The Free Universal Construction Kit: On Appropriation and Parasites

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


With the increasing economic accessibility of 3D printers, the lessons learned and the logics cultivated on digital Web 2.0 now seems applicable to the world of material things. Released in early 2012 by the artist groups F.A.T. and Sy-lab, the Free Universal Construction Kit is a set of 3D drawings that enable everyone with access to a 3D printer to make connectors, “the missing links”, between intellectual property restricted toys like LEGO, Tinkertoys, and Fischertechnik. However, when describing this project as “reverse engineering as a civic activity”, it seems obvious that F.A.T.’s greater agenda is not just to enable cross-over playing but rather to problematize and ultimately open up closed formats through critical appropriation. But how does that, for instance, conform with the fact that the connectors are parasitically attached to these toys, whose logic it is simultaneously defying?
Original languageEnglish
JournalSelected Papers of Internet Research
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventInternet Research 14.0 - Denver, United States
Duration: 23 Oct 201326 Oct 2013


ConferenceInternet Research 14.0
Country/TerritoryUnited States


Dive into the research topics of 'The Free Universal Construction Kit: On Appropriation and Parasites'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this