Difference between revisions of "Category:Design"

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#[[http://www.pitagoragroup.it/pited/Ciuccarelli%20design.html#Ciuccarelli%20design Design open source. Dalla partecipazione alla progettazione in rete]] Paolo Ciuccarelli (in Italian)
#[http://www.pitagoragroup.it/pited/Ciuccarelli%20design.html#Ciuccarelli%20design Design open source. Dalla partecipazione alla progettazione in rete] Paolo Ciuccarelli (in Italian)

Revision as of 15:26, 19 August 2009

Tools exist to give the developing world the capacity to build its own technology, to its own needs, and grow richer and more sustainable in the process. Those tools are the tools of collaboration. Open the source code of innovation, and we'll change the planet.

- Alex Steffen [1]


This site is dedicated to the pioneers of peer to peer inspired physical production: Franz Nahrada, Marcin Jakubowski and Amy B. Smith. We also dedicate these pages to the memory of Lawrence J. Rhoades, pioneer of distributed digital production, who passed away last year.

The category was originally proposed and constructed by Franz Nahrada, and aims to encompass every form of design, including of hardware (i.e. Free Hardware Design) and physical production, that can benefit from peer production and open design methodologies.

Goals: the larger context is how to handle a broad shift from centralized, high capital production to decentralized, low capital production, preferably based on Open Designs in order to generate Attainable Utopias.

Our aims are therefore also congruent with the Open Sustainability Network movement, as expressed in the Appropriate Technology platform.

Therefore, this section will be:

  1. monitoring the progress towards a world of constant social innovation based on open designs;
  2. monitoring the expansion of open sourcing in the physical world

For a narrower focus on actually "making things", see our subset section on Open and Distributed Manufacturing

For beginners:

  1. Presentation of open hardware trends by MIT's Technology Review at http://www.technologyreview.com/article/21495/
  2. Video: Eric von Hippel on User Centered Innovation: in fact, for a long time already, users (and user communities) have been responsible for most industrial innovations!! And don't miss this one!!

Our P2P Open Design Network

Bryanbishop.png Steveboss.jpg Kirstyboyle.jpg Kevincarson.png Charles collis.JPG Nathancravens.PNG
Bryan Bishop Steve Bosserman Kirsty Boyle Kevin Carson Charles Collis Nathan Cravens
kanzure AT gmail DOT com steve.bosserman AT gmail.com kirsty AT openmaterials DOT org free.market.anticapitalist AT gmail.com charles dot collis at gmail dot com knuggy AT gmail DOT com
Paulfernhout.gif Vinaygupta.png Paulhartzog.jpg Erichunting.jpg Marcin Jakubowski.jpg Smari McCarthy.jpg
Paul Fernhout Vinay Gupta Paul Hartzog Eric Hunting Marcin Jakubowski Smári McCarthy
pdfernhout AT kurtz-fernhout DOT com hexayurt AT gmail DOT com paulbhartzog at gmail.com erichunting AT gmail DOT com joseph dot dolittle at gmail dot com spm2 AT hi DOT is

Massimomenichinelli.jpg Catarinamota.jpg Sam Rose.jpg Chriswatkins.jpg
Massimo Menichinelli Catarina Mota Sam Rose Chris Watkins
info AT openp2pdesign DOT org catarina AT openmaterials DOT org samuel dot rose at gmail dot com chriswaterguy AT appropedia.org


Future of Making Map.jpg

A visualization of the Future of Production by the Institute of the Future. large version

Introductory Articles

Key Arguments

  1. Key Arguments for the Benefits of Shared Designs
  2. Summary by Kevin Carson: Expanding Peer Production to the Physical World
  3. The economics of open hardware (Liquid Antipasto blog)
  4. Can we shift from open software to open hardware? a) Can peer production make washing machines?. Graham Seaman; b) Open Source outside the Domain of Software. Clay Shirky; c) Why Open Hardware? by Patrick McNamara.
  5. In peer production, the interests of capitalists and entrepreneurs are no longer aligned
  6. Dave Pollard on the fallacy of the Economies of Scale argument, i.e. that bigger is better.
  7. What are the specific difficulties for Open Hardware?
  8. Design for sustainability is inherently participatory
  9. Can we design our economic policies and politics for developing abundance? See Roberto Verzola on Undermining vs. Developing Abundance
  10. David A. Mellis: How Open Source Hardware differs from Open Source Software?

