The Commons im Design

Open Source and Open Design in Contemporary Design Processes


Due to the interlinking of technologies and the resulting complexity of design considerations, it has become increasingly difficult to understand, monitor, and execute the entire design and production process. Although specific knowledge exists of technological aspects—for example, the handling and variety of applications of 3D printing from rapid prototyping to product-ready prostheses—there is no holistic understanding, in our opinion, of how future technologies and the resulting conditions will be manifested in design.


Based on the socioeconomic transformations described above, the research project will consider the fundamentals of commons-based design. The commoning principle can be used in design to enable new methods and fields of activity (such as open innovation, open learning, and open design). There is a great potential for sharing designs, spaces, techniques, and the like in commons-based design, which promises more flexible conditions for design professionals and increased agility in the process of development and production. The main question that the research project addresses is how the concept of design can be extended and reconsidered within the context of digitization and the changing self-image of designers. The project will generate essential insights to first understand ‹knowledge practices in the open-design process› and then to consider ‹collaborative spaces and media›. Finally, specific design models and methodologies will emerge in the context of design research.


The research project makes an important contribution to design research and provides a perspective on how the principles of open source and open design can be embedded in an open-design framework and made productive. The aspects to be addressed in the project are primarily those networked, participatory, and open procedures based on the commons and commoning.

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  • 01.03.2019–28.02.2023