Hackerspaces and DIYbio in Asia
* Article: Hackerspaces and DIYbio in Asia: Connecting Science and Community with Open Data, Kits and Protocols. by Denisa Kera . Special issue (#2) of the Journal of Peer Production on Bio/Hardware Hacking, 2012.
"In Hackerspaces and DIYbio in Asia: Connecting Science and Community with Open Data, Kits and Protocols, Denisa Kera gives an overview of the geographical expansion of the hackerspace movement in Singapore, Indonesia and Japan. Thereby she demonstrates how hacking practices are inscribed in and shaped by the cultural and political contexts in which the hackers find themselves. Pre-existing traditions in these countries and punctual events such as the Fukushima nuclear accident have come together to define the local scene in this most global of social movements. This has had a bearing on the kind of technical practices that the hackers engage in, as well as on what kind of political claims they make on behalf of their undertakings."
"Different hacker, maker and DIY activities in recent years form a global culture with alternative networks of knowledge production and sharing, offering a more resilient and pragmatic response to various challenges. This growth of grassroots science and tinkering based on open data, protocols and DIY kits is often understood as part of a geek culture, which has little if any impact on the larger society. The aim here is to discuss hackerspaces as intermediaries and transnational sites offering unique opportunities for translation between scientific knowledge produced in the labs (official academic and research institutions) and the everyday interests, practices and problems of ordinary people in diverse local contexts around the globe. To demonstrate how hackerspaces function as sites of complex negotiations between various forms of knowledge and practice, and to understand how these global flows of kits and DIY protocols work in the local context, we will compare several examples from Asia (Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan). These emergent, alternative R&D centers revive a link between knowledge creation and community building, and problematize the common, “East - West”, “Modern (Industrial) - Post-industrial - Pre-modern (indigenous)” distinctions, often used when knowledge transfer is discussed. By integrating community building with prototype testing, hackerspaces embody a community based innovation that provides a more resilient policy model for societies facing emerging technologies and numerous deep and far reaching environmental and social challenges."
"Hackerspaces in Asia offer interesting case studies because of a rich knowledge and crafts tradition that coexists with rapid industrialization, along with post-industrial and super-modern regions fully transformed into service-based economies of special economic zones reducing any specific culture to global flows of data and money. Hackerspaces negotiate these paradoxes between traditional, industrial, post-industrial and hyper-globalized modes of production and knowledge, offering a model for integrating emergent technologies with communities in a situation where all these modes of production co-exist. They support vernacular and technological “folk” knowledge creation and sharing remarkably close to the notion of “indigenous knowledge” because it is “developed by a given community as opposite to knowledge generated through universities, government research centers, and private industry” (Warren in Grenier, 1998 p.101) giving rise to “participatory technology-development techniques” (Grenier, 1998 p.vii), in which various groups and stakeholders can negotiate their interests directly.
While innovation is typically seen as a disruptive and foreign force in a given society that we have to study as an issue of “adoption”, in the holistic, pragmatic and integrative view of knowledge production and sharing embodied by Hackerspaces around the world it is simply defined as community building. The models of interaction between community and knowledge are similar to the indigenous and pre-modern forms which react to local needs and contexts supporting “unique, traditional, local knowledge existing within and developed around the specific conditions of women and men indigenous to a particular geographic area” (Grenier, 1998 p.1). With Hackerspaces we are witnessing a “technological folklore” developed by post-industrial (Singapore, Japan) as well as more traditional or industrial communities (Indonesia) around technological solutions and scientific interests, in which vernacular and cosmopolitan blend together.
The unofficial birth of Hackerspaces in Asia in May 2009 relates to the registration of Hackerspace Tokyo followed shortly by Hackerspaces in Singapore and India, which were all linked to the striving Barcamp (unconference) movement. The Tokyo Hackerspace official page even mentions that link directly: “The Tokyo HackerSpace initiative was created from discussions at TokyoBarCamp 2009. It’s a collective made up of programmers, engineers, IT administrators, artists, chefs, musicians, and people interested in geek culture. The goal of the group is to converge technology, arts, crafts, and music… “ (Tokyo Hackerspace, 2012). The so called “Unconference” and Barcamp participatory workshop-events started in India and South East Asia (mainly Singapore) in 2007, and normally there is still at least one monthly Barcamp with participation varying from several thousand people (Yangon in 2011) to ones with just 30 participants in different cities in Malaysia and Indonesia (Preetam Ray interview, 2012).