Conditions for Success

  1. What would it take to move Towards a Free Matter Economy? By Terry Hancock. Free Software Magazine, Issue 7, October 2005.
  2. Eric Hunting: Moving from free software to free production: what we need

Present State and Future Scenario's

  1. The Future of Making by the Institute for the Future contains a summary visualization (mini-version here of "making" trends
  2. The Importance of distributed digital production. By Lawrence J. Rhoades.
  3. Agroblogger on the state of the Open Source Appropriate Technology movement
  4. Facilitating International Development through Free / Open Source: about changing the direction of international development by giving away free designs for great and useful technologies #[2]. Vinay Gupta also offers a list of priority projects.
  5. John Robb calls for the construction of Resilient Communities
  6. Beautifully said: Adam Lindemann on the Harmonious Age

How To

Check out the following how-to platforms:



  1. Key entries: Free Hardware Design, Open Development, Open Customization ; Open Design, Open Hardware, Open Innovation, Open Source, Open Source Product Design, Open Source Hardware
  2. See also: Citizen Product Design; Co-Creation; Co-Design ; Desktop Manufacturing ; Peer Production Entrepreneurs ; Self-organized Design Communities
  3. Typology by degree of openness: Closed Hardware; Open Interface, Open Design, Open Implementation
  4. What you need to know about the Internet of Things: Blobject ; Blogjects ; Gizmo ; Open Source Programmable GPS Devices; Open Spime; Physical Bookmarking ; Semapedia; Spime; Update tag: P2P-Objects
  5. It is increasingly easy and popular to share and swap physical goods, i.e. Freecycling‎, using Free Stores‎ and FreeSharing Network‎s. See also: Regifting and Regiving


  1. What do we need to have "economically-significant, replicable, open source physical production efforts?", i.e. true Distributive Production. Marcin Jakubowski [3] proposes a set of OSE Specifications to judge such efforts. See also his Sixteen Key Technologies for an Open Habitat.
  2. Overview of Open Hardware Licenses

Tools and Design platforms

  1. Open Source for Appropriate Technology: Instructables, Honeybee Network, Appropedia, Howtopedia, Demotech. There is also a specialized Sustainability Search Engine.
  2. The Open Source Product Design platform has a list of Open Design projects; so does Thingiverse
  3. MAKE magazine "has managed to regenerate a previously static culture of do-it-yourselfers at a feverish pace"
  4. The Village Forum focuses on how we design and build our habitat.
  5. Designing physical prototypes through Electronic Design Automation Software such as Fritzing
  6. 3D Filter: 3D Model Search Engine: trawl sites such as Cadyou, Google 3D warehouse, The 3D Studio and seven others for 3D models in a variety of formats as well as textures


  1. The P2P-Design Delicious tag monitors the topic
  2. Stephen Vermeulen has compiled a long list of Product Hacking initiatives
  3. Open Design page in Wikipedia


  1. Key companies: Bug Labs, [email protected], Factor E Farm, Open Moko, Ponoko
  2. Key organizations: Global Swadeshi Network, Open Design Foundation ; Open Hardware Foundation
  3. Key people: Gupta, Vinay, Hunting, Eric, Jakubowski, Marcin, Rose, Sam, Watkins, Chris


  1. Christian Siefkes. From Exchange to Contributions: Generalizing Peer Production into the Physical World. 2007
  2. Digital Fabrication Primer. Smari McCarthy.

Other languages:

  1. Design open source. Dalla partecipazione alla progettazione in rete Paolo Ciuccarelli (in Italian)


  1. Companies like Zazzle, Cafepress, Spreadshirt, Ponoko, Shapeways, etc. provide customers with access to custom manufacturing equipment and web-based design tools.
  2. Buying downloadable designs from young designers: Kith Kin's SomeRightsReserved


  1. Fab Labs Three and Four
  2. International Conference on Rapid Manufacturing
  3. Open Sustainability Network unconference
  4. FreedomHEC Taipei 2008: free hardware conference


  1. The Future of Making Map [4] (commentary [5])

Podcasts (Audio)

Selection from our full Podcasts Directory:

