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Laoban Speaker Workshop part of Vision Forum Melbourne

Over at, made a post about the Laoban Speaker Workshop on Saturday, September 12, 2009 and Overlap Salon Melbourne on Tuesday, September 15, 2009! At both events will be talking about Fabricatorz projects and the Laoban Soundsystem Matt Hope and I have built in Beijing.

Head over and check out the details of the latest Laoban project.

Also, Laoban Soundsystem will be a part of Vision Forum Shenzhen and Vision Beijing in October, so stay tuned!

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PD+HVH are Beijing-based Architects


PD+HVH are architects Phil Dunn and Henri Van Hoeve, based in Beijing. We built their simple website, like a few other colleagues in the Beijing ecosystem, early-on because we already have been working together and support their efforts.

D:workprojectsunspacebasic plan-section Model (1)

Check out their blog, and consider hiring them for architecture and construction projects in China, and elsewhere in the world.

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Presenting the Fabricatorz Weekly Update…

Rejon Presenting at LGM2010

Photo by-nc Pete Ippel

The Fabricatorz team has been busy churning out projects. Because day by day so much goes on in the Fabricatorz studio, we realized we should share more with our public! So from now on, we will be giving regular weekly updates from the Fabricatorz studio on all our goings-on and the progress of our projects.

We begin this week with a re-cap of the LGM conference which was a great success this year and well attended! Here are some highlights from the conference, in the words of LGM attendee Barry Threw:

“Some of the most interesting things at the meeting were the sessions on desktop publishing. People self publishing and developing sophisticated tools made it clear that contrary to some opinions about the directions of literary technology, new tools will only strengthen the printmaking community, not wipe it out with dedicated e-readers. The sheer ingenuity of projects solving publishing issues with freely accessible tools showed a steady movement that will with time inevitably destroy even the highest volume censored app store in the world. Excellent presentations were given on open font design by Christopher Adams (the publisher of Joi Ito’s book Freesouls) and on self publishing by Ana Carvalho at Plana Press on transitioning from closed source software to created independent comic books. Also Tom Lechner’s talk on his program Laidout shows off its many impressive features, including laying out print on an arbitrary polygon.”

(And if you are interested in reading more about the conference or thinking of participating in the future, check out more details about the event at hypermodern’s blog.)

On the Status.Net front – we have implemented a new desktop client:

“With StatusNet Desktop, anyone can connect to multiple StatusNet sites, including secure and private installations. It is simple to post new notices and replies, and view public, user, friends, replies, tag and group timelines. StatusNet Desktop lets you directly manage your user and group subscriptions, manage your inbox of direct messages, search for notices across all timelines and have an auto-refreshed timeline with new status updates.”

If you are interested in learning more, please read here for more information.

Finally we would love to plug a project of a dear friend of ours who has made a clever comic called Bear and Fox. Bear and Fox needs to raise some funds to get printed so please take a moment to look at the Kickstarter page and give your support! Thanks so much!

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Amnesty Taiwan Takes Urgent Action to Free Bassel

Last night, Amnesty Taiwan took urgent action in support of our friend and colleague Bassel Khartabil, who has been in detention in Syria since March 15, 2012. At the gathering, we discussed Bassel’s life and the situation in Syria, and wrote letters to the Syrian authorities expressing our concerns for his well-being.

The event came on the heels of a significant report from Amnesty International on Bassel Khartabil (also available in Chinese), which includes important details about how to write a letter of support for Bassel. We hope that you might consider doing so.

You can find more about our campaign at Photos and reactions from last night’s event are here.

Special thanks to Daisy Lin and Sean Su for organizing the event, and for all those who attended and took action to help free Bassel.

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Naihanli&Co. Site Goes Live

Just today, Fabricatorz have publicly released a new and improved site for Beijing-based Naihanli&Co. Brad and Jon stepped up to the plate to deliver this latest offering, contributing on site design, implementation and deployment under our Aiki Framework platform. Naihanli&Co. founder, Jinjing Naihan Li strives to create furniture built on functional and socially responsive designs:

“..she introduces furniture as a fashionable, social concept that accommodates the mod- ern and mobile lifestyle we live. Her work poses the question, why not have furniture that represents the way you live? And, why not have fun with it? She does.”

