[p2p-research] Ted Leung on Design and Commons-based Production
Paul D. Fernhout
pdfernhout at kurtz-fernhout.com
Sat Aug 29 01:38:28 CEST 2009
Ryan Lanham wrote:
From there: "Can we actually do design using the commonly accepted tools of
e-mail, version control, wiki’s and bug trackers? The design process relies
very heavily on visual communications. The code (including design and
architecture of code) process is predominantly a text based process. It is
very difficult to do design efficiently in a distributed setting using the
existing stable of tools. This is going to be a challenge not just for
designers but for many other problem domains that could benefit from
commons-based peer production."
I think otherwise that essay could benefit by exploring this distinction
about social processes versus stigmergy:
Stigmergic collaboration is the process of collaboration that utilizes an
intervening encodable media such as a canvas, a word processing document,
email or a wiki. Many if not most collaborative processes can be considered
stigmergic collaboration as the use of encodable media is generally the
norm. The employment of such media typically extends a collaborative group's
reach enabling more participants to work across greater spans of geography
and time, as well as extending group's memory and capacity to engage greater
levels of complexity.
# 2.3.2 2. Collaboration is inherently composed of two primary components,
without either of which collaboration cannot take place: social negotiation
and creative output.
# 2.3.3 3. Collaboration in small groups (roughly 2-25) relies upon social
negotiation to evolve and guide its process and creative output.
# 2.3.4 4. Collaboration in large groups (roughly 25-n) is dependent upon
So, Ted Leung sees the valid difficulties in getting designers to work
together *socially*, but is having trouble seeing the opportunities whereby
they can build on each other's work *stigmergically*. For example, it may be
hard for ten designers to agree on how to design a faucet, but it is fairly
straightforward for someone to pick items from ten different free and open
source designers to put in a bathroom design (faucet, towels, tiles, window,
cabinet, lighting, drain, bathtub, outlets, mat).
More information about the p2presearch