What if you didn’t need to buy building supplies? What if you could create your own? Motivated by this idea, a team of U architecture students built a machine for making your own bricks out of natural materials. The machine is based on open-source technology that can be used by anyone.
Eric Blyth, Julia Warner, Matthew Cranney and Shay Myers are the students behind the project. They share a passion for increasing access and agency in affordable housing. The project was born from casual conversations in class and grew with the help of the DesignBuildBLUFF program and more than $40,000 in grants from the U’s Sustainability Campus Initiative Fund. “We are the type of people that are always working on projects and always looking at the bigger picture instead of the assignment,” Blyth said.
So far, the team built the machine by working with Open Source Ecology, a Missouri-based initiative dedicated to creating an open-source economy. They learned how to use it and are now working to teach others so it can be used by future students. “Passing on the knowledge of how the machine works is our biggest hurdle,” Blyth said.
Next, the group planned a panel discussion, which is the culmination of their work, titled, “Housing Justice as Climate Justice,” for April 6, 2018. Ultimately, they hope the machine will be located in Bluff, Utah, and used by the Navajo Nation to build homes with their abundant natural resources.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2018 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.