The close connection between Barcamps and Hackerspaces seems almost routine for Asia, but we must of course bear in mind the more common model from the EU and US, where Hackerspaces from Berlin, New York City, San Francisco and other large cities served as anchored models and inspiration for the rest. In an analogous fashion the Hackerspace Singapore inspired the hackers in Bandung, Indonesia, to open their own place in 2011, and they in turn have become a model for the rest of Indonesia. Kripe incisively connects the dots: “Hackerspaces appear to be gaining momentum in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, where within one year four new establishments have arisen: Bandung, Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Medan. One is also in the planning for Jakarta. Interestingly, the HackerSpace in Bandung was created after a group of Bandung geeks, gathering under the name FOWAB,12 visited the Singaporean HackerSpace and were inspired by the venue, activities and great vibes. It is no surprise that the Bandung HackerSpace has, in turn, inspired other geeks in Indonesia to gather the resources, both human and financial, to establish their own places…” (Kripe, 2011)
To be sure, there were also a formidable number of earlier examples of art and design oriented organizations in the region (new media centers, art laboratories etc.) with a similar agenda, some of which eventually transformed into a Hackerspace (Jaaga in Bangalore in 2009) or at least included a Fablab in their structure (House of Natural Fibre – HONF in Yogyakarta established in 1999 and opening a Fablab in 2011). The hackerspaces are closely connected to the fablab movement, which also started around 2007, with a specific goal of enabling people to share not only space, code, and hardware, but also tools for fabrication and physical production of things, mainly used for rapid prototyping. Fablabs form a network of small scale workshops with a shared set of open source tools that enable digital fabrication and open design. The independent design and geek run organizations, described euphemistically as new media centers in the late 90s, always kept a close connection with similar organizations in Europe, while Hackerspaces have tended to develop closer relations to the USA. Local and regional issues and interests play a far more important role in the EU inspired new media centers like HONF, with its preference for unique projects related to citizen science. The strength of these local contexts, often reinforced by indigenous languages such as Hungarian or French, etc. can and does hinder uptake of the global Hackerspace scene, such as is in Singapore or Tokyo which identity with their 3D printers, Arduino hacks and robots projects. In Indonesia, a typical HONF project would usually involve the local villagers (for example around the Merapi volcano near Yogyakarta), some local artists, geeks and academics (very often from the Microbiology Lab of the Gadjah Mada University) who together organize workshops around DIY (Do It Yourself) solutions to local problems. These can range from the vital issue of the infertile land around the volcano to dangerous moonshine to internal migration pitfalls, etc., or even to just simple scientific curiosity about the Cosmos. In the process, a scientific solution offered by the academic elites and scientists from the region may be transformed into a sound and visual performance — but also useful data and DIYbio protocols for local villagers who sometimes invest money in the research.
While the HONF projects often work within the local rural context, and successfully integrate various communities around science issues and technological challenges, Singapore is predominantly active in entrepreneurial initiatives. The Hackerspace in Singapore supports and fosters the development of entrepreneurial culture around mobile apps and web services. As a side project, some members are tinkering with molecular gastronomy and design related food projects, in some tacit ways reinforcing the local reputation of a culinary superpower. However, in the last year the most important project in Asia convincingly proved the ability of Hackerspaces to react to local challenges and potentially influence policy by mobilizing citizens. The “humanitarian open source hardware” (Baichtal, 2011) initiative in Tokyo after the earthquake and tsunami on March 11 supported ordinary lay people in their building of DIY Geiger counters for participatory monitoring of radiation and various low tech solutions.
From hyper-modern Singapore and the post-apocalyptic Tokyo to the booming but still developing Yogyakarta we can notice the same enthusiasm for DIY and maker activities, low tech solutions and citizen science experiments. Should we label these citizen science activities as popularization and dissemination of professional knowledge or as a special case of applied science? How should we evaluate the emphasis on startups and the entrepreneurial ethos behind some of these projects, and its search for commercialization of various technologies similar to the goals of any start up incubator? How are we to connect these mundane, technical and entrepreneurial goals with the ongoing art and design activities? Are we witnessing a tension between the US and EU models of independently run, co-working spaces for geeks, designers and entrepreneurs?
