CAIRN-INT.INFO : International Edition

This contribution focuses on “commons-based peer production,” both regarding its operation and its significance for material aspects of human activities. It aims at understanding the practices and elements that make “commons-based peer production” possible as well as to consider what the resources thus made available enable. This type of production indeed offers an alternative way into realization of collective achievements and into meeting individuals’ needs. This article is based on the examination of two contrasting fields of experimentation: one focused on digital manufacturing (such as the development of the 3D printer RepRap), the other intended for small-scale food production (the case of “Incredible Edible”). The analysis begins by clarifying the conceptual framework and discusses in particular the inclusion of material aspects in this frame. With particular attention to the productive dimension, the article then examines the genesis, the mode of operation, and the outputs of the two experiments under study. The ins and outs of this form of “doing together” thus better understood, it is possible to evaluate the promises of such projects in the light of the conditions on which the experiments depend.

  • Commons
  • communities of practice
  • voluntary contributions
  • peer-to-peer
  • collaborative production
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