Christoph Fahle
March 24, 2010

A fablab for Berlin, called Open Design City

It might have been around for a couple of weeks already: We are about to add a new ingredient to the betahaus DNA this april. Together with palomar5, lasernlasern, bausteln and Mechatronik Werkstatt Berlin we will set up Berlin's first fablab in the back of betahaus and it'll go by the name of Open Design City and it will be delivered in beta. yay!

Thanks to the fellows above we already have got: 
a) a CNC router,
b) a lasercutter, 
c) a makerbot, 
d) tools, some materials, workbenches, awesome space, good coffee.

Now we are looking for makers, baustlers, designers, DIY people, architects, disciples of arduino, open design or Gyro Gearloos or Doctor Snuggles that want to take the journey with us to berlins first fablab and beyond.

Our initial offer is a 200,- €/month membership that includes the use of the betahaus office space as well as the use of the fablab and it's machines. We will figure out the rest, once you are there.

If you want to be part of it, please contact odc@betahaus.de very quickly. We do have very limited space and time to set this all up and once the workspace ist sold out, it will take a while until we will be able to provide more space. Also if you think you have got a valuable machine to contribute to the fablab, get in contact with us. We will make a special offer for those that bring stuff.

All of us were thinking, planning, talking, thinking again, planning again, talking again about all the "hows" and "whens" regarding the foundation of a fablab the we finally figured out, the best way would be to deliver in beta and walk on from there together. We all believe, that the time couldn't be better to start making and are excited like hell where this all will lead to.

Looking Forward to your Feedback

Your Open Design City Team

P.S.:  This Saturday we will have an ODC Kickstart Event. With the enabling hand of Jay Cousins and Palomar5 we will build the blueprint for the Open Design City already in Cardboard. Thanks to Modulor we will have enough cardboard in place. You only need to bring Cutters and Scissors. The session will be embedded in the betahaus birthdayparty activity including some molecular cooking, fashion fleamarket and and awesome party at night. Drop in around 5 pm and bring your scissors!!!

Click here for more announcements and events at the 'haus! 

Cost is a big one here. In regards to total transportation costs, the last mile comprises up to 53% of those - making it the least efficient part of the supply chain. Expectations of free shipping and next day deliveries add up to this.

Due to increasing digitalization and convenience services in every area of people's lives, the smooth and flawless process of getting the delivery to one's doorstep is exceedingly becoming what customers care most about. On top of that, for companies that package being delivered is an extension of their brand. The consumer is basically coming face-to-face with the brand, which makes it the biggest opportunity to heighten customer satisfaction.


If you live in a city and have even slightly observed your urban surroundings you’ve probably witnessed it first hand - urban congestion and crowded cities make it pretty tough to satisfy the growing demand and rising expectations of super quick deliveries. Add unpredictability in transit (like weather conditions), an incorrect address or remote locations, just to name a few, and you can see where this is going.

The worst part is, all those delivery trucks and vans that also produce a fair bit of emissions, are often only half full when they roll out for deliveries. This is mostly due to low drop sizes and stops along the route that are far and few between.

It’s not all hopeless though - Where there is a problem, there are solutions.


Same old, same old - isn’t always all that bad. Sometimes, all that’s needed are some new perspectives! The city of Utrecht, for‌ ‌example, implemented a zero-emissions electric barge nicknamed the “Beer Boat”. 

Since 2010 it’s carrying beer and food to the city’s downtown restaurants by using waterways. Other electric barges in Amsterdam not only deliver but even collect organic waste, which is then turned into biofuel in processing plants! Isn’t that cool?

It becomes clear that cities, logistics, as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌urban‌ ‌planners, are equally part of solving the inefficiency of the last-mile. Tackling this mountain of issues calls for teamwork!


A centralized platform, hub or network for similar companies, could do the trick to fill up the delivery vans & trucks that are barely loaded. Parcels could be distributed more efficiently between different companies and their delivery vehicles.

Like a big pool of parcels from different companies with every single parcel going into that one van with the same route!


Delivery Driver Experience and Smart Delivery Vehicles are also areas with huge potential for improvement and innovation.


Ellie: Two years ago we adopted a new legal structure for Jolocom GmbH according to the purpose model of ownership, manifesting our commitment and dedication to building a self-sovereign organization. That means we can’t take VC funding or sell public shares of the company. 

Volker: Jolocom is a community driven organisation – both in a tech sense but also much further beyond. We’re hugely involved in the DWeb community where we organize and attend events for the decentralized community. Every year we also help organize and attend the DWeb Camp in San Francisco, which brings together all kinds of creatives so this technology of tomorrow is built in a collaborative way.


Next to that on-demand experiences have become firmly embedded into people’s everyday lives - be it a mobile app to book a ride, send flowers to your loved ones or order lunch to your office. It’s all possible and has made premium features like real-time tracking a standard.  The online consumer expects nothing less and certainly doesn’t like to wait.


Making that quick and instant gratification happen is another story though. Groundbreaking ideas and innovations are needed to tackle all these factors. Does your startup have one? 

Then head over to our Future Logistics Challenge! Applications are still open until September 23rd.

Volker: There is this really nice place, called Green Rabbit with salads and baked potatoes where I like to go to. Sometimes I just keep it simple and go to Lidl.

Ellie: I eat a lot in west.berlin cafe which is here around the corner and I love the Matcha Lattes from Starbucks.

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