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2016-07

Two Packed Lunches (per week) Funding One Entrepreneur (a month)
19 Jul 2016 - By mr.berqstrom, Revised 27 Jul 2016

As introduced earlier this month, I'm working on a concept for microfinance through established providers like Kiva.org. This made me think about a solution, how I as an private individual can do minor changes in my own life, while fulfilling the Visions of EggCube.org - "Help young, prosperous individuals (and groups of People) in the field of architecture, engineering & construction, so they have the means to develop their ideas"

Everyday I go to my regular work, I normally purchase a simple luch. This could be a sandwich, a salad, some coffee and milk, or the daily special as a soup or pizza. My normal spending on this is somewhere between 6-7 US dollar per meal. So, what if I start to bring my own packed lunch a few days per week? Could the money I save, be put aside and become something meaningful for someone else? I did the calculations, and YES! - if I bring a packed lunch with me for two days per week (with an assumed cost of 2-3 US Dollar), can I save 3-5 $ per meal. Added up will this become 6-10 dollar per week, or approx 24-40 $ per month. The minimum amount Kiva.org approves for a loan is 25 US$. Therefore, two packed meals per week should be sufficient for supporting one entrepreneur, through the Kiva.org webplace every month.

I'm naming the initiative Two Funding One™, as a simple slogan for my future microfinance work.
Poster by EggCube
Poster, TwoFundingOne, Source: EggCube.org by Mr. Berqstrom
Audun Bergstrom, poster art, first published on EggCube.org 27 Jul 2016 


Between earth and sky - City planning and the Programming of the fractal seed
11 Jul 2016 - By mr.berqstrom, first published in Houses for the Masses, 2011 at EggCube.net

When thinking about Heideggers concept of dwelling through the perspective of Christian Norberg Schulz: Between earth and sky, I find it natural to take the perspective from outer space and the satellites that looks down on the Earth. Thousands of them look constantly down on our planet and monitor how we use the resources available at our hands.

From this perspective our human-created world can be separated into two different types of plan layouts. The first is the design that defines the parameters of our organised society, mostly developed with foundation in the western architectural tradition, with axes and lines that set the framework of how our cities have developed. The grid structure is the most known pattern. Developed by the Romans, it is still much in use in today’s planning. "The other design solution is the one we see in the traditional natural architecture in the Arabic world, including Africa and Oceania, where organic cities have grown up without top down planning, but instead emerged from the inhabitants following simple unwritten rules".

These two directions in city planning are often called formal or organic development. The formal term is used when the grid creates blocks, squares and other right angle object creates the plan layout of the city. Streets can here meet at T-intersections, at four right angles or at oblique and acute angles. The organic growth, on the other hand, is a type of development similar to the natural growth of living organisms. "When it is applied to architecture it refers to buildings or cities where form meets the need of function. In this way the organic city is unified and clear but not geometric".

When studying slum development it is clear that the informal development is somewhere in between this types of city development. The slum areas are often unregulated, functioning as an add-on to the city outskirts, with shacks consisting of simple structures that easily can be rebuilt in other locations. The streets and the size of the parcels have been developed following the organic pattern, but still with belonging to the grid structure that is found in the centre of the city. To study this phenomenon closely linked to the organic growth, it is natural to use computers to simulate the evolutionary process of how different structures develop. Karl Sims showed in the 90’s how virtual organisms with a simple rule set would follow the law of evolution to improve their capabilities.

When using this kind of tools, where organic growth is simulated, and the rule-set of the organism, together with its surroundings, defines the transport corridors for people in the urban landscape, this shows how the parameters given by Kevin Lynch works in the real landscape. This planning perspective can be compared with the design of a Printed Circuit Board (PCB card). The tools used for PCB layout design today, simulates all the processes the card needs to handle and tries to find the most effective solution for the highest processor power. In the same way, it would be natural to replace the simulation of electrical signals on a PCB card with the transport of people and goods in the city landscape. If the city is a gigantic PCB card where the power grid holds the parallel to the silicium on a modern PCB card, why don’t we use the same simulation tools to explain the potential processing needed for the city to function at a higher level.

Digital artwork by EggCube
Cube electrical v1.1, digital artwork visualize the city as a pcb- chip; Source: EggCube.org by Mr. Berqstrom
Audun Bergstrom, digital art, first published on EggCube.org 13 Jul 2016 


Low budget capsule hotel
10 Jul 2016 - By mr.berqstrom

While searching the internet for relevant comparison to low budget living - in capsule hotels, I encountered the photographs by Won Kim. According to the website Boredpanda.com did Kim stay at this capsule hotels in Tokyo for several months. A number of the guests lived as permanent residents, "in a womb-like spaces that they call home". Kim has named the photo series; Enclosed - living small and you can find them here on Kims's webpage.

photo by Won Kim
Enclosed - living small, Source: Boredpanda.com
Won Kim, photography 

When I saw these photos it made me think about how the future is today, with realistic low budget solution for the future digital workers. Just ad Google Cardboard to the picture and a heavy internet connection and we're there!



