[Open Design] The first draft of the Open Design Definition

Massimo Menichinelli massimo.menichinelli at aalto.fi
Fri Mar 15 10:10:14 UTC 2013

Hi Aymeric,
thanks for the feedback! :)

Yes, some elements will probably be joined together if not erased from 
the definition. A typical aspects of the Open definitions is that they 
focuses only on the knowledge items, and not on the practice, the 
culture, the tools... so it won't cover everything, I agree on this.
At the moment they are just placeholders for text or for reminding some 
topics that we can discuss if they should be included and how.

But in any case we should focus a bit on the different kind of design 
that is already using Open Source strategies: we already have graphic 
and font design cases that are open for example, so they are part of 
Design and therefore of Open Design. I think that we don't have to go 
very deep in each field, the definition itself can be forked so there 
maybe some derivative and more deep definitions (for example an Open 
Fashion Design Definition based on the general Open Design Definition). 
There is still a lot of time for developing this.

There are some interesting points in your proposal, thanks! For example 
about RoHS certification and so on, we should discuss if we want to 
include some more values beside Openness. For example: do we agree that 
open design of guns can be called Open Design? Is it only a technical 
definition or does it have some other values like social and 
environmental sustainability?

One more thing about requiring the use of Open Source Software or Open 
Source Hardware for developing an Open Design project. Unfortunately 
there are a lot of technologies and softwares that are used and needed 
by designers (and in FabLabs as well) that are not open source, if we 
require only open source tools there would be very little of real Open 
Design. And it would be like saying that software developed on a Mac 
even if released with GPL is not open source because the tool used are 
not open source. So proably we should focus instead on open standards / 
file formats more than the tools themselves.

What do you think about it?



On 3/8/13 1:37 PM, Aymeric Mansoux wrote:
> Hello Massimo, list,
> Massimo Menichinelli said :
>> Hi all,
>> after re-reading the previous discussions and the existing
>> definitions we have gathered in the repository, I've developed the
>> first draft of the Open Design Definition, you can find it here:
>> http://design.okfn.org/2013/03/08/the-first-draft-of-the-open-design-definition/
> Quick 2cents feedback:
> The current outline feels a bit all over the place and too complicated.
> Maybe some elements should be better moved to a "background" text of
> section, such as the redesigning aspect. In the same way that "software
> liberation," is a result of the culture that developed around the free
> software definition, but it is not an element of it.
> Also if your intention is to cover design beyond the production of
> physical objects, then the definition should talk to *any* designers
> right away using generic terms that will be interpreted locally. Trying
> to define it for every "branches" is asking for trouble :)
> Finally, IMHO, the definition should rely upon existing research and
> work on the techno-legal front of free culture, making the open design
> definition more of a meta definition, rather than a duplicate effort.
> My go:
> ///
> Open Design represents a creation process and distribution mechanism in
> which the different elements of production respect the following
> points:
> 0. The source of an open design work is defined as the collection of
> technical documentation and assets that allows the work to be recreated
> from scratch by anyone and for any purpose using the same or compatible
> free and open source software and free and open source hardware
> manufacturing environment.
> 1. The different elements that constitute the source of an open design
> work must respect the definition of free cultural work (availability of
> source data, use of a free format, no technical restrictions) and be
> licensed accordingly.
> 2. When presented publicly, outcomes and byproducts of an open design
> work must be distributed with the source of the open design work that
> were used to produce such outcomes and byproducts.
> 3. The development process of an open design work must comply with
> international regulations on Green Computing and Restriction of
> Hazardous Substances Directive (RoHS).
> ///
> Thoughts:
> One thing is that I still struggle to see if the above is so novel that
> it needs its own definition, or if instead of we should work towards
> integrating the documentation aspect and the use of free and open source
> hardware into a future update of the free cultural work definition.
> Hope that helps,
> Best
> a.
> --
> http://su.kuri.mu
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Massimo Menichinelli
mobile: (ITA) +39 3402971655 (FIN) +358 505981442
Skype: openp2pdesign.org
Aalto University
Aalto Media Factory - Aalto FabLab (Producer for the FabLab activities)
Metadesign for Open Systems, Processes, Projects

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