It is exactly this tension that makes such experiments in social and technological innovation so dynamic. Hackerspaces around the world seem to have a prolific ability to integrate various personal and group interests and goals, creating a certain balance between technological tinkering, creative pursuits and social interaction and experimenting. Beyond being fascinating material for talking about policy issues tied to emergent technologies, there are also philosophical issues concerning materialist ontologies and pragmatist insistence on bringing tools and social structures together. In this sense, these novel institutions revive certain indigenous (but also pre-modern) practices of knowledge creation that are primarily deeply integrated with the life-world of the community, and only secondarily with the metaphysical and scientific search for truth or other ontological goals. We will start with this core thesis on the close connection between prototype testing and community building, and continue with several examples of such spaces of convergence in Asia. These specific cases will jointly illustrate a particular type of vernacular cosmopolitan technocultures typical of Hackerspaces as sites, in which the “local,parochial, rooted, culturally specific and demotic may co-exist with the translocal, transnational, transcendent, elitist, enlightened, universalist and modernist – whether boundary-crossing demotic migrations may be compared to the globe trotting travel, sophisticated cultural knowledge and moral world-view of deracinated intellectuals” (Werbner, 2006 p.496) and where the prototypes of the future co-evolve with equally strong social structures given by our past and tradition." (http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-2/peer-reviewed-papers/diybio-in-asia/)
Example 1: Indonesian fermentation-hacking: Bacteria want to be free
"In South East Asia, the whole DIYbio movement remains closely connected to the workshops and projects organized by HONF and their Education Focus Program (EFP) in Yogyakarta (rather than Singapore). The DIYbio activities are an important focus not only because of the rich food culture, but also because of the rural context. The “House of Natural Fiber” (HONF) in Yogyakarta organized a series of DIYbio workshops in 2009 and 2010, led by artists (Marc Dusseiller, Shiho Fukuhara, Georg Tremmel) in cooperation with the Microbiology Lab of the Agriculture faculty in the Gadjah Mada University (UGM). The central focus of discussion were the fermentation techniques commonly employed and the key role of bacteria and yeast in our environment. They used hacked webcams and even Sony’s PS3 Eye turned into digital microscope as haemacytometers and bacteria counters, and explored several other alternative functions for micro-organism detection. The same tools were simultaneously used as a source of data for the audio-visual performances, simple DIY protocols responding to urgent social needs, as well as a protest medium against government policies. For their project “Intelligent Bacteria – Saccharomyces cerevisiae” (2010 – 2011), which embodies this citizen science and holistic strategy, they were awarded a prestigious Transmediale 2011 prize for media arts in Berlin. The original use of simple scientific protocols as forms of a peaceful protest against high government taxes on alcohol, and as a source of data for VJing and art installations, created a synesthetic experience around fruit wine. Artists, scientists and local villagers worked together under this project and defined a simple kit for alcohol brewing of Indonesian fruit (jackfruit, pineapple, and salakto). These cheap and safe procedures for brewing wine (Hujatnikajennong, 2009) were a form of a protest against the newly imposed exploitative tax laws tripling the already high price of wine and beer, pushing the local people into often lethal experiments with distilling and brewing their brews. .
This project created not only interesting performances and installations shown in galleries around the world, but also a solution to a plague of unsafe unsterilized alcohol production leading to dangerous methanol poisoning. In today’s 24/7 news cycle such cases were often mentioned but quickly forgotten by local media. However, due to a April, 2010 regulation from the Ministry of Finance increasing the duty on alcohol, local traditional alcohol drinks containing very dangerous methanol substances became popular at the markets. Artists from HONF together with the researchers from the Microbiology department of UGM university in Yogyakarta conducted a series of workshops to define proper and safe fermentation processes, and create a kit for the general public. They basically democratized a science protocol for making home wine, while at the same time were essentially supporting an old tradition of fermentation that by far is more a part of the indigenous cultures in Indonesia than the official religion. Through a publically available kits and instructional video, the artists and the scientists involved in the project basically connected traditional knowledge about fermenting with modern, Arduino based, open source gadget technologies that make the production of alcohol not only safe but also, and this is critical, visible and open to tips and tricks which keep it so. The acoustic installation based on the fermentation process was a response to the high rates of poisonings and deaths due to alcohol consumption in Indonesia. What makes the project outstanding is how DIYbio and open source approach to science connected contemporary art strategies with local and traditional knowledge and culture, but also to otherwise seemingly remote and arcane science. This created a special science communication project based on an appreciation of the local and the traditional knowledge and culture related to alcohol now supported and reinforced by modern technologies and methods.
