.twitter-tweet{ dispay: none; } open design, and the like.

harryhutton asked:

Dear Matt, Very inspired by your work, was checking out your AIR site. Hows things going at the minute? Was wondering if you have any advice for someone looking to get started in open design in general? Any helpful web support, forums and so on? -H

HI Harry… thanks for your message!

I’m glad you like the site… it’s in limbo at the minute while I finish my PhD. I’m hoping to get it started up once I’m done, and maybe find an industrial partner or something.

I’m afraid I can’t offer you a route ‘into’ Open Design, as it’s currently a rapidly developing field, but I can totally share what I’ve learnt. After all, that’s what open source is all about. My thesis is currently being edited, and it’ll be ready at the end of the month. I can share some stuff from my Open Design chapter if you’re interested- but I suppose the biggest thing I can advise is to make stuff… make stuff you’re interested in, and then share share share. Talk with other people who are interested in the same thing, then gradually a community forms. A ‘niche network’ rather than a broad ‘social network’.

Really, you can make what you want- I chose to use Open Design to help people who can’t be part of a Participatory Design workshop to be included in collaboratively designing medical products for themselves. This meant a deep focus on collaborating with other people and making stuff that the community wanted; perhaps a good place to start might be looking at Ronen Kadushen’s work… he’s an Open Designer who makes furniture.

There are some really interesting smartphone projects using Open Design at the minute too, that you’ve probably heard of:

Motorola Project ARA

Fairphone

Phonebloks

IndiePhone

Fairphone is an interesting one, as their CEO Bas van Abel also co-edited the book Open Design Now - which you can read for free online. Their design strategy is ‘Smart Design’, and they’re currently working it out internally. I spoke at their Design Bootcamp last year, and along with Vodafone’s head of handset sustainability (a really cool Dutch guy called Casper) we worked out a ‘Fairphone Roadmap’, that outlines a business plan for an open-source smartphone. Have a look on the Waag Sociaety’s website here.

Sorry for the wall of text reply! I hope that’s answered your question (although it probably hasn’t). Are you based in the UK pal?

NOW OPEN

AIR is a research project- open design for medical products. Do you have Cystic Fibrosis? Do you live with someone who has Cystic Fibrosis? Do you enjoy making / designing things, and want to participate in creating some things with other people?

Then consider this your invite to sign up for free at http://airdesignspace.ning.com

This project is about people being able to suggest ideas for medical products that either don’t currently exist, or modifications to existing medical products. You can comment on stuff that’s already there, or post new ideas for other people to work on.

If you want to know a bit more, email me via tumblr for information!

97% Open?

This week has involved a lot of reading, and mental wrangling.

I’m still trying to understand or fathom whether an open and closed workstream can be realistically combined when talking about open source hardware. For instance, could you have a company that necessarily had to produce a ‘black box' piece of technology, but that obeyed certain 'standards' (e.g, had physical anchor points at definite dimensions, or documented electrical connectors going in/out) which meant it could form the basis of another's open source design?

This black box aspect is looking more and more likely (at least in the short term) for medical product design. I still haven’t come to a definite conclusion on this (as that could take years of testing, making and evaluating a business case), but at least where I am now it’s looking likely.

This then raises the question of how open is open ‘enough’?

This week, the innovation company 100% Open posted a great blog post, which they also tweeted:

I still have to think more on this subject; but for now, I’m content to see what people think. Could the ‘black box’ form part of the open design work in a community… for people to design around/adapt into their lives?

At the beginning of the month I was fortunate to attend the ‘International Committee for Design History and Design Studies’ (ICDHS) 2012 conference. This was in São Paulo- the first time I’ve ever gone to the southern hemisphere.

The conference was a real hit- easily the most relevant I think I’ve attended to date for my PhD, since there were loads of people there interested in open design; and other related stuff like making, hacking and coding (all with an interest or slant on design activity).

I took a trip to Embu Das Artes too; where loads of artists and craftspeople hang out. Have to say, Brazil was a great trip. Brazilians are pretty cool.

Summer has largely been a blur.

It’s been a period of frantic writing, reading and travelling- and while I definitely don’t want to sound like I don’t appreciate it all, It’s good to be back home with the fam and, well, just being able to knuckle-down to some graft.

The photos here are from the first big conference that I went to; Participatory Design Conference, in Roskilde, Denmark. The photos are all from the Gala dinner, held at Sagnlandet Lejre. The place is amazing- the archaeologists recreate as best they can the houses and social spaces of the vikings throughout the ages, and then live in them. Then, with this lived experience, they can get a better picture of the lives of these people.

So, aside from an almost limitless supply of flame-roased boar, Dexter cattle (seriously!), Salmon, and traditional fire-baked viking bread, beer, wine & mead; there were also some most excellent people and a Viking folkcore band.

Pretty incredible for a work gig, eh?

Do you have Cystic Fibrosis?
I want to invite you to a project I’m running as part of my PhD. I’m looking at how people can be better included in the design of medical products, and because of a connection through work I’m asking people who have Cystic Fibrosis if they would like to help.
The idea is to put together a small community of people in a web space, and upload ideas, or comment on other people’s ideas. As a designer, it’s my job to help people prototype those ideas and make them real; it most certainly is not my job to tell you what you want. As a person who has Cystic Fibrosis this is your chance to say ‘You know what sucks about __________?’ or, ‘What about one of these?’. 
As this project is being run out of Sheffield Hallam University here in the UK, there is access to lots of excellent workshops for Wood, Metal, Plastics, Fashion… and wherever possible the ideas that people come up with will be made and then distributed to other people in the community, for them to comment on, and improve (also, it’s open to anyone from all over the world!).
The theory is, that by sharing ideas, and working on them together then the ideas will be better, and have a more positive impact on the lives of the people who would have to use them.
See here for more information.
Please get in touch if you’d like any more information!
Matt

Do you have Cystic Fibrosis?