  1. Alex Lindsay on Digital Craftsmen for Development
  2. Alex Steffen on Distributed Disaster Relief and P2P Energy Networks
  3. Anil Gupta on Appropriate Technology for Agroinnovations
  4. Beth Kolko on the effect of Hackers and ProduSers on Creativity and Consumerism
  5. Brenda Dayne on Knitting as an Open Craft
  6. Bruce Sterling on the Internet of Things
  7. Chris Watkins on Changing the World through Free Content
  8. Clay Shirky on the Age of the Amateur
  9. Clayton Christensen on Open Source and Innovation in Business
  10. Craig Newmark on Customer Co-development at Craigslist
  11. David Orban and Roberto Ostinelli on Open Spime


  1. Open Source Software for Engineers

Webcasts (Video)

  1. Eric von Hippel on User Centered Innovation


Long Citations

Here are more Open Design Aphorisms

Marcin Jakubowski on open access to digital design

open access to digital design – perhaps in the form a global repository of shared open source designs - introduces a unique contribution to human prosperity. This contribution is the possibility that data at one location in the world can be translated immediately to a product in any other location. This means anyone equipped with flexible fabrication capacity can be a producer of just about any manufactured object. The ramifications for localization of economies are profound, and leave the access to raw material feedstocks as the only natural constraint to human prosperity.

- Marcin Jakubowski

Shared Design is essential to transform the world

"When intellectual problems become distributed, the search for solutions becomes collaborative and the research agenda is driven not by multinational shareholders but by the passions of the participants, you get not just better results, you get different results."

- Alec Steffens [6]

Linus Torvalds on Open Peer to Peer Design

"“I think the real issue about adoption of open source is that nobody can really ever “design” a complex system. That’s simply not how things work: people aren’t that smart - nobody is. And what open source allows is to not actually “design” things, but let them evolve, through lots of different pressures in the market, and having the end result just continually improve." (http://www.openp2pdesign.org/blog/archives/43)

"don’t EVER make the mistake that you can design something better than what you get from ruthless massively parallel trial-and-error with a feedback cycle. That’s giving your intelligence _much_ too much credit." (http://kerneltrap.org/node/11)

Agroblogger on a Appropriate Technology General Public License

"Let us imagine an active online community participating in vibrant discussions and sharing of Appropriate Technology plans and experiences. Let us imagine the AT equivalent of a sourceforge.net, a place where designers and field workers can go to download plans of greenhouses, beehives, water pumps, animal traction implements, and biodiesel equipment. And, within the legal framework of an AT General Public License (GPL), those plans can be used freely, modified, and republished under the same AT GPL. IRC channels dedicated to specific programmatic areas could serve as a dynamic forum where "newbies" can gain wisdom and insight from experienced field practitioners." (Agroblogger [7])

Karim Lakhani on Communities driving Manufacturers out of the design phase

"for any given company - there are more people outside the company that have smarts about a particular technology or a particular use situation then all the R&D engineers combined. So a community around a product category may have more smart people working on the product then the firm it self. So in the end manufacturers may end up doing what they are supposed to - manufacture - and the design activity might move to the edge and into the community." (http://www.futureofcommunities.com/2007/03/25/communities-driving-manufacturers-out-of-the-design-space/)

Kevin Kelly and Terry Hancock on nearly-free material production

"Material industries are finding that the costs of duplication near zero, so they too will behave like digital copies. Maps just crossed that threshold. Genetics is about to. Gadgets and small appliances (like cell phones) are sliding that way. Pharmaceuticals are already there, but they don't want anyone to know. It costs nothing to make a pill." (http://www.kk.org/thetechnium/archives/2008/01/better_than_fre.php)

Both the capital and marginal cost of making products has trended consistently and rapidly down as manufacturing tools become both cheaper and more versatile, so that the capital cost of an object is increasingly not in the capital equipment required to manufacture it, but in the effort required to design it.

- Terry Hancock [8]

Vinay Gupta on Open Source Design for Development

"An open library of designs for refrigerators, lighting, heating, cooling, motors, and other systems will encourage manufacturers, particularly in the developing world, to leapfrog directly to the most sustainable technologies, which are much cheaper in the long run. Manufacturers will be encouraged to use the efficient designs because they are free, while inefficient designs still have to be paid for. The library could also include green chemistry and biological solutions to industry challenges, for example enzymatic reactions that could be used in place of energy, and chemical-intensive processes or nontoxic paint pigments for cars and buildings. This library should be free of all intellectual property restrictions and open for use by any manufacturer, in any nation, without charge." (http://www.guptaoption.com/5.open_source_development.php)

Steve Bosserman outlines what is most appropriate for local distributed manufacturing

"strong candidates for a locally distributed manufacturing approach include ANYTHING that is agriculturally- based like food, feed, fiber, and biofuel production, much of housing and building construction including the manufacturing of inputs used in that industry, localized electric power generation using non-bio sources like wind, solar, and geothermal, and production / manufacturing of materials, components, and assemblies that use locally sourced raw materials and draw upon open-source, relatively easy to learn, appropriate technologies that can be applied in a wide range of situations-- not just a single product."

Marcin Jakubowski on Neosubsistence

"Neosubsistence is the term we apply to a lifestyle where people produce tangible (physical) wealth, as opposed to dealing with information in the information economy. We are talking about basics: even though we live in the information economy, we cannot deny the reality that human prosperity is founded on the provision of physical needs upon which the meeting of all higher needs is predicated. Neosubsistence is related to the information economy in that the information economy is a foundation for neosubsistence"

John Thackara on the importance of design for sustainability

"Eighty per cent of the environmental impact of today's products, services and infrastructures is determined at the design stage. Design decisions shape the processes behind the products we use, the materials and energy required to make them, the ways we operate them and what happens to them when we no longer need them." (http://www.worldchanging.com/archives/007654.html)

Eric von Hippel on Manufacturing around User Innovation Communities

"Threadless has tapped into a fundamental economic shift, a movement away from passive consumerism. One day in the not-too-distant future citizen inventors using computer design programs and three-dimensional printers will exchange physical prototypes in much the same way Nickell and cohorts played Photoshop tennis.

Eventually, Threadless-like communities could form around industries as diverse as semiconductors, auto parts, and toys. Threadless is one of the first firms to systematically mine a community for designs, but everything is moving in this direction.

He foresees research labs and product-design divisions at manufacturing companies being outstripped by an "innovation commons" made up of tinkerers, hackers, and other devout customers freely sharing their ideas. The companies that win will be the ones that listen." (quotes and paraphrased by Inc. [9])

Frank Piller on User Manufacturing

"User manufacturing is enabled by three main technologies: (1) Easy-to-operate design software that allows users to transfer their ideas into a design. (2) Design repositories where users upload, search, and share designs with other users. This allows a community of loosely connected users to develop a large range of applications. (3) Easy-to-access flexible manufacturing technology. New rapid manufacturing technologies ("fabbing") finally deliver the dream of translating any 3-D data files into physical products -- even in you living room. Combining this technology with recent web technologies can open a radical new way to provide custom products along the entire "long tail" of demand.

User manufacturing builds on the notion that users are not just able to configure a good within the given solution space (mass customization), but also to develop such a solution space by their own and utilize it by producing custom products. As a result, customers are becoming not only co-designers, but also manufacturers, using an infrastructure provided by some specialized companies." (http://mass-customization.blogs.com/mass_customization_open_i/2007/11/webinar-the-nex.html)

Jeff Bezos on User-Manufacturing Everything

"Before long, “user-generated content” won’t refer only to media, but to just about anything: user-generated jeans, user-generated sports cars, user-generated breakfast meals. This is because setting up a company that designs, makes and globally sells physical products could become almost as easy as starting a blog - and the repercussions would be earthshaking. " (http://www.usatoday.com/tech/columnist/kevinmaney/2006-11-21-amazon-user-generated-products_x.htm)

Short Citations

What can be digitized will be shared

- Sheen S. Levine [10]

In the 21st century economy, it isn't factories and it isn't people that make things. It's communities.

- Eben Moglen [11]

...it makes less and less sense to be thinking in terms of "end-users" and to be creating knowledge-jukeboxes for them. It makes more and more sense to be designing for "end-makers"

- Willard McCarty [12]

An increasing number of physical activities are becoming so data-centric that the physical aspects are simply executional steps at the end of a chain of digital manipulation.

- Clay Shirky [http://finance. groups.yahoo.com/group/decentralization/message/6967]

When people talked about innovation in the '90s, they really meant technology. When people talk about innovation in this decade, they really mean design.

- (http://opensource.org/node/169)

As technology advances, it reverses the characteristics of every situation again and again. The age of automation is going to be the age of ‘do it yourself’.

- Marshall McLuhan [13]

Also See

Our Manufacturing Network


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Pages in category "Design"

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