Open source, collaboration and access. A critical analysis of “openness” in the design field.


The paper explores the concept of “openness” in the design filed. In particular, it suggests a broad interpretation of the relationship between “openness” and design by analysing the use of the expression “open design” between 2000 and 2017. This expression is related to words such as, for example, co-design, crowdsourcing, open innovation, making and open manufacturing, which can be synthesized by the concepts of open source, collaboration and access. The paper, finally, express through a critical point of view the reasons why open processes in design have limitations.

Table 1. The complete selection of theories and case studies in the open design.

Paper Theory (keywords)Case studies and experiences
Tanja Aitamurto, Dónal Holland, and Sofia Hussain. “The Open Paradigm in Design Research.” Design Issues 31.4 (2015): 17.Co-Design, Open Design, Crowdsourcing, Crowdfunding.Open Ideo, Quirky, Innocentive, Ninesigma, 99design, Jovoto, Rep Rap.
Kerstin Balka, Christina Raasch, Cornelius Herstatt. (2010). How Open is Open Source? – Software and Beyond. Creativity and Innovation Management, 19(3), 248-256.Open Source Innovation, Open Design, Openness._
Raasch Christina, Cornelius Herstatt, and Kerstin Balka. “On the open design of tangible goods.” R&d Management 39.4 (2009): 382-393.Open Source, Open Design, Community-Based-Model, User-Innovation-Model, Co-Development.Oscar, Reprap, Free Beer, Osgv, Openmoko, Neuros Osd.
Michel Bauwens. “The emergence of open design and open manufacturing.” we magazine 2 (2009): 38-45.Peer-Production, Open Content, Free Software, Collaboration Between Communities, Democratization of Innovation, Open Knowledge, Co-Design, Co-Creation, Open Manufacturing.Linux, P2p Foundation, Rep Rap.
Jérémy Bonvoisin, and Jean-François Boujut. “Open design platforms for open source product development: current state and requirements.” Innovation and Creativity, In Proceedings of the 20th International Conference on Engineering Design. Vol. 8. 2015.Open Design, Community Based Development, Open Source, Distributed Collaboration, Open Source Innovation, Collaborative Development, Openness, Open Manufacturing, Open Production, Crowd Production, Peer-Production, Participation, Open Access, Sharing, Collaboration, Co-Creation. Arduino, Local Motors, Open Source Ecology, Reprap, Fablabs, Cubefactory, Javoto, Quirky, Polymer, Indiegogo, Upwarter, Freecad, Rattlecad Knowable, Welover, Github Gitfab Thingiverse, Grabcad, I.Materialize, Make Xyz, Instructables, Shapewys.
Serena Cangiano, Zoe Romano, and Massimo Banzi. “From wearable computing to the design of interactive open wearables. The impact of Open Design and Open Hardware on the design of wearable computing applications.” In Proceedings of EAD European Academy of Design Conference. 2013.Open Design, Open Hardware, Digital Fabrication, Interaction Design, Co-Creation, Making, DIY, Social Product Development, Mass. Arduino, Openwear
Leon Cruickshank, and Paul Atkinson. “Closing in on Open Design: comparing casual and critical design challenges.”In proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference (University of Gothnburg/European Academy of Design, 2013), 361.Co-Design, Open Design, Crowdsourcing, Mass Innovation, Mass Creativity, Design Thinking, DIY, Design Personalization, Distributed Design, Open Structure, Distributed Design, Self-Fabrication, Design-Lead Innovation, Democratizing Innovation, Open Innovation, Co-Innovation, Making, User-Centred Collaborative Design.Wikipedia, Second Life, World Of Warcraft, Threadless, Istock, Innocentive.
George Dafermos. “Transforming the productive base of the economy through the open design commons and distributed manufacturing.” Journal of Peer Production 7 (2015).Commons, Social Knowledge Economy, Collaborative Knowledge Economy, Knowledge Commons, Community Driven Development, Internet-Enable Collaboration, Open Source, Distributed Technology, Computer-Mediated Collaboration, Distributed Technological Infrastructure. Rep Rap, Wikispeed Car Project.
Matt Dexter, Paul Atkinson, and Andrew Dearden. “Open design and medical products: irreconcilable differences, or natural bedfellows?.” In proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference (University of Gothnburg/European Academy of Design, 2013). Participatory Design, Co-Design, Open Design, Making, Open Innovation.Open Ideo, Makerbot, Thingiverse.
