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All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace

Part 2 Project 2013
Chris Parrott
University of Sheffield | UK
This project is situated in Neepsend, Sheffield, and concerns the transgression of societies relationship with capitalist technology.
A network of digital innovators and start-ups within Sheffield form a new CIC called SHED - The Sheffield Hacking and Electronics Division.
Part civic learning centre, part technological market hub, the site is used as an urban test bed; construction through 3d printers, laser cutters, cnc mills. Everyone is part-time builder, designs evolving on the spot. SHED becomes a building that is always under construction.

SHEDs aims are:
*To Create a space housing an alternative technological and green revolution.
*To Create a centre for decentralisation, where highly advanced technological skills are shared peer-to-peer, creating an empowered community of localised specialist innovators and tinkerers
*To Create a CIVIC creative hub of start-up innovators, providing space and hardware that is otherwise not available.

SHED also aims to regenerate an empty industrial site as part of this process, the Cannon Brewery - close to several local communities who would benefit from this civic centre.

As part of its green initiative, SHED refurbishes old and unused pieces of technology, using them for people to collectively learn together with, for free. This is also applied to the workshops within SHED, refurbishing older industrial machinery, along with laser cutters, CNCs and 3d printers, to create a manufacturing space for anyone to use.

Using the CNC mills on site, SHED utilises and adapts an open-source construction principle to create small co-ops and studios for its army of electronic tinkerers. These are fixed to a steel frame and made weatherproof, creating a network of spaces for visitors to explore and opportunities for tinkerers to create and sell alternative technologies.
These become spaces of hanging cables and dark activity - a smart building, but not one of hidden wires and touch screens, but one of tactile technologies and manipulation.

Over time the programme expands, creating refurbishment laboratories, private workshops and artist studio spaces, whilst within the newly built elements some studios become redundant. These are deconstructed then reconstructed as a larger, public space for SHED.

Chris Parrott


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