Naihanli&Co. Screen

If you’re interested in having Fabricatorz work on your next project, contact us!

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Weak Soundsystem: Beijing Design Week 2012

Matt Hope was commissioned to build a custom soundsystem for CCD, The Community, a satellite event to this year’s Beijing Design Week, so he stole a page from his teenage speaker plan book and realized the project in common plasterboard and off-the-shelf speaker drivers.

The Weak Soundsystem fit right in at the CCD Pavilion, nestled in the courtyard of White Space Beijing, and survived a week of exposure to the cultural and climatic elements of Caochangdi.

If you need proof, check out the complete photoset I’ve uploaded to Flickr.

CCD, The Community ran from September 28 to October 6 as part of Beijing Design Week 2012. Fabricatorz built the Caochangdi website, kept the Weak Soundsystem humming, and helped deliver on a successful event.

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

Weak Soundsystem

CCD Pavilion

CCD Pavilion

Weak Soundsystem

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Open Clip Art Library Releases Version 2.4

Members of the Fabricatorz team have been working side-by-side with The Open Clip Art Library in order to provide monthly updates to the newly-revamped platform. This month marks the Release of Version 2.4 of The Open Clip Art Library.

This new release is significant on several levels. One of the more exciting bullet points in this series of improvements, the RSS Feed, featuring the latest submitted clip art, has been upgraded to display the uploaded images, along with the information surrounding it. It’s an incredibly welcomed change that allows the newest content to be presented to OCAL followers in their own data spaces!

Behind-the-scenes tweaks to the cache system have allowed to load many times more quickly than in previous Releases.

Along with these new features, a brand-new themed package of clip art is presented for download! The Sports 2010 Clip Art Package Release features new & recent original designs from the Open Clip Art Library Community, including Fabricatorz developer, Brad Phillips (a.k.a. pianoBrad).

Bassel Safadi, another developer at Fabricatorz, shines in this latest Release, with the Release of Aiki Framework: Version 0.35. Aiki Framework is the platform that drives The Open Clip Art Library, and key features regarding the usability and functionality of the software have supplanted. Sites added to the Aiki resume include Sharism and Open Colour.

Any not already versed in OCAL culture should register a free account to begin contributing and utilizing the vast resources offered. For more information on the 2.4 Release, have a look at the Official Announcement.

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Fabricatorz 50/50

I’ve tuned the language about Fabricatorz on the about page to make it clear we are a company that does both our own projects and for-hire contracts:

The Fabricatorz is an “open” production company that creates projects 50% of the time internally and then takes on external projects the other 50% of the time. We specialize in Open Source Software, Creative Commons licenses/technology, growing on-line and off-line communities in San Francisco and China.

The company builds upon the current roster of fabricatorz’ skillsets. The company currently consists of Jon Phillips with 14+ years of experience in new media production, the software industry, building communities and free/open software development. Lu Fang brings her design and localization skills bridging the English and Chinese languages. Then, newcomer Brad Phillips delivers with his general production magic and a specific skillset in mobile development, 3D design and virtual reality production. The company has offices in San Francisco, Guangzhou and Beijing in order to serve as local interface for many forms of creative production. In these locations the team scales with new employees, adapting to each project.

For a listing of all projects, both active and completed, please see the /projects section of the site. Here are some of the services we do:

  • International On-line and Off-line Community Building
  • Website Programming, Design and Development
  • Software Design, Development, and Management
  • Open Source + GNU/Linux Software Development
  • Open Content (Creative Commons-based projects)
  • International Business Development
  • Video + Audio Production
  • 3D + Virtual Reality Production
  • Translation/Internationalization with emphasis on English and Chinese languages
  • Conversion from closed to open source development model
  • Object production: Interface with Chinese production companies

Contact us if you need the Fabricatorz.

