An Open Invitation to Design Join

by OpenDesign, published

An Open Invitation to Design Join by OpenDesign Nov 11, 2012



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We want you, and you, and you, to collaborate.

“An Open Invitation to Design” is a design-led research project that explores the areas of collaboration, authorship and derivative design, associated with digital fabrication technologies and communication networks in the context of furniture design. It specifically serves as a critique of the open design process and aims to demonstrates the design potential of using open source methods as a generative element to design innovation.

The idea is to collaboratively design multiple chairs, building off someone else's contribution. All that is required to participate is a digital file, that is then uploaded and through Thingiverse made a derivative of this thing.

The collaborative chairs will then be produced at the FabLab in New Zealand, and documented in a Masters Thesis on Open Design. Credit will be given to the respective authors.


So how does it work

The chair is split into 3 parts, legs, seat and back rest. I imagine at first there will be a range of odd chair parts, hopefully over time people will take these parts and build from them with the goal of having a finished chair with 3 parts designed by 3 different people.

Every part designed only needs to meet two criteria. One it must be manufacturable on one of the machines listed below.

Shopbot CNC 
Laser Cutter (Sheet metal)
UP 3D printer, PLA and ABS bed size of 140mm L x 140mm W x 135mm H
Laser Cutter (Sheet acrylic)

Two it needs to incorporate the standardized join that can be found in the attached files. This is to enable parts to be built upon with relative ease. The join comes in 3 variations. All use 10mm diamater hole of any depth and are surround by a required flat section (In grey)

When you upload your part please feel free to leave build instructions and what inspired you. If you are building off someone else's part please let me know what part it is.

As long as your part meets these requirements you are free to make what you want and I will do my best to produce it. This all may seem a little confusing, so please ask if you have any questions.

Here is a file to get the ball rolling. www.thingiverse.com/thing:34078

Looking forward to seeing what you create. A big thank you in advance.

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Good idea.
Can you send me an email about this ?

Not all design solved problems. Look at Ettore Sottsass or Ron Arad. Design can engage the emotions just like art.

[email protected]

design-led? So you are designing for the purpose of designing?
That is weird, or what is normally called art. Design is intended to fulfil acute and/or latent user needs. What you are looking for is not design (as there are no user needs apart from 'a chair') but individual self-expression (you are free to make anything what you want), which is art. You are not planning for prototypes, that also points to art not design. And lastly: "it [...]serves as a critique[...]": yes, art again.

Yeah... What JelleAtProtospace said. :-)

As an engineer, I feel there is a subtle, but important, delineation between "design" and "art."   

Art has no bounds and very rarely solves a problem.  A painter can take a blank canvas and do whatever they want with few limitations.

Design, on the other hand, addresses a need or solves a problem.  It must exist within the boundaries and context of the need.

If the goal is to critique the open design process and demonstrate the design potential of using open source methods, there is more than enough data in Thingiverse already.

If you want to examine an outstanding example of open source and collaboration in a subgroup of society, you may want to examine the ecosystem and the myriad of applications for Linux.

I'm struggling to see how a small definition is causing such a negative effect on what could be an exciting project which celebrates what this site is all about?

Look