The DIYbio in Yogyakarta has a strong interests in flowers and plants, similar to the other emergent initiatives in the Southeast Asia region such as the Biomodd project in the in the Philippines connecting plants and computers in elaborate ecologies. Nevertheless, there is telling difference. While in the Philippines the plants are used for building future sustainable server farms (Biomodd), in Indonesia fruit and plants are used basically as a political medium for resolving social issues and questioning the global biotech networks. Following Japan, the flowers are even used for supporting the Creative Commons License in the first ever biopiracy flower protest, the “Common Flowers: Flowers Commons” project. The project started in Japan and Germany and was only promoted in Indonesia with a workshop, but provides a fascinating case study of a grassroots biopiracy response by developing nations to a GM patent. The Japanese and the Indonesian biopirates essentially reversed the “jailed” and genetically modified and patented blue carnation gene, and then released the reverse- engineered flowers back into nature. Since these plants are officially considered benign, it is not illegal to release them into the environment. The Japanese company that owns the patent decided to avoid public reactions against GM and then outsourced their “production” to South America. The blue Moondust carnation was developed by a Japanese beer-brewing company, Suntory, as the first commercially available genetically engineered flower. Although the company was granted permission to grow them in Japan, they simply outsourced production to Columbia, from where they ship their “fresh-cut flowers” worldwide.
In the “Common Flowers” project the artist collective (BCL) reversed the plant growing process, cloning new plants from the purchased fresh-cut flowers using Plant Tissue Culture methods. Using DIY biotech methods involving everyday kitchen utensils and materials available at any supermarket and drugstore, in undisclosed locations and moments they “freed” the GM carnations back into nature to support the idea of creative commons and even bio-sharing: “By freeing (‘jail-breaking’) the flower from its destiny as a cut-flower and establishing a feral and more ‘natural’ population of blue carnations, the flower will be given a chance to reconnect to the general gene-pool and to join again the evolution through natural selection. Common Flowers hopes to touch is the question of patents on plants and on lifeforms in general. In particular what form of legal protection for their plants was granted and does the act of simply growing plants constitutes a violation of Suntory’s copyright. Is this reverse Bio-piracy?” (Fukuhara & Tremmel, 2010).
This more socially and critically involved hacking is typical for the Asia DIYbio scene (except Singapore) due to its close ties with the EU based initiatives. An excellent verbal definition of this vision and style of DIYbio hacking was given in an interview with the BCL collective that created the “Common Flowers”: “Hacking has to be effortlessly elegant. A small gesture with a big outcome. With Bio-hacking in particular we mean the attempt to regain the power about our shared biological destiny. We need to get involved, we need to understand, we need to learn. Not only we as artists, but we as a society.” (Gfader, 2010) The strategy of “small gestures with a big outcome” uses a non-technological jargon to explain the basic low-tech and high-impact strategy of the DIYbio movement . In the Indonesian context they display their competence and commitment by using scientific protocols as a form of political protest and social empowerment, and not merely a medium for technological progress and scientific advancement.
HONF as a new media art laboratory — running since 1999 — implements such simple, community and open source based technologies to improve the daily lives of the local people that are dependent on agriculture. Also in the Philippines, DIYbio activities that are just starting around the SABAW Media Art Kitchen and their “BedroomLab” workshops and meetings are trying to target agricultural “hacks” in the form of urban farming, bio-fuels and solutions dealing with ecological issues. The interest in plants and digital technologies underlying all these bottom-up local projects is becoming something of a distinctive sign of the Asian Hackerspace scene. Even the very successful Biomodd (LBA2) project in the Philippines that began in 2009 as an art initiative by a Belgian artist Angelo Vermeulen uses the idea of bringing plants and computers together for a socially and ecologically sustainable future. We see how rapidly how an art idea was transformed into a serious, community driven inquiry into issues of symbiosis of biology and electronics as sustainability solution. Through a partnership with the University of the Philippines Open University (UPOU), a whole range of local cultural partners and more than 100 Filipino artists, scientists, engineers, gamers, craftsmen, volunteers and students, the project attained a critical mass that turned it into an international success story supported by the famous TED foundations. Over the course of eight brief months an installation was created that literally fused a living ecosystem of plants with a modified computer network. The monumental sculpture is composed of a system of recycled computers intertwined with an aquaponics system that serves as a cooling device for the computers used for various games etc. The synergy between technology and biology brings together computers, algae and plants along with diverse people that took part in this open source, educational and art project. This involvement of the public in serious ecological debates about the sustainable future is an exemplary case of Hackerspaces-in-action.