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Laoban Sound System 2.0 PDF for Distribution

laoban-2.0-infodoc laoban-2.0-infodoc Jon Phillips Laoban Soundsystem is an open sound system. The plans for all speakers are available on-line under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license. The events the soundsystem participates in are media events that generate further viral media. Anyone who attends the events, creates the speakers through the plans, or produces content for them is encouraged to tag media they make with laoban. The Laoban Soundsystem events are a new type of media event where all are welcome to join, bring media, laptops, video players, cameras, and other recording devices. The goal is to mix media, explore what artists, DJs, musicians, designers, and architects are working on RIGHT NOW — successes, failures, and rough edges are welcome at Laoban events! The ultimate plan is for consumers to be producers by both mixing media, and by tagging any recordings they have with “laoban” when posting onto,, or other places.

Help spread the love of the Laoban Sound System 2.0 being produced right now in Guangzhou, China, all CNC cut, and custom for events this next year starting in May in China.


We are still seeking sponsorships for the system. Get yours in now to be a part of something creative and involving China. Its a quick into this market!

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分享主义 (Sharism) in 2010

We’ve had a big year for 分享主义. I took some time these past few holladaze to collect together links in English and Chinese about Sharism Forum and our new Sharism Presents events for the collection of history. Also, please check out the quick sharism presentation now live at Here’s to a big year of SHARISM in 2.0.11. Cheers!

Sharism Presents Hong Kong

Sharism Presents Singapore

Sharism Presents Montreal

Sharism Japan

Sharism at CC Korea

Random Posts about Sharism


Fabricatorz and Friendz In The Newz: Fine Art to Milkymist One MIDI Control (video)

Our friend Robin Peckham announces the launch of Saamlung, a new gallery and project office for Hong Kong. The forthcoming exhibitions will represent a survey of Post-Internet art as well as curatorial exhibitions alternating between project-based solo presentations and thematic group shows.

Nadim Abbas, I Would Prefer Not To, 2009, Digital photograph (C-print), 42 x 64 cm

The Saamlung model is research-driven and focuses on placing work within the exciting collections currently restructuring global visual culture to tell the story of a cosmopolitan present.

Get to Saamlung in person for the grand opening in February 2012.


Robin Peckham announces the launch of Saamlung, a new gallery and project office for Hong Kong.
26/F Two Chinachem Plaza
68 Connaught Rd. C.
(135-137 Des Voeux Rd. C.)
Central, Hong Kong

Pre-opening projects include:

João Vasco Paiva, “Palimpseptic,” 18 November – 5 December
Opening Friday 18 November, 19:00-21:00

Charles LaBelle, “Guilty,” 9 December – 7 January
Opening Friday 9 December, 19:00-21:00

For more information on the projects, please visit their website:

Our Friend Werner Almesberger states “You haven’t really seen what the Milkymist One (M1) really can do if you haven’t used it with some MIDI controls.”

Here’s Werner’s step-by-step instructions on how to make the Qi Hardware video synthesizer Milkymist One really pop. Get your very own Milkymist One here!

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Open Clip Art Library Version 2.9 Hits the Web

In mid-December, the Librarians at The Open Clip Art Library issued a final site upgrade for the year. Among many notable upgrades, a shift to a new Public Domain Dedication: CC Zero, a new Collections Feature, more streamlined and user account management, along with a Winter Holiday 2010 themed package were highlights.

gathering clip art

Today, the Open Clip Art Librarians are Officially Releasing the Latest Version of their website: Open Clip Art Library 2.9. This newest iteration, the first of the new year, again focuses on the end-user experience, along with filling out the ever-expanding body of art the site contains.

Kicking things off, a long-standing bug has been fixed in a major way. One of OCAL’s leading contributors, johnny_automatic, has gone through a gigantic list of clip art that had been previously not been connected to the site in transition from Open Clip Art lIbrary’s upgrade to 2.0, last spring and brought all of it back to life. As a result, OCAL’s collection has been fully restored to it’s original glory and the current Clip Art Tally stands at nearly 40,000 images!

Longtime visitors will also notice a major menu-item change. A new section, Collections, has replaced Packages. Users will still find information and links to download their favorite packages in this new section, but the change reflects a long-gestating idea that will shift the direction of content from managers of the site to it’s users. With Collections, any user is able to save a Clip Art that they love to a group that they themselves have created. Found a really useful set of icons? Create a Collection & share them with the Community, as a set! The latest Collections are displayed in this new section. As Collections grow and more data is gathered, this section will become vital to the new direction that The Open Clip Art Library will be shifting towards in future Releases.

anime hacker

Another key librarian turned developer, Chovynz, has made great strides in several key bugs, including a few related to Clip Art Comments. Registered users can now log into OCAL, select their ‘My Cliparts’ section, scroll to the bottom of the page and see a list of the most recent comments made on their uploaded works!

