The next industrial revolution is just around the corner. 3D-Printers are on every venue and making big headlines in almost any major newspaper these days. The Maker-Movement gains momentum with new business models that promise to bring back production plants to the West.
But here in Germany it is still a niche scene. Yet there is a great tradition in this country to follow up: The Bauhaus. It aim was to reunite the applied arts and manufacturing, and to reform education. Fine art and craft were brought together with the goal of problem solving for a modern industrial society.
My personal vision to revive this heritage as a “Bauhaus 3.0” for the future: the Open Innovation Hub. It even takes the Bauhaus idea a step further by providing access to tools and knowledge for production to anyone who wants to exercise his or her talent. To re:cite Joseph Beuys: “Everyone is an artist” – or creative craftsman.
My envisioned Open Innovation Hub consists of several levels. The ground floor opens friendly to the street with a café that welcomes people to enter, connect and share ideas over a good cup of coffee. It also provides an exhibition area where users can show their products and prototypes. Further in the back are several coworking desks, equipped with up to date design software for sketching and working out ideas. To quickly prototype those designs 3D printers is located on the same level.
The basement has the productive heart of the Hub. It is loaded with heavy tools to cut, mill, solder, etc. all kinds of material like wood, metal, plastic, electronic and so on. For a fee, user can reserve and use these machines, e.g. laser cutter, wood shop, etc. to build their ideas and designs. For beginners an equipment-specific basic use and safety course is mandatory before starting to work.
On the first floor are more coworking desks, some of them as separate space if users want to work in a concentrated, noise-reduced environment on an idea. Digital equipped meeting and classrooms for teaching courses are also located here. And a nice terrace for occasionally meet-ups and summer gatherings makes the Open Innovation Hub an almost perfect place to work.
In short: the Open Innovation Hub I dream of is the collaborative workspace for the creative hands and minds, artists, technic-enthusiasts and craftspeople that need access to professional tools and prototyping equipment to support their businesses and bring their own design ideas to life.
It is the playground for open innovation where anyone can virtually make anything. Let’s make it happen!