All of these real-life and real-time examples of experimental forms of research, investment and even artistic creativity show clearly how the “low-tech but high-impact” logic of Hackerspaces operates in various contexts and how it can connect science, culture and society in ways, which we could not even have imagined before. The artistic and scientific solutions and protocols impact and involve groups of citizens and stakeholders in the process of the research, creation and production, but as well in emergent critical and almost always edifying discourse driven by the hacker’s motto that not only code but also bacteria and plants want to be free." (http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-2/peer-reviewed-papers/diybio-in-asia/)
Example 2: Open Source Digital Geiger Counters in the Tokyo Hackerspace
"The last case study in our thumbnail survey will focus on Tokyo Hackerspace, and emphasize how a vast range of citizen involvement in science, technology, and policy are subtly related to alternative R&D spaces. Their Safecats project initiated shortly after the Fukushima meltdown and ghostownification of an entire region. The goal was to create “open source humanitarian hardware” for participatory sensing of radiation, shows clearly the limits and possibilities of connecting community, science and technology. The open source DIY tools were both a design response to the challenges of gathering independent data and understanding the spread and effects of radiation, but also political gadgets of social action and even personal fetish objects for dealing with uncertainty and trauma. The DIY and open hardware aspects of building low tech tools added to the personal, social, and public sensing activities an aspect of healing and catharsis related to the extraordinary challenges of this collective trauma, but also to a situation of extreme uncertainty. It is now frankly acknowledged that participatory monitoring over DIY Geiger counters and similar low tech solutions generated rather than tamed the uncertainties surrounding radiation, because they showed how difficult and maybe impossible it is to get accurate data about the unfolding situation and decide on the right course of action. In this sense, participatory monitoring is not only about crowdsourcing data, but as well involves dispersing individual and collective anxiety, hopes and fears. It is in the wild, which Fukushima has been in spades, a therapeutic mobile device rather than policy mechanism, a form of post-apocalyptic ritual of everyday and every night catharsis and healing, with occasional elements of protest and reflection.
DIY open hardware tools for radiation monitoring in Japan are more like technological fetishes and power objects, with ability to connect anxiety and hope, symbolic and real power over the circumstances, scientific (objective) data with primal human emotions. These radiation monitoring devices support a very distributed and multi-faceted response to the catastrophe, in the early days with utopian calls for a return to nature and in the end staging carnivalesque attitudes embracing an almost post-humanist and ironic relation to radiation (“Tokyo Radiation Levels” project by Steven Danieletto or “Tokyo Kids& Radiation community” on Facebook). The DIY tools, such as iGeigie, a functional assemblage of iPhone with Geiger counter, retain a deeply symbolic function related to the idea of “nuclear society” (uncannyterrain.org) and issues with survival on a human scale. Another Safecast apparatus involves binding together a Global Positioning System receiver with a Geiger counter, managed through a Arduino controller mounted to the outside of an automobile with a data card (memory stick or SD card) uploading data in real time. Within the DIY context, this is a contemporary version of the nuclear shelter, prototyped and calibrated not in the ‘closed,’ sealed zero risk environment of the bunker stocked with canned foods, but in the open, managing fear and uncertainty through abstraction, knowledge, mobility and portability (Whitington & Kera, 2011).
The Uncannyterrain.org documentary film project shows how Safecast data are used for exploration of food contamination and organic farming. Strikingly, an ethic of openness extends even to contamination, at least in some cases, what one baker refers to in terms of “coexistence.” As the filmmakers write (Koziarski, 2011): “Ohashi may need to look outside Fukushima now for organic suppliers for his bread. He says we need to learn to coexist with radiation. Suzuki and Fukumoto are leaving the idyllic farming community of Kaidomari to live in balance with nature elsewhere. Hongo won’t sell his potentially contaminated rice this year, but he’s eating it himself. Yoshizawa wants to save his 300 irradiated dairy cows from a death sentence.” All of these decisions imply a commitment not to nuclear technologies but to living in the light of their consequences within a vision of nature that combines coexistence and compassion with the patently not-natural and pervasive radiation. In this sense, DIY monitoring tools are not media for assessing our situation and creating a public pressure on some policy makers or even protesting against the circumstances.