Shanghai City Skyline

New work continues to drive Open Clip Art Library’s progress. A new package has been made available with this release. Chinese New Year 2011 contains work related to the yearly shift, created by the Artists of OCAL’s expanding Community. Users wishing to contribute to the next Release’s package, Presidents, can do so by tagging any related work with the key term “presidents”.

Abraham Lincoln

The Fabricatorz are pushing The Open Clip Art Library to this next plateau with our development the Aiki Framework, the software engine that powers OCAL. We would like to thank everyone else who have helped this project continue to grow and succeed. You can also help find bugs and submit your feature requests, or join us as a librarian today! Please check out Open Clip Art Library to upload your clip art.

UPDATE: Don’t forget to check out all the great contributions towards this 2.9 release.


Fabricatorz Custom Vector Avatars

In our ever-evolving mission to produce sharp and forward-thinking content in a modern web landscape, the Fabricatorz team has begun tweaking it’s online presence.

Inspired by Jon’s smiling avatar and recent Open Clip Art Library submissions, Fabricatorz developer, Brad Phillips, has created custom vector representations of members of the Fabricatorz Team.

These new graphics represent a push for new creative content. As always, it is our goal to produce high quality work, and we hope you’ll be seeing these works and images like them on our marketing materials and web space.

If you’re in need of a custom-designed graphic that will knock your colleague’s socks off, we’d love to work with you!

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Laoban Soundsystem Summer Planning Friday Event

Laoban Soundsystem Summer Planning Event Graphic

Come out tomorrow afternoon and evening, Friday, May 1 at CCD300 for a last minute event tomorrow in Cao Chang Di for the Qianti 2009 Performance Art Festival. Matt and I are setting up the upgraded Laoban Soundsystem 1.0 and will use the new Xiaoban Baby Speaker Samples we have in the stack for the event to start at 2 PM on May Day (May 1) and will last for a few hours. If you are hardcore, come out from the start. My guess is the best time to come after the performance art is at 5:30 PM and we will keep the bass and dubstep going for as long as people are on the scene. There is cheap drinks and food all around the space, so all is well on that front.

UPDATE: Ok, confirmed details. There are performances and a couple of bands from 2 – 6. Then after 6 PM, the big party starts and goes until late. There is free bbq and beers the entire day from 2 until whenever…so this is really about who comes out now, and who is mixing.

We will be mixing some drum n bass, dubstep, dirty south beats, and getting some friends to mix as well, all around the theme of planning for summer events like Laoban Tour,, and other projects in anticipation of Laoban Soundsystem 2.0 arriving soon.

DJS: If you are a DJ, please come out and mix some cutting edge music. Its all about the battle of best music on an open soundsystem.

Stay posted to this blog and rejon on twitter for more details about the event. Here are the details on the Qianti 2009 Performance Art Festival:

Qianti 2009 Performance Art Festival

Curator: Wang Jun

Academic Support: Yuan Tingxuan

Visual Organizer/ Curator: Zhao Lejuan

特邀嘉宾:艾未未,何云昌, 王庆松, 余心樵
Special Guests: Ai Weiwei, He Yunchang, Wang Qingsong, Yu Xinqiao

Opening Party: 2pm, 1May, 2009

Exhibition Time: 1-3 May, 2009

地点: 北京草场地CCD300艺术空间
Venue: CCD 300 Space, Caochangdi, Beijing

接待电话: 138 1084 6594
Reception Number: 138-1084-6594

协办单位:CCD300当代艺术空间, 易品名堂高端室内设计机构, 左映像图片工作室, 第八天云南餐厅, 韩摄影工作室
Supporting Group: CCD300


There is loads of artwork and performances at CCD300, a studio in the corner opposite Ai Wei Wei’s big studio. You’ll hear the music since the event is outdoors. If it rains, there is an indoor space, so come anyway! Come on out, lets have some drinks to celebrate May Day, talk about the summer, and figure out ways to plug into the entire Laoban Project. We still need sponsors and are planning for a full summer of events.

