In back alleys, street markets, and hidden workshops around the world, microentrepreneurs churn out new ideas and products to help them get by or improve the world around them. We could philosophize on this all day. But here in Observed, we ask our correspondents to say nothing. For the next […]
What happens when a group of people band together? It depends. The organization of a crowd, the tools it uses, and its culture all determine its impact. Is it structured to collaborate or fight? Does each node have ways to connect with and trust the others? Do its members require […]
A tit-for-tat, a rub of the back—things don’t change hands without a reason. And they don’t move freely or fairly without trust. Here, we explore the agreements that make trade tick. From street-market haggling techniques to global supply chains and treaties, the nature of exchange comes down to the decisions […]
In back alleys, street markets, and hidden workshops around the world, microentrepreneurs churn out new ideas and products to help them get by or improve the world around them. We could philosophize on this all day. But here in Observed, we ask our correspondents to say nothing. So for the […]
Here at Makeshift, we’re helping spread the word about Colour Outside the Lines, a reverse innovation challenge looking for ideas in emerging markets that can be applied to healthcare in Canada. Think new cataract procedures or cellphone-activated EKG machines. Or, in line with stories we’ve run, low-cost prosthetics, solar powered […]
The sidewalk hustle: hawkers, vendors, merchants, traders, and craftsman, their wares lined up on tables or spread out on plastic tarps. The shouts, sounds, and smells of streetside commerce are unique in every corner of the world, with each culture putting a local twist on this brand of work.
We worked with Autodesk, Core77, and iFixit to create the Design for (Your) Product Lifetime competition, a challenge that tasked students to envision a product of the future: durable, repairable, and easily broken down into components for recycling when its useful life was over.
Last year, Mexican police raided the drug cartel Los Zetas three times. They weren’t looking for cocaine or marijuana; they were targeting the homegrown radio network that stretches across the northeastern chunk of the country, where the Zetas control drug and migrant smuggling routes.
A laser cutter, the tool at the top of every garage engineer’s wishlist, is capable of making incredibly intricate cuts in a wide variety of materials. The laser moves back and forth over a stationary bed, much like a CNC router or an architectural plotting printer. Traditionally used for cutting […]
Four years ago, Tom Cruise’s prominent role in the Church of Scientology brought the wrath of the hacking collective Anonymous squarely upon him. An in-house Scientology video—in which Cruise cackled and claimed superhuman powers in times of crisis—suddenly flooded YouTube, then quickly disappeared after a copyright violation claim from the Church of Scientology. Anonymous responded with the launch of Operation Chanology, its […]