Ronen Kadushi. “Open design manifesto.” (2010)Open Design, Creative Commons License, Network. –
Harris Kyriakou, Jeffrey V. Nickerson and Gaurav Sabnis. “Knowledge Reuse for Customization: Metamodels in an Open Design Community for 3d Printing.” MIS Quarterly Vol. 41 No. 1 (2017): 315-332.  Open design Community, Customization, Open source, 3d printing, Communities, Innovation, Meta-model, Co-creation, Innovation, open software, GNU. Thingiverse, Rep Rap
Liesbeth Huybrechts, Katrien Dreessen, and Selina Schepers. “The role of ‘openness’ in participatory design research.” Crafting the Future. In proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference. Vol. 10. No. 1. Elanders Sweden, 2013.Participatory Design, Open Source, Meta-Design, Making, Personal Fabrication.Map-It, Creating Spaces, Fab-Lab.
Irene Maldini. “From ‘Do it yourself’ to ‘Open design’: users’ involvement and democratization.” Blucher Design Proceedings 1.1 (2012): 364-367.User-Creation, Collective-Creation, DIY, Design Democratization, Open Design, Open Source, Maker Culture, Social Design.Autoprogettazione (Enzo Mari), Open Structure, Reprap.
Sanna Marttila, and Andrea Botero. “Bees, drones and other Things in public space: Strategizing in the city.” Strategic Design Research Journal 9.2 (2016): 75.Open Production, Openness, Open Design, Collaboration, Free-Software, Open Source, Co-Design, Peer-To-Peer Process, Participatory Design, Democratizing Innovation, Web-Based Collaboration, Open-Hardware, DIY, Common-Based Peer-Production, User-Led Production, Social Production, Produsage, Making. Fabriken, Illutron, Arduino.
Massimo Menichinelli. “L’evoluzione dell’open design. Concetti e tappe.” Diid: disegno industriale|industrial design, 57 (2014), 65-74. Free Software, Open Source, Open Design, Makers, Collaboration, Making, Digital Fabrication, Collaborative Consumption, Sharing Economy, Open Peer-To-Peer.Thinkcycle, Ronen Kadushin, Openmoko, Openarichitectur Network, OSBA, Wikihouse, Github, Arduino, Reprap, Buglabs, Droog Design, Autoprogettazione 2.0, Airbnb.
Heloisa Neves. “Open design – a map of contemporary open design structures and practices.” In proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference. Vol. 10. No. 1. Elanders Sweden, 2013.Open Design, Co-Creation, Shared Knowledge, Distributed Production, Digital Fabrication, Collaborative Spaces, Online Sharing Distribution, Third Industrial Revolution, Creative Economy, Participation, Open Innovation, Open Collaborative Models, Making.Ponoko, Shapeways, Thingiverse.
Francesca Ostuzzi, Peter Conradie, Lieven De Couvreur, Jan Detand, and Jelle Saldien.“The Role of Re-Appropriation in Open Design: A Case Study on How Openness in Higher Education for Industrial Design Engineering Can Trigger Global Discussions on the Theme of Urban Gardening.” International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning Volume 17, Number 4 (2016): 121-140.  Co-design, Open Design, Openness, Sharing, DIY, Community, Open education, Collaboration, Participatory design, Open process, Prototyping, Open source, Distributed Production, Meta design, Personalization. Instructables
Joshua M. Pearce. “Applications of open source 3-D printing on small farms.” Organic Farming 1.1 (2015): 19-35.Open Source, Distributed Manufacturing, Peer-To-Peer Economy.Reprap, Openscad.
Jens Peter Wulfsberg, Tobias Redlich, and Franz-Ludwig Bruhns. “Open production: scientific foundation for co-creative product realization.” Production Engineering 5.2 (2011): 127-139.Co-Design, Decentralized Production, Open Source, Openness, Open Production, Value Creation, Bottom-Up Economics, Co-Creating, Mass Production, Crowdsourcing, Common-Based Peer Production, Prosumerism, Self-Organizing, Cooperation Networks, Open Design Projects, Mass Customization, Crowdsourcing, User Innovation, Complexity, Mass Collaboration.Boeing, Magna, Foxconn, Lifan, Yourencore, Innocentive, Yet2.Com, Innoget, Open Source Green Vehicle, Oscar, Reprap, Fab@Home, Openmoko, Local Motors, Lego, Spreadshirt, Threadless, Mi Adidas, Emachine Shop, Ibm, Bmw, Dell, P&G, Sap.