Here is a map to the space on Google Maps in China. If you get lost or something, or want to know what is happening, you can text or call me (Jon Phillips) at: 132-6817-8381

Thanks to Venus Lau for translating this quickly :)

UPDATE: Check out the facebook event.

Laoban Summer Planning LOGO as SVG vector file all outlines

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Getting Things LonDone: #MozFest + MozCamp KL + Inventing Marking Post-Graffiti

Markings Fabricatorz Four Projects

There is a slow churn that happens in the background. From Fabricatorz build-up to the Sharism Makerlab in Poland, the goal of Fabricatorz is to be the kings and queens of creativity. We are the CIA of creation. We like to be airlifted to most any place in the world, and accel(erate) on-demand. We are people too. We need to have fun, and make some cool projects in the midst of the grind doing humachine work for clients and ourselves.

As planned, I dropped myself into LONDON to support Fab affiliate Michelle Thorne, who runs global events for Mozilla, and who put on the Mozilla Festival. Fabricatorz works with Mozilla regulary, in China particularly, but I particularly wanted to see how Mozilla Foundation (MoFo) is doing growing the open web. I’m very appreciative to the large turn-out and to see so many great journalists there like our friend Bilal from Al Jazeera, and Brian Behlendorf from MoFo board in attendance.

I spent my time with new friend Andy Ellis who is a pro UX designer and VJ, and with our friend Ian Forrester from BBC, who wrote up a nice post about working on the Future Everything conference looking at he future of clubbing, dj’ing and vj’ing. Naturally, I showed off the Milkymist One and we talked a lot about how we can hack on things together.

I do think though that the format for nearly any hackfest is way too short to actually write code. However, this type of MozFest Hackfest is well suited to doing some creative exercises, but it reminds me that the most important part of events (well life in general), is to make better relationships with people. It is very easy to be a uber-nerd technological determinist or become the dad in the garage working on Open Hardware (the project with a broken gear as a logo) where the motto might be “hacking is jacking,” rather than “Hi, my name is Jon. I would like to be your friend.” The hardest part to events, is to focus on meeting people and just shutting the laptop. For me, I have to always work on listening rather than just always being @rejon. From these realizations I have decided that I will no longer give slide show presentations unless its the only option for very high impact events, and I will not bring my laptop to events because its a blocker to meeting people!

Overall, the MozFest was a great success because I became closer friends with four people in particular: Andy Ellis who is a VJ expert, Renata Avila from CC Guatemala and Global Voices who I have always wanted to get to know better, Agata from CC Poland who helped us put on the Sharism Makerlab in Poland, and the always cool Hyojung Sun who, like me is a digital anarchist, now doing her PhD at Edinburgh, where she is the resident skeptic about copyright. I’m super happy I focused and talked more with these friends and talked shop. More coming soon! I was also lucky enough to stay with my old friend Jeff Kuntz, now a journalist in London living with his cool wife Dorrie. And, I last minute lucked out to go to a science startup meetup powered by the excellent Kaitlin Thaney.


Now, onto the meat of this post. I spend a lot of time in Beijing now. While walking through a local market, I found a shop that sells black markers; I’m talking the graffiti kind! I bought a box of 10 for 10 RMB on the spot, and my life has changed.

Marking Begins

I started by marking out unnecessary text, but have progressed to blocking out all text.


A bought some jeans at Muji, so had to take out the tag.

I even took this further to realize how much paper is wasted in publicity, so I’ve decided to take it back, and re-use it, make it personal, and then redistribute. Check out these Milkymist fliers I made.


The real Milkymist please stand up. These are Chinese fliers for massage and special services you get on your doorstep everyday, now converted to a better use.


This is just a straight up marker flier on the back of a Qatar Air placemat. It’s kind of cheating.


On the back of a bi-folded business card from some cafe.


All you need to do to be a post-graffiti artist to do marking, is to buy some markets and take control of the propaganda around you by changing it. Join me in the Marking movement! Its REAL metadata.

