Three layers of openness in design: Maker culture, crowdsourcing and open hardware

Brown Fellow, Dr. Tanja Aitamurto, has just published a journal article at Design Issues “The Open Paradigm in Design Research”, introducing a new definition for open design, co-authored with Dr. Donal Holland of Harvard and Dr. Sofia Hussain at the Norwegian University Science and Technology. The definition includes the openness both in product (e.g. open hardware design) and the process (e.g. crowdsourcing and other participatory design practices) in their novel definition of open design, comprising three levels of openness:

“This paper develops an overarching definition for open design and a three-layered framework for design practices. The definition covers the design process from initial problem definition in the beginning through to commercialization and licensing of the final design. Thus, the definition takes into account not just the openness of products, but even more so, the openness of processes. The conceptualization of open design enhances understanding of the design ecosystem, which is rapidly changing because of the digitalization of design tools and practices and the permeation of participatory culture. This culture alters design practices by raising funding as crowdfunding and the development of concepts in open design projects.” The article is accessible here.