I want to invite you to a project I’m running as part of my PhD. I’m looking at how people can be better included in the design of medical products, and because of a connection through work I’m asking people who have Cystic Fibrosis if they would like to help.

The idea is to put together a small community of people in a web space, and upload ideas, or comment on other people’s ideas. As a designer, it’s my job to help people prototype those ideas and make them real; it most certainly is not my job to tell you what you want. As a person who has Cystic Fibrosis this is your chance to say ‘You know what sucks about __________?’ or, ‘What about one of these?’. 

As this project is being run out of Sheffield Hallam University here in the UK, there is access to lots of excellent workshops for Wood, Metal, Plastics, Fashion… and wherever possible the ideas that people come up with will be made and then distributed to other people in the community, for them to comment on, and improve (also, it’s open to anyone from all over the world!).

The theory is, that by sharing ideas, and working on them together then the ideas will be better, and have a more positive impact on the lives of the people who would have to use them.

See here for more information.

Please get in touch if you’d like any more information!

Matt

This minute, just completed the first design session in my PhD case study! So excited. Nothing like a bit of late afternoon co-design to make for an excellent start to the evening!
The project is a community for people with cystic fibrosis, using open design to allow people to come up with their own products, based on their own lived experience. At the minute, it’s in it’s very early stages. Alpha, if you like. Although, based on tonight’s test (with someone 1,800 miles away), Beta isn’t far off…

This minute, just completed the first design session in my PhD case study! So excited. Nothing like a bit of late afternoon co-design to make for an excellent start to the evening!

The project is a community for people with cystic fibrosis, using open design to allow people to come up with their own products, based on their own lived experience. At the minute, it’s in it’s very early stages. Alpha, if you like. Although, based on tonight’s test (with someone 1,800 miles away), Beta isn’t far off…

Lecture, paper, website- repeat.

It’s been an age since I updated this blog.

In fact, I need to be much better at keeping this blog up to date, and also blog about the ‘original content’ that I’m creating as part of my PhD. This month has seen loads of work go on. I’ve written a conference paper with Chris Jackson for ICDHS 2012 (in Brazil!) about the future of collaborative tools and spaces for open design. We took a reflective tone with some of it, talking about the how E.F. Schumacher and Ivan Illich wrote about what tech / institutions / spaces needed to be available for a more ‘convivial’ society… less about monopolistic and hierarchical institutions, and more social, human tech suitable for ‘fully satisfying work’. 3D printing, and other domestic high-quality fabrication tools help enable this, but so too do spaces like Fab Labs. Anyway, although it was great to collaborate on the paper with Chris, I’m glad the writing is over.

I also had a great opportunity to deliver a lecture to the second year product design students on open design- I also took in my MakerBot Replicator, which they loved. I’m glad none of them went all-Luddite on me and smashed it up because they see it as a threat to their sovereignty as designers… I was pretty provocative in asking them what their role as designers is if people traditionally labelled merely as ‘consumers’ can conceive and produce their own stuff. There was some great discussion after.

Also, I’m really pleased to be talking to a community representative of a large Cystic Fibrosis community tomorrow night - we’re going to do some co-designing to fill my PhD case study site with some content for more people to interact with. Really looking forward to it! I shouldn’t say more yet, because I’m not sure it’d be 100% appropriate. We’ll see though, I’m hoping it’ll take off and I can invite anyone who wants to design take part!

If you’re interested, you can check out the info site for my first case study.

Also, really hoping I can make it to the Open Design Symposium in Linz later this month!

IT HAS BEEN A WHILE.

Although, I’ve not spent the time being idle. Since the Christmas break, I’ve put together a social network (branded as AIR) to invite people with Cystic Fibrosis to have the opportunity to design products for themselves… after all there are moral and pragmatic rasons for opening the design process…

"The moral proposition is that users have a right to be directly included in the process of design. The second is the pragmatic proposition that the people who will need to adopt, and perhaps to adapt to an artefact or other outcome of design, should be included in the design process…

Carroll & Rosson 2007 (emphasis mine)

Hence, in order to mean those people who want to participate are best equipped to do so, I’ve made the welcome packs / toolkits to enable those people to do so. The theory is, that if I put a little love into making something beautiful for people to use, then they’ll feel valued.

This is a beautiful example of crowdsourced creativity - a real testimony to the ideas outlined in We Think.

fastcompany:

Star Wars Uncut is a Frankensteined love letter of absurdities—and that’s just how mastermind Casey Pugh wanted it. Warning—once you start, you can’t stop watching. Co.Create got a behind-the-scenes look at how the ultimate crowdsourced film was produced.
Read all about it->

This is a beautiful example of crowdsourced creativity - a real testimony to the ideas outlined in We Think.

fastcompany:

Star Wars Uncut is a Frankensteined love letter of absurdities—and that’s just how mastermind Casey Pugh wanted it. Warning—once you start, you can’t stop watching. Co.Create got a behind-the-scenes look at how the ultimate crowdsourced film was produced.

Read all about it->