Mark Richardson.“Pre-hacked: Open Design and the democratisation of product development.” New Media & Society. Volume: 18 issue: 4 (2016): 653-666.   Open design, Democratization, Accessible, Collaboration, Hacking, Maker movement, Distributed manufacturing, Open source, 3d Printing, Fab Lab, Creative Commons licence, Sharing, User-driven innovation, Openness, Co-creation, DIY. Autoprogettazione, Reprap and other 3d printer.
Anna Seravalli. “Prototyping for opening production: from designing for to designing in the making together.” (2013).In proceedings of the 10th European Academy of Design Conference. Vol. 10. No. 1. Elanders Sweden, 2013.Opening Production, Collaborative Processes, Making, Open Innovation, Democratizing Innovation, Open Source, Open Design, Collaborative Consumption, Co-Design, Design for Social Innovation, Participatory Design, Prototyping.Open Source Ecology, Open Structure.
Ariadne Geneviève Smith. New product development methods: a study of open design. Diss. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2012.Open Design, Decentralized Innovation, Crowdsourcing, Outsourcing Manufacturing, Open Source, Advanced Digital Fabrication, Collective Invention, Horizontal Innovation, User Innovation, Common Based Peer-Production, Open Source Innovation, DIY.Waze, Linux, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Rockethub, Openideo, Genius Rocket, Threadless, Quirky, Reprap, Makerbot, Ponoko, Thingiverse, 99design, Innocentive, Github, Arduino, Google Sketch Up, Local Motors, DARPA, Vehicleforge.
Libin Ta, Dunbing Tang, Qi Wang, Jun Yang. “Open Design Pattern, Method, and its Self-organization Mechanism.” Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Digital Enterprise Technology, “Intelligent Manufacturing in the Knowledge Economy Era” (2016): 34- 39.Open design, Consumer participation, User-centred design, User’s experience, Collective innovation, Collaborative processes, Participation, Community.  
James Tooze, et al. “Open Design: Contributions, Solutions, Processes and Projects.” The Design Journal 17.4 (2014): 538-559.Open Design, Sharing, Agile Manufacturing, Flexible Production Systems, Collaboration, Open Source, Free Software, Open Architecture, Open Micro & Nano-Fabrication.Open Design Foundaton, Omne Project, Open Office, Octave, Scilab.
Ryan Vallance, Sepehr Kiani, and Samir Nayfeh. “Open design of manufacturing equipment.” Proceedings of the CHIRP 1st International Conference on Agile, Reconfigurable Manufacturing. 2001.Open Design, Participation, Collaborative Development, Co-Creation, Co-Design, Open Innovation, Open Source, Openness, Access, Open Fabrication, Open Sharing.Enzo Mari – Autoprogettazione, 100% Design, Ronan Kadushin, Fiat Mio, Local Motors, Rally Fighter, Open Source Ecology, Defense Distributed, DIY, Pirate Bay, Wikihouse, Sketchup, Open Structure, Thingiverse, Instructables.
Sanne van der Beek. “From representation to rhizome: Open design from a relational perspective.” the design journal 15.4 (2012): 423-441.Open Design, Openness, Relational Design, Non-Representational Theory, Rhizome, User-Centred Design, Process-Oriented Design, Participatory Design, Open-Ended Design, Postmodern Society, Pro-Am, Design as Performance, Collaborative Design, Complexity, Co-Creation, Prototyping.Dutch Design, Droog Design: Design for Download, Makeme, Ponoki, Shapeways, (Un)Limited Design Contest, Studio Ludens, Studio Monkier.
Howard, Thomas J., et al. “Open design and crowdsourcing: maturity, methodology and business models.” DS 70: Proceedings of DESIGN 2012, the 12th International Design Conference, Dubrovnik, Croatia. 2012.    Open Design, Open Hardware, Crowdsourcing, Open Source, Open Innovation, Open Service, Design for Openness, Open Innovation, Crowdfunding, Crowd-Innovation, Crowd-Creativity, Crowd-Branding, Prototyping Technologies, Community, Collaboration, Creative Commons Licenses.P&G, Eli Lilly, Toyota, Linux, Eclipse, Openoffice, Amazon, BMW, Dell, Adobe, Starbucks,
Arduino, Reprap, Willow Garage, Reelight, Kickstarter, Quirky.  
John Thackara. “Into the open.” In Bas van Abel, et al. “Open design now: Why design cannot remain exclusive.” San Francisco: BIS (2011).Openness, Open Design, Open Research, Open Governance, Collaboration, Commons-Based Peer Production, Open Source, Sustainability.Fab Labs.