Tomorrow in Beijing, come to the monthly Sharism Presents Beijing where I will share my new marking project. And, if you are attending the MozCamp in Kuala Lumpur this weekend, I’ll see you there with my markers, sans-laptop.


AcaWiki Presentation at FISL12 in Brazil

One of my duties on the Fabricatorz client project, AcaWiki, is to present when possible about the project. We are supporters of AcaWiki and are actively growing the academic summaries and community. Below is a presentation I made at FISL12 in Porto Alegre, that provides an overview of the problems the AcaWiki project addresses, and the solutions its provides. Its very general, and for explaining the project’s drive and goals to get more people involved. Please do give your feedback and use the slides freely:

(Use your keyboard arrows or click on the image to advance the slides. You need the Droid Serif font to properly view the slides.)

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Ode To A G4: OG 2 New G

For the last decade I had done most my computing on a PowerBook G4. How is this possible? I really have no idea. But surely it has a lot to do with me being so damned dogged. Since this was the first computer I ever purchased, I assume I was determined to run it into the ground like a first car or girlfriend. ‘I don’t need your pointless updates or hyped gadgetry,’ went my thinking. ‘This hunk of metal will do just fine.’ And it did. It ran an entire ten years without any significant issues aside, of course, from slowing down relative to the rest of the world.

Around year six or so is when the embarrassment subsided and I started bragging about ‘The Little Engine That Could‘. I carried it with me around the globe, working with it in planes, cafes and hostels. (I even met a few die-hard PowerBooker’s along the way.) The G4 did me well. During its last years, when it could barely handle a handful of webpages at a time–lest the infamous rainbow ball started a spinnin’–it taught me a great deal of patience. (No, this isn’t a fable.) When everyone else was going coo-coo for youtube, I was forced to static websites, or, more often than not, reading an actual book.

Now that I’ve finally let her go–she actually went into a coma–I’ve transitioned not to the latest Apple device, but to a ThinkPad w/ Linux. I never thought this would happen, something about those last two pronouns always screamed TECHY/GEEKY in a way that is never SEXY. But this new setup with its minimal forms and simple functions is sexy in the same way that a manual transmission is always sexier than an automatic.

Here’s to another decade of simple, sexy computing.

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Video Tutorial On How To Place A #FREEBASSEL Vinyl Sticker Decal

Email your name and address to to get yours for free. Stick it on a bike, skateboard, car, computer wherever you can.

On March 15, 2012, Bassel Khartabil was detained in a wave of arrests in the Mazzeh district of Damascus. Since then, his family has received no official explanation for his detention or information regarding his whereabouts. However, his family has recently learned from previous detainees at the security branch of Kafer Sousa, Damascus, that Bassel is being held at this location.

#FREEBASSEL support letter sign up at

“I support the immediate release of detained software engineer and web pioneer, Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) from detainment in Syria.”

FOLLOW @freebassel on Twitter and use the hashtag #FREEBASSEL to share with the community.

 I support the immediate release of detained software engineer and web pioneer, Bassel Khartabil (Bassel Safadi) from detainment in Syria. (

#FREEBASSEL decal near Los Angeles carwash get yours by emailing

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Free Your Soul and Your Ass Will Follow

Have you read FREESOULS: Captured and Released by Joi Ito? It’s a Fabricatorz classic, a savior, and a brilliant collection of photography and expository from the major movers and shakers pushing freedom and innovation both online and offline. Despite being published four years ago, Freesouls’ ripples are still being felt as we’re continuously reminded that images and information—and people for that matter—want to move around and dance without pesky restrictions. It’s also the first introduction of Sharism by Isaac Mao in his essay Sharism: A Mind Revolution. We no longer have to worry about the politics of the gift because Sharism is the new sheriff in town, and this time she’s actually here to protect and serve. Serve and pro-gress. Or, as Gucci Mane would say, Anytime You Ready.

But I’m moving too fast. Start here with this nice introduction from one of our own, Christopher Adams, who also served as the project’s editor. Then order a copy of the Boxed Set and/or soft-cover book because they’re limited. Oh the irony. Oh you pretty thing. Get free.

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