Open Design Discussion: Unconference Session


Let’s open the topic of Open Design for discussion! Once again, we want to know what happened since the seminal publication of „Open Design” in 2011 (Abel et al.). The session is open to all notions and forms of “openness” on the intersection of design, research and education. However, we would like to focus on following four aspects of Open Design:

 – No openness without closures. How sustainable is the general narrative of Open Design as a complex, multi-layered shift towards openness – social, economical, ecological, political, technological, etc.? Does Open Design draw its own maturity model? Do the layers or areas of shift – e.g. relationship designer-product-user, allocation of resources or institutional framework – follow their own pace? Is the design of new “closures” inevitable?
 – Open Design is limited by technology. Technology seems to be the main driver or enabler of Open Design. Most projects are tightly coupled with a specific use of technology, predominantly of digital ICT and CNC production techniques. The high degree of “aesthetic conformity” of Open Design processes and outputs leads to the question of how technology-specific Open Design projects actually are? What are the limits of Open Design beyond the use of digital ICT or CNC systems?
 – The institutional context as an actor. (Self-)Regulation policies, licences, definitions of responsibility, infrastructure, architecture or sharing-models of knowledge have enourmous impact on Open Design. How do we establish adequate organization and (de-)regulation structures? Who is the designer, owner or responsible of an Open Design product? How do we store and share Open Design knowledge? Where in and outside of academia is the core competence in Open Design to be located? What are the institutional barriers for Open Design?
 – Open Design as an experimental greenhouse for business models. How do we allocate resources for Open Design projects? Who is supposed or allowed to make money with Open Design outcomes and how? How do we identify and generate additional value of Open Design? What is the specificity of Open Design business models? How can we generalize individual or local success stories?
We would like to invite all researchers, practitioners and educators to present and discuss their own projects, experiences and visions, in order to sum up the current developments and to open up some new perspectives on Open Design.
The session will be led by Peter Koval (PostDoc researcher at the Cluster of excellence Image Knowledge Gestaltung, Humboldt University Berlin) and Boris Bandyopadhyay (Berlin/Frankfurt am Main based designer, entrepreneur and independent design researcher).