofit Blacksmith Institute (USA).
E-waste: E-waste or Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) is typically portrayed as highly toxic old computers, televisions, etc. that are “dumped” in poor countries by rich countries, in violation of the Basel Convention (an international treaty which expressly prohibits such forms of international transhipment of WEEE). While it is true that e-waste contains hazardous materials, and that improper handling and disposal of these materials can greatly pollute the environment and compromise public health, it does not negate the fact that the materials embedded within e-waste are incredibly valuable. In fact, e-waste — considered pound-for-pound as a “raw material” of the global production chain — is among the most valuable on the planet: one ton of old mobile phones has 100X the concentration of precious metals like gold and silver than does an equivalent amount of ore mined from the earth.
Architecture: Usually when most people think about (the practice of) “architecture”, they think about high-end residences or large-scale projects. In Africa, these are typically the only kind of construction projects (along with smaller interventions by the government and NGOs) that have large enough budgets to pay the professional service fees of architects. This leaves the majority of workers and construction works on the continent, which occur in what social scientists call the “informal sector”, outside the design domain of architects, or the scope of formal architecture. The point of departure for this workshop is to propose that this default strategy for Africa’s built environment misses the point. If to date architecture has had limited success in re-configuring the African terrain, perhaps it is time to invert the approach: try to introduce innovation at the bottom, and let it spread.
* EEE- or 3E-materials: Consider electrical and electronic equipment, at all condition levels, as a raw material for global production chain. 3-E materials are a broader and more inclusive range of materials compared to e-materials, e.g. electronics materials based on silicon or other semiconducting materials, and such materials in aggregate, i.e. a circuit board.
Extramuros – Atelier de recyclage
Extramuros est un atelier de recyclage urbain, planté au coeur d’une décharge Veolia afin d’être au coeur même de l’entreprise de recyclage et de profiter instantanément des matériaux mis à disposition.
De plus, l’entreprise intègre une démarche sociale avec une politique de jobs d’insertion.
Elle permet ainsi de donner une nouvelle image à des déchets et parfois de les réintégrer dans un cadre supérieur à celui d’origine (cf photo.)
Bucky’s fly’s eye dome… with tires!
Today students were also working on building a fly’s eye dome / shelter out of tires (gathered from garages around Paris!). The idea was to imagine/experiment/prototype how to upcycle all the tires to be found around the digital dump. Two pictures – can’t wait to see how this holds:
Upcycled Washing Machine Drum
Dutch designer willemheeffer based in Helsinki: Source