The desert of the real - your future workplace
10 Jul 2016 - By  mr.berqstrom

I would like to follow up on my thoughts connected to the book "Ready player One" by Ernest Cline, 2011. Cline presents the reader to a world where people mostly spend their time in the virtual world. Workers employed by big corporations live in capsules, whereas other "lone rangers" in virtual space, squatter around in the physical world for usable network connections. Thinking about this future scenario and what it might do to our society, have lead me to an understandment of a new social structure where anybody might have unlimited possibiities. A person living in a shack in the slums of Rio de Janeiro can be a superstar in the digital world, as long as there is a network connection.

To spin this thought a little bit further, I'm picturing the scene, "the desert of the real" as the location for the future workers first job- interview. How will this persons experience look, feel, taste or touch like, when the medium is no longer the message? Since I find words difficult to use explaining how the emotions in motion could sense like, when experiencing the desert of the real from å shack or capsule, I made in 2010 a digital artwork trying to touch upon such feelings.

EggCube artwork
The desert of the real, an inspirational artwork for the Virtual experience; Source: EggCube.org by Mr. Berqstrom
Audun Bergstrom, digital art, first published on EggCube.net 27 Des 2010 



Artistic inspiration for the capsule worklife
10 Jul 2016 - By mr.berqstrom

Since 2012, when I started working for a Norwegian manufacturer of builidng modules, I have been thinking about the connection between a modular lifestyle and technology. To summarize on this, I made a simple digital artwork. Perhaps extreme for some, but to me it ment thinking about; "how to plough a new mental field for technological development, intervened with housing and living. The artwork shows a place from a digital planet, far out in the digital space, where the module is presented togheter with robot- computers. I think this abstract fits quite well with the suggestion for a capsule lifestyle, for the future IT workers as presented below. Perhaps some of you already  see the connection between the capsule/ modular worklife, as an early step on the mission for humans to live in outer space and on other planets.

EggCube artwork
Filename.network, an inspirational artwork for modular design; Source: EggCube.org by Mr. Berqstrom
Audun Bergstrom, digital art, first published on EggCube.net 29 May 2013


Automatization and the virtual/ physical space
09 Jul 2016 - By mr.berqstrom

Lately, there have been articles about automatization and how it will affect people, their jobs, life and income. Up to 50% of todays jobs will be done by robots within 20 years, wrote the Swedish Foundations for Strategic Research (SSF) in 2014 (read the whole report here). So, if work as understood traditionally is no longer available, what will people do? Different movements talk about community engament, DIY- production, basic citizen salary and dozen more of examples of how this could work. One point made that stood out for me was history of work. Before the industrial revolution very few people had something we today would consider as work.

Anyhow, what if Ernest Cline was correct in his book "Ready player One" from 2011, where he describes the future as (where) people spend their time primary in digital space, instead of the physical world? Could the colonization of the virtual world with Oculus Rift/ Google Cardboard and virtual worlds, be the solution for the continuum of todays monetary policy with an infinite digital "printing press"? The consequences for ordinary people is described well in Cline's book. My question to this is, "if this future is any worse off for ordinary people, than what reality is for todays workers?" And if it is not worse, is it then better? The virtual world could be a place to escape for the poorest of society, but only if equiptment were cheap enough and connected to fast networks. Even so, I think the biggest effect of "colonization" would take place as bigscale virtual job- markets develop, providing for the digital workes to be better off than in the real world, as automatization takes over factory work.

SquatterWeb could help guide digital workers access to faster networks, as they trawl the city for no secure or easy hackable wifi, to get a good hotspot for their workshift in the virtual world. But how would people live and work, if a cardboard home is not an option? In Japan dense housing has generated interesting solutions to handle large quantities of people in small spaces. One example of this is the capsule hotel..

A capsule hotel is; "a type of hotel developed in Japan that features a large number of extremely small 'rooms' (capsules) intended to provide cheap, basic overnight accommodation for guests who do not require the services offered by more conventional hotels" (Quote from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).

This accomondation exist with a wide range in comfort levels, but common for most of them is a nice bath with sauna and hot tubs. Summer 2007 I tried this concept in Tokyo (on an architectural studytrip to Japan). The experience was great, thinking of the fact that I was a student backpacking on a low budget. But it was first when I read Cline's "Ready player One", where this space was described as the future workers home and Office, I could think of this as an absoulutely possible scenario for the future. Here workers will spend their time in a capsule community, sharing the quality bath and canteen, only giving up on personal physical space, since time is anyhow spent in the virtual world. 

In other words, there is a potential scenario for future Google, Microsoft or Facebook worker to be connected from capsule- camps anywhere in the world. Here they will have the benefit from exclusive highspeed network connections, common playground for sparetime and other facilities seen as neccesary. While established IT- workers in Silicon Valley will stongly resist this kind of development, is it my point to make that "the capsule standard" is an tremendous upgrade for most people in the world, as long as the common facilities has an acceptable standard.


Google Cardboard: VR on the cheap. Photo: Google
Google Cardboard: VR on the cheap; Source: Cultofandroid.com
Google Maps Street View becomes your virtual reality, article by Killian Bell, photo by Google 


EggCube photo         EggCube photo

EggCube photo
Capsule Hotel, Tokyo 2007; Source: EggCube.org, by Mr. Berqstrom
Audun Bergstrom, photography, first published in article at EggCube.org 09 Jul 2016