Overview of Article: This is a look at Open Design City, how it came into being, and what the implications might be if this concept emerges as a solid trend.
Thoughts on this Article: OK – this is just marginally related to Design Thinking, but I thought it was worth making it available. The underlying concept here is getting the end users involved in the actual creation and production process. In a sense, it is taking Design Thinking and giving the end users the actual tools to make what they think would work.
While that may sound fun – and probably would be a lot of fun to do – there are problems. There is a reason that the DT process includes a collaborative process of varied perspectives. It keeps the product or service from becoming self serving or ineffective. Having the end user as the designer/creator/user would seem to be a very limiting perspective.
A Peek at the Future of DIY: Open-source Workshops
DIY reigns in the virtual world. With so many old points of friction removed, we can freely and cheaply build our own blogs, e-books, and Web magazines. But making real, live stuff still seems like a slog reserved for those who know their way around a bandsaw.
Not anymore. The open-source revolution is putting product design in the hands of regular Joes. Take Berlin-based Open Design City (ODC). It’s a workshop in which anyone can learn to make just about anything, whether a bioplastic wallet (above) or a lamp made out of sweaters (up top). The recipe is simple: Gather people willing to share ideas and collaborate. Teach them to use a few power-tools. Then make things — cool things, not junk even your mother’d be too embarrassed to display.
It’s a movement that has the potential to upend traditional modes of industrial design and manufacturing — and even change how we consume products. “I strongly believe we’ll see more spaces emerging like this,” says Christoph Fahle, of Open Design City. “It’s not so much about scientific development, because this work doesn’t require rocket science. It’s more about creating the social interactions that invent new things. If you look at Facebook, it wasn’t just its technology that changed society; rather it was the social idea.” Read the rest of this entry »