Towards Open Design: The Emergent Face of Engineering---A Position Paper
In today's society, collaboration between individuals and groups thousands of miles away has become increasingly common place. Due primarily to the rapid growth of broadband internet, cheap data storage and fast microchip technology, a new frontier has been opened where engineers and scientists can quickly and efficiently share large amounts of information with colleagues all across the globe. The implications of this technology have been and continue to become increasingly influential on the evolution of not just the sciences, but humanity as a whole. This paper will survey current successes that have been seen in open source software development and the emergent "open design" realm. From here, parallels are drawn between the two disciplines to see how engineering design could benefit from the highly distributed nature that open source software has implemented. In this light, this paper will establish the position that engineering design must make to shift towards a more open and collaborative environment to stay relevant and prosper in the Information Age.