DESIS Distributed and Open Production Cluster

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= DESIS research line aiming at promoting research around the topics of open production



Cluster "aiming at promoting research around the topics of open production, in terms of

  • places and services (platforms and future factories)
  • practices (open and collaborative production for local resilience),
  • people and skills (New personal and autonomous design and production process.).

The cluster aims at being an open platform to discuss issues and experiences around distributed and open production, including not only researchers but also practitioners and activists."

Details on the Research topics

1. Places and services:

  • Platforms for opening production. Infrastructuring for experimenting with production processes and aims.

FabLabs, Hacker-spaces, Living Labs but also public libraries offering production facilities; infrastructures for prototyping and supporting local production are spreading, as facilities where open access to technology and collaboration between participants lowers the threshold for making things and testing activities and initiatives. However at the same time these initiatives are also facing issues of long-term sustainability and limited participation. The aim of this strand is to discuss how these infrastructures could become more effective in supporting local forms of production and experimentation.

  • Design for future factories. New connection models among design, digital fabrication and manufacturing networks.

The change of relations among design and production - in terms of business, people, places and technologies - is a central topic in the debate about "the future of making". The emerging manufacturing systems are based on the mix of on-demand and on-site production. Its are also characterized by innovative interaction between designers working in networks and digital platforms, "pieces" of large-scale industry, small enterprises and craftsmen, technology producers, service aggregators for digital manufacturing, community of hackers and makers. This strand aims at exploring the role of design within a new scenario where the new social and collaborative cultures of making and fabbing interact with traditional production world of industry and crafts.

2. Practice and processes:

Opening production. Open and collaborative production for local resilience.

Open and collaborative processes are spreading in production of goods and services. Practices and modalities for value production based on shared resources and active collaboration between diverse stakeholders are growing in diverse fields. From software and information production (with commons-based p2p production) to the consumer sector, (collaborative consumption) to the public service field (co-creation of services) to social innovation and sustainability (collaborative services and product-service systems). This strand aims at exploring open and collaborative practices of value generation understanding how design can support them and which impact they could have on boosting a local economy generating resilience.

3. People and skills:

Design for indie innovation. New personal and autonomous design and production process.

The democratization of design (from open source design to the designer as a "mass profession") linked to the rise of DIY culture generates a new scenario for the development of design processes which have very different characteristics from the traditional ones. Today small producers can use multiple design resources than in the past, and in the same way designers can experiment and produce directly. Finally, users have free access to much more design knowledge and low cost production tools and services. All of these subjects can develop personal, autonomous, and independent innovation processes where design is strongly integrated with the production and distribution activities. This strand aims at exploring these new design process related to the autonomous development of new product-service system that can be produced on-demand and on-site; the regeneration/refurbishing and upgrade of products and technologies; and the creative repair and/or hacking." (