Open Design, Year One: Hardware, Ideas and Community

May 2, 2013 in Featured, Projects

It’s been a great first year for our Open Design network – we hit the 100 mark on our discussion list, delivered a keynote lecture at LibreGraphics, launched v0.1 of the Open Design Definition, planned a new design hardware challenge in France and helped run the world’s first Open Knowledge Festival in Finland. We even got flamed by Bruce Sterling in WIRED magazine (good times!). Most importantly, the community has some great initiatives planned for the summer. Here are updates and details on how to get involved.

On the Hardware side,

After a wonderful week of hacking, building new things and collaborating across design paradigms at our first-ever Open Hardware, Design and Fabbing topic stream at the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki, we are now happy to announce the launch of the first Public Domain Remix this summer, a challenge run with the Open Knowledge Foundation France and Wikimedia France aimed at encouraging people to remix public domain works in a creative way that promotes the use and re-use of public archive materials. The challenge has both an interdisciplinary and transmedial approach: rather than following the same medium, people are encouraged to shift from one medium to the other. The PDRemix starts at OuiShare Fest in Paris this weekend, so stay tuned for details!

On the Tools side,

A few community members have also begun an interesting conversation on Mozilla’s first-ever #TeachTheWeb MOOC [Massively Open Online Course] by setting up the first G+ Community for designers, creatives and makers who want to build inspirational outputs through creative [and unexpected!] uses of the free, Open Source Webmaker toolset. We welcome your participation – please join here. We look forward to the many fruitful discussions ahead!

On the Definition side,

After a very lively post-talk debate at my Seven Faces of Open Design keynote at LibreGraphics conference which happened at MediaLab Prado last month in Madrid, workshops around the world at FutureEverything in Manchester, the Open Knowledge Festival in Helsinki and FREE CITY in Tallinn, and a great deal of debating on the discussion list accompanied by a lot of GitHub additions, we have now launched a tentative v.01 of the revamped Open Design Definition! This Definition is a community-driven attempt to unite different understandings of this field across professional paradigms. We now intend to launch into an investigation of the many questions that continue to allude us, such as what are the “source files” of a design project? We’d love for you to get involved here.

On the Community side,

In its next stage, we now focus on fostering the regional richness of this talented global group. We’d like to invite each of you to showcase your participation through three new ideas to be launched this year:

1) We will soon be offering the option for you to publicly feature your name, contact info and affiliation for us to list on our new ‘Members’ page. We’ll set up a sign up sheet this month.

2) We will also soon offer all members the opportunity to become featured writers on the Open Design Blog. This is a good chance to showcase your work to an international audience of design practitioners and get valuable feedback. Stay tuned for details.

3) Most importantly, this year we will focus on seeding local installments of the Open Design collaborative around the world, in cities and nations with a regional focus and in-person meetings. More details about this later, but we’re quite excited about the groups who have asked to pioneer this option.

Lastly, a Thank You

It’s been an amazing first year for this fledgling community – we’ve had the honour of meeting many of you in-person, debating with you and learning about the inspiring Open Design projects you have helped start in your nations – and we already look forward to seeing what comes next. Massive thanks to each of you who helped all of it get started – you’ve been great. Here’s to another creative, artistic and interesting year!

Image from Ohanda’s RE*Campaign thanks to ds on Flickr.

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