Designers are starting to adopt open design practices for themselves. The position of design literacy is changing when confronted with digital tools and media. Yet collaborative work combined with individual autonomy, as in open source development, has not been common practice in design. Current educational models need to be reformulated to reflect the flexibility, openness, and continuous development of open design.
Open design could also become relevant to other domains. Government projects striving for participation and citizen empowerment could benefit from an open design approach. The world´s bigger problems such as depletion and wasting of natural resources, population growth, consumerism and wide-spread poverty may find novel solutions through open design.
Eventually, making itself, being at the core of open design, could become a way of material and conceptual exploration and creation of novel understandings and critical solutions.
The consequences of this development are enormous, not only for the design profession. End-users of designed products will have to decide to which extent they want to get involved in the design process, or if they simply want to follow the decisions a designer has made for them. Designers and even more so their clients will have to decide how closed they can keep a design project or if they can retain designing for themselves at all. Open design is happening here and now, and design cannot remain exclusive between the arts, science and the media.
Text published by creative industries styria