Three layers of openness in design: Examining the open paradigm in design research

DS 75-1: Proceedings of the 19th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED13), Design for Harmonies, Vol.1: Design Processes, Seoul, Korea, 19-22.08.2013

Year: 2013
Editor: Udo Lindemann, Srinivasan V, Yong Se Kim, Sang Won Lee, John Clarkson, Gaetano Cascini
Author: Aitamurto, Tanja; Holland, Dónal; Hussain, Sofia
Series: ICED
Institution: 1: Program on Liberation Technology, Stanford University; 2: School of Engineering, Trinity College Dublin; 3: Netlife Research, Oslo, Norway
Page(s): 179-190
ISBN: 978-1-904670-44-5
ISSN: 2220-4334


This article examines the open paradigm in design research and introduces a new conceptualization for ‘open design’ and a three-layer framework to demonstrate the degrees of openness in design practices. The conceptualization comprises all stages in the design process, ranging from need-finding to the openness of the design documents and the data gathered during the design process, and the commercialization of the end-product. The aspects of the product and the process merge in this framework, intertwining the aspects of technical, legal and commercial openness. Finally, the article proposes a research agenda for open design. The article builds on an extensive literature review about studies on ‘open’ in design: open-source software, open hardware, and participatory methods in design, such as co-design and participatory design, and user-engagement methods such as crowdsourcing and co-creation.

Keywords: Collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, open design, open innovation, participatory design


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