Open Design Now – book launch at the Berlin Design Festival

First report from my short trip to DMY International Design Festival Berlin: the international launch of the book Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive.

and Green Design.

First, three of the main authors and editors of the book, Bas van Abel (Creative Director of Waag Society), Roel Klaassen ( Programme Manager at Premsela, Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion), Lucas Evers (Head of Programme Culture at Waag Society and member of Creative Commons Netherlands) took the stage.

The three of them had very different but convergent interests in Open Design. van Abel’s background is design so, he explained, “i was thinking first about myself when i started looking into open design”. He is also the cofounder of the Waag Society’s Fablab, a fabrication laboratory which offers digital fabrication and operates on the principles of open source and open content (Creative Commons). FabLabs, he pointed out, give back the transparency that industrialization had taken away.

The slowness of design to embrace the open movement might be explained by the fact that when you exchange a video, a song or a photo through a computer, you have the finished product in front of you. Physicality has obviously a much stronger importance in product design. Besides, design is often a collaborative process and many steps can be seen as content, even the sketch on a napkin.

None of the panelists could (or rather would) answer Marcus Fair’s request to give a clear-cut definition of open design. The practice, said Evers, is not fixed, it is in constant flux. Open design is more about a mentality than a strict definition. The book is the first survey of open design and its aim is to explore what open design can be and what you can do with it, it is only the starting point of a discussion.

or UK right now!

Open Desing Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive will be presented to the Dutch creative community at Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam, on the 8th of June. Journalist & writer Tracy Metz will lead the discussion on the implications of open design first with the authors & editors of the book and then with Jurgen Bey (Studio Makkink & Bey), Michelle Thorne (Mozilla), Brian Garret (Freedom of Creation) and Massimo Menchinelli ( /Aalto University)

Image on the homepage: Repairing the Waag in Amsterdam with LEGO during a workshop with Jan Vormann, photography Johannes Abeling.