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

Massimo Menichinelli massimo.menichinelli at aalto.fi
Fri Mar 15 10:22:23 UTC 2013

By the way, I've already added some text in the draft based on this 


On 3/15/13 12:10 PM, Massimo Menichinelli wrote:
> 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?
> Br,
> Massimo
> 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
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Aalto University
Aalto Media Factory - Aalto FabLab (Producer for the FabLab activities)
Metadesign for Open Systems, Processes, Projects

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