15 July 2010

Return Manufacturing to Midwest

An article about small scale manufacturing in Brooklyn is optimistic:
.... The Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center started rescuing and rehabilitating factories in 1992. The center is a cluster of five old industrial buildings, housing more than 100 businesses and about 500 workers, including furniture makers, fish processors, and a guy who fabricates dinosaur armatures for the American Museum of Natural History...

..... “The cost of doing business is going up in China,” he says. “Shipping costs are rising. There is nothing remotely green about buying anything made overseas. Prices will not stay low indefinitely. This country has an opportunity to regain some of its manufacturing base, using cutting-edge technology and a new generation of interested youth.”

...Maybe Richard Florida has promoted the wrong creative class. In his model, artists beget coffee bars that make formerly dreary neighborhoods attractive to real estate developers, who lure lawyers and accountants into luxury loft buildings with names like “the Shoe Factory.” Maybe there’s another model, one that sucks a little of the class bias out of the formula and privileges artisans over artists, blue-collar jobs over white-collar ones. Give enough people who are passionate about making things the stability to invest in equipment and hire workers, and you might slow, or even reverse, the death spiral.

As a contrast, some people think that we should not worry about manufacturing so much.

Murdock casting, once a vibrant Cincinnati manufacturer, now vacant. What could be made here?:


VisuaLingual said...

Umm, seed bombs? Technically speaking, what we do counts as "light manufacturing," and we'd love to do our work in a building like this.

CityKin said...

have you developed a seed bomb making machine yet? Or maybe you could hire local kids to help??

VisuaLingual said...

Not yet. I do have a friend who's an unemployed mechanical engineer; may we should hire him as a consultant. Nah, it's probably easier to find worker bees to help us.

matt said...

Mmm...I'm with a group of designers that rent a space on Main as a workshop and display space: http://losantivillekwh.com/?page_id=183

But as we acquire some heavier machinery to make things, a space like this might be necessary.