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A Short History of OpenEcoSource.org

In April 2007, when we launched this website, the mainstream media rarely, if ever, touched the subject of climate change.

As the first open-source website dedicated to ecological issues, OpenEcoSource.org was recognized for its innovativeness on Worldchanging.com. During the following six months, we improved the site's features, and for the next two years served as its main custodians. The website reached 23,000 hits a day, attracting visitors from 65 countries.

In April 2009, however, the website was hacked and used to send 5000 e-mails an hour. By that time, it had also become clear that the original purpose of the site was redundant, thanks to the numerous websites, organizations and mainstream media outlets which had since emerged, advocating ecological awareness more successfully and thorougly than OpenEcoSource.

In retrospect, this was a huge project for an architectural firm to undertake. The project was noncommercial—even our name was hidden, as a catalyst for developing truly open-source media.

The following is an original statement from our internet project:

Why Open Source - The Most Powerful Media We Ever Had?

Open source web media can create and disseminate knowledge faster and further than any other existing media. Therefore, it is the ideal media for exchanging the knowledge necessary to create a sustainable environment, because fast and effective action is essential to combat the [impending/current] environmental crisis.

What motivates me, as an architect, to work on a web-based project?

As a practicing architect with transatlantic experience, I have witnessed how the slow transfer of knowledge afflicts the building industry. A system used successfully in one country takes decades to take root in another.

While one country cries, “Technique X can’t be done,” another has employed the same technique for a half-century. Among the innumberable examples include double skin facades, radiant cooling, sunken sills for sliding doors, and wood frame construction.

Introducing new technologies to architecture requires more than the simple adoption of isolated products (toilets, lighting fixtures, etc.). Instead, the building industry must mobilize its capital as a whole—including skills, habits and manufacturing—to adapt to a new building system. Architects, engineers, designers and users must extend their expertise in different technologies and methods, and understand the costs and benefits of better building systems. Accelerating this exchange of knowledge between peers is essential for advancing the adaptability of the building industry.
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©Zoka Zola 2007

Founded, directed and managed by: Zoka Zola
Programmed by: Josh Campbell, Jody Mihelic, Drew Johnson, Mike Moirano