These tools do not serve only rational goals and needs, but are also means of that carnivalesque, ironic and semi-magical interaction which Brenda Laurel calls “designed animism”; this theatricality reminds us data are never passive representations, but triggers for action: ‘Sensors that gather information about wind, or solar flares, or neutrino showers, or bird migrations, or tides, or processes inside a living being, or dynamics of an ecosystem are means by which designers can invite nature into collaboration, and the invisible patterns they capture can be brought into the realm of the senses in myriad new ways.” (Laurel, 2009 p.262) These DIY fetishes are tools of negotiation with non-human forces in ways which are not only scientific (calibration) or political (protest), but as well deeply personal and even for some people manifestly spiritual (therapy, reflection, irony).
The anthropological fascination with fetish objects struggled with a primal problem of many epistemologies, namely the association of symbolic and material realms. Some of these traditional practices and associations, expressed in ritual and myth, appear as powerful spiritual technologies operating through elemental materials bound together in figurative form (Mauss, 2001; Pietz, 1991). Currencies such as cowry and glass, technologically powerful objects for binding, piercing and reflecting, powerful figures forged or carved as rulers under public gaze or in secrecy, are all examples of such fetishes similar to DIY open source hardware. They also use powerful technological objects and transform them into alternative, low tech and imaginative uses that open new possibilities of interaction. These DIY tools embody the critical design attitude behind “what if… ?” approaches, functioning to awaken users to possibilities of various futures. They incorporate even “design noir” attitudes (Dunne & Raby, 2001) that insist our tools are often the expression of our unconsciousness, being symbolically powerful instruments with which we actively explore the aberrations, transgressions and obsessions in our society and nature. Canivalesque and therapeutic design behind the Hackerspace projects in Japan is an affirmative celebration of the “Unpredictable potential of human beings to establish new situations despite the constraints on everyday life imposed through electronic objects”. (Dunne & Raby, 2001 p.7)
DIY Geiger counters and similar participatory devices are typical “noir” and fetish tools. Pace Dune and Raby, they are media “that fuse complex narratives with everyday life… a fusion of psychological and external `realities’” in which “ the user would become a protagonist and coproducer of narrative experience rather than a passive consumer of a product‘s meaning…. objects that generate `existential moments’ – a dilemma, for instance -which they would stage or dramatise.” We need, however, to resist Dunne and Raby’s judgmental definition of these tools as basically wicked and means of self-reflection: “These objects would not help people to adapt to existing social, cultural and political values. Instead, they force a decision onto the user, revealing how limited choices are usually hard-wired into products for us. On another level, we could simply enjoy the wickedness of the values embedded in these products and services. Their very existence is enough to create pleasure.” (Dune & Raby, 2001 p.46) To be sure, the carnivalesque and therapeutic dimensions of a ritualized practice of moving through contaminated spaces, as an active technological reflection on environmental uncertainty, raises a range of performative and experiential practices associated with these tools. But what is overlooked here is that the participatory DIY monitoring of radiation with open source hardware tools becomes a form of modern technological ritual, bringing together a community facing a dangerous and uncertain situation and trying to cope with it as best they can. In the case of Japan it has also triggered a natural geopolitical experiment of lowering the energy demands of the whole country and pushing production and industry to China in order to shut down the nuclear facilities." ((http://peerproduction.net/issues/issue-2/peer-reviewed-papers/diybio-in-asia/))
- See: Bio and Hardware Hacking, link to special issue
- Biocurious http://www.biocurious.org/
- Biocurious Kickstarter page http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1040581998/
- Biomodd (LBA2) Philippines project http://www.biomodd.net/lba2
- BioWeatherMap http://www.bioweathermap.org
- BCL http://bcl.biopresence.com/journal/tag/comflow/
- DIYbio http://diybio.org
- DIYbio NYC http://diybionyc.blogspot.com
- Fablab http://fab.cba.mit.edu/
- Hackerspaces http://hackerspaces.org
- Hackerspace Singapore http://www.hackerspace.org
- HONF http://www.natural-fiber.com
- Patchube http://www.pachube.com/
- Safecats http://blog.safecast.org/
- Singapore DIYbio event http://diybiosingapore.wordpress.com
- Tokyo Hackerspace http://tokyohackerspace.org/
- Tokyo Radiation Levels http://www.facebook.com/Tokyo.Radiation.Levels
- Tokyo Kids& Radiation community http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tokyo-Kids-Radiation/227762067240468