Building a world of
resilient communities.

If We Insulate Our Houses, Why Not Our Cooking Pots?

In the early twentieth century, fireless cookers were common additions to western kitchens, similar to the refrigerator or cooking stove.

Well-Tended Fires Outperform Modern Cooking Stoves

Despite technological advancements since the Industrial Revolution, cooking remains a spectacularly inefficient process.

Modular Cargo Cycles

N55's cargo cycles are open source concepts which you can modify yourself.

How Sustainable is Digital Fabrication?

Digital fabrication is praised as the future of manufacturing. While CNC machines have been embraced by's important to consider the very high energy use of digital machine tools.

High Speed Trains are Killing the European Railway Network

High speed rail is destroying the most valuable alternative to the airplane; the "low speed" rail network that has been in service for decades.

Power from the Tap: Water Motors

Few people in the western world realize that they have an extra power source available in their household, workshop or factory: tap water.

Back to basics: direct hydropower

One hydropower configuration that deserves considerable attention is a water turbine directly powering machinery, without the intermediate step of generating electricity. The implementation of this form of direct hydropower doubles the effectiveness of a small scale electric hydropower installation. This advantage can be used to increase the energy production of an existing water power …

Back to Basics: Direct Hydropower

For almost two thousand years, water wheels powered machines directly via mechanical transmission.

The Mechanical Transmission of Power: Endless Rope Drives

You don't need electricity to send or receive power quickly. In the second half of the nineteenth century, we commonly used fast-moving ropes. These wire rope transmissions were more efficient than electricity for distances up to 5 kilometres. Even today, a nineteenth-century rope drive would be more efficient than electricity over relatively short distances. If we used modern materials for …

The mechanical transmission of power (2): Jerker Line Systems

From the 1860s to 1940s, many oil wells were pumped by a technology that originates in a sixteenth-century power transmission system used in the mining industry.