Technology is empowering more and more people to create and distribute designs, and professional designers and design aficionados are using it to share their work with each other and the world. Open design and open manufacturing is becoming fashionable and therefore valuable to brands and agencies. This is changing everything from products to how designers make a living.
A conceptual form study on a racing bike for the future. An open motorcycle design project at Motorepublic, a motorcycle design firm in Sweden. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This is a part of our “Open Design” series. In order to clarify differences between various definitions and specifics of different yet similar practices that we call “Open Design”, we take a look at definitions of Open Design, Participatory Design, Co-Design, Co-Creation, Open Innovation and other collaborative design practices . . . we are proud that OffBureau is used by many designers and clients to work on such projects. In this series we also intend to touch upon a few other disruptive models that involve large groups of people and/or users in the design process, like Crowdsourcing, Commons-based Peer Production and Mass customization.
Open design applies the concepts of open-source software to the design of products. The design process of a product, the idea and all design information, are shared openly through the Internet, and everyone is allowed to take part, to use or to adapt the design on the conditions that they attribute their work, will not use it commercially and will use the same license themselves. This is possible by using a free Creative Commons license.
Open-design refers to both an open and collaborative design process, and to physical products that can be shared, used or adapted freely.
Open design definitions
Wikipedia defines open design as “the development of physical products, machines and systems through use of publicly shared design information. The process is generally facilitated by the Internet and often performed without monetary compensation. The goals and philosophy are identical to that of the open source movement, but are implemented for the development of physical products rather than software Open Design is about developing, adapting, modifying and building through new tools, labor and material economies. It blurs the barriers between product and artifact, delivering objects in beta and ever-evolving.”
According to Andrew Katz, “a design is an open design if it bears four freedoms: (1) The freedom to use the design, including making items based on it, for any purpose. (2) The freedom to study how the design works, and change it to make it do what you wish. (3) The freedom to redistribute copies of the design so you can help your neighbor. (4) The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions of the design to others so the whole community can benefit from your changes. Access to the design documents is a precondition for these freedoms.”
Open design links
- Article: In the Next Industrial Revolution, Atoms Are the New Bits (Wired Magazine)
- Article: Open Design is going mainstream now
- Article: The Emergence of Open Design and Open Manufacturing (We Magazine)
- Blog: Does open-design hardware have a place in manufacturing? Arena blog is about all things product: Product design, development and manufacturing. Product successes and product snafus. Global trends, market demographics and industry news. Innovation. And the people, processes and strategies behind great products.
- Blog: Mass Customization & Open Innovation News Notes and ideas on mass customization, personalization, customer co-creation, and open innovation — strategies of value co-creation between organizations and customers. This blog continues a long running newsletter, published and edited by Frank Pille
- Blog: Open Business Models A blog on Peer Production, Crowdsourcing and Open Innovation
- Blog: Open Design Blog, created following the inspiring open design workshop at the betahaus during Social Media Week 2010. It is intended as practical resource for the Berlin open design community.
- Open Collaborative Design page on adciv.org AdCiv explores, developes and disseminates ideas and solutions to help bring forward a true post-scarcity age for the benefit of all, based on the key enabling concepts of open collaborative design and advanced automation, along with other key ideas to help ensure a bright future for humanity.
- Open Design Club, a virtual design studio, which also offers the opportunity to present and share ideas and open source design products. Everybody can become a collaborator of the Open Design Club by contributing designs and ideas or by producing and selling the products presented by the Open Design Club.
- Open Design Now is a collaborative effort of Creative Commons Netherlands, Premsela, the Netherlands Institute for Design and Fashion and Waag Society.
- Open Design on Wikipedia
- Open Source Architecture (OSArc) Domus Magazine has published an op-ed advocating a different approach to designing space – to succeed the single-author model – that includes tools from disparate sources to create new paradigms for thinking and building
- Open-Source Hardware on Wikipedia
- Organisation: Open Design Alliance, ODA Founded in 1998 as the OpenDWG Alliance, the Open Design Alliance (ODA) empowers its 1200 members worldwide to build engineering applications to effectively address the demands of their customers.
- Organisation: Open Source Hardware and Design Alliance, OHANDA is an initiative to foster sustainable sharing of open hardware and design. The proposed solution with OHANDA is a label in the sense of a non-registered trademark. The label will connect the 4 Freedoms with any kind of physical device through OHANDA and make the openness visible to everyone. Think the label like other common certificates such as FCC or CE mark.
Open design books
- Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive by Paul Atkinson, Michael Avital, Bruce Mau, Renny Ramakers & Carolien Hummels. Open Design Now looks at design in the new creative commons, co-creation era. It presents practices, tools, and licensing systems, as open design is a way of designing everyone can participate in. Includes essays, cases, and visuals on various issues of open design, as well as practical guidelines for designers, design educators, and policymakers to get started.
- Open Design, a Stakeholder-oriented Approach in Architecture, Urban Planning, and Project Management: Volume 1 Research in Design Series by R. Binnekamp, L.A. Van Gunsteren & P.-P. Van Loon. Open Design refers to a stakeholder-oriented approach in Architecture, Urban Planning, and Project Management, as developed by the Chair of Computer Aided Design and Planning of Delft University of Technology. This edition collects the following three volumes on Open Design: 1) Open Design, a Collaborative Approach to Architecture; 2) Open Design and Construct Management, Managing Complex Construction Projects through Synthesis of Stakeholder Interests; and 3) Open Design, Cases and Exercises.
Open design examples
- Brewtopia open design project. In 2002 Australian company Brewtopia created a beer built on an Open Source concept they dubbed ‘Viral Equity’, which involved thousands of people in dozens of countries, helping them develop a brand new beer over the internet, by voting on every aspect of it’s development. Since then, they have expanded into other beverages.
- Hexayurt is a refugee shelter system that uses an approach based on “autonomous building” to provide not just a shelter, but a comprehensive support unit which includes drinking water purification, composting toilets, fuel-efficient stoves and solar electric lighting.
- Ronen Kadushin open design project Open design products were designed and produced using an alternative design and development method that frees a designer to pursue creative expressions, realize them as industrially repeatable products and have the ability to globally distribute design.
- DesignSmash is a company for designers, producers and people who support open-source creative collaboration. DesignSmash has a web-store where you can purchase objects and see the designers who made them.
- Zoybar is an open source guitar kit with 3D printed body. The collective intelligence co-creates endless modifications along with new music instruments that would have never been produced by traditional innovation and business models.
- Openmoko is a project dedicated to delivering mobile phones with an open source software stack. Openmoko was earlier more directly associated with Openmoko Inc, but is nowadays a gathering of people with the shared goal of “Free The Phone”.
- Zazzle is the world’s leading platform for quality custom products. Zazzle’s proprietary technology enables individuals, professional artists, and major brands, including Disney and Hallmark, to create and offer billions of unique products for customers worldwide. Zazzle’s rapidly expanding product base covers every topic imaginable and includes t-shirts, business cards, invitations, in addition to a variety of custom gifts. Upon creation, products are instantly and accurately visualized on the site and offered in the Zazzle marketplace. When ordered, each product is made on-demand, typically within 24 hours. Launched in 2005 and based in Redwood City, California, Zazzle’s vision is to redefine commerce, powered by the world’s imagination.
- Ponoko is an online marketplace for everyone to click to make real things. It’s where creators, digital fabricators, materials suppliers and buyers meet to make (almost) anything.
- Shapeways is a Web service that enables anyone to make whatever they want using 3D printing.
- Platform: Arduino is an open-source electronics prototyping platform based on flexible, easy-to-use hardware and software. It’s intended for artists, designers, hobbyists, and anyone interested in creating interactive objects or environments.
- Platform: Design Break a website specifically for collaborating on science, social and engineering projects with a global and humanitarian focus. designbreak.org is run by a non-profit, designbreak, which is dedicated to providing the support these projects need to go from internet collaborations, to a real impact on the world.
- Platform: Instructables is a web-based documentation platform where passionate people share what they do and how they do it, and learn from and collaborate with others. The seeds of Instructables germinated at the MIT Media Lab as the future founders of Squid Labs built places to share their projects and help others.
- Platform: Open Designs is a hub for web designers and enthusiasts from around the world. The community provides thousands of XHTML and CSS free web design templates available for download. They have an active forum for experts and newbies alike to discuss anything web related.
- Platform: OpenIdeo is is an open innovation platform. After a challenge is posted at OpenIDEO.com, the three development phases – inspiration, concepting, and evaluation – are put into motion. Community members can contribute in a variety of different ways, from inspirational observations and photos, sketches of ideas, to business models and snippets of code.
- Platform: Thingiverse is a place for you to share your digital designs with the world. We believe that just as computing shifted away from the mainframe into the personal computer that you use today, digital fabrication will share the same path. In fact, it is already happening: laser cutters, cnc machines, 3D printers, and even automated paper cutters are all getting cheaper by the day. These machines are useful for a huge variety of things, but you need to supply them with a digital design in order to get anything useful out of them. We’re hoping that together we can create a community of people who create and share designs freely, so that all can benefit from them.
I hope you find this reference list useful, and I will be adding to it in the coming weeks and months. Please let me know if you have any ideas, suggestions or comments.
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