The Open Design Definition

open design

####An Open Design Definition

The first project we introduced as a group was the Open Design Definition v0.1 on Github in 2012, the first draft of a community-driven thought project to explore a crucial and missing step towards developing our thoughts about the field.

We started by integrating the work of several existing definitions for inspiration in this process, including the first Open Design definition drafted in 2000, the Open Design Manifesto, the Open Design page on Wikipedia and the Open Hardware definition.

In its current state, we realised, the linguistics of the word “design” include many potential meanings and applications. To quote a much-used phrase, to “design is to design a design to produce a design”. As a group, we aimed to develop this missing definition through inclusive and collaborative methods rooted in public discussion, workshopping and sharing different understandings of the field to ensure such a definition would adequately cover all the potential meanings and applications of design.

Moreover, we wanted the product of this collaboration to be developed and “owned” by a wide community of people interested in open design. The result was the first release of The Open Design Definition in early 2013 on Github, and this definition is still evolving through further discussion. Below is a comic outlining the initial steps of this process.

Designer revisions on the Github repo continue today, and we periodically organise “Github for Designers” tutorials around the world to help continue this work abroad. Interested in being a part of this project? Please email us to get started.

Update: The Open Design Definition has now been featured in a comic, across the web, and even by Bruce Sterling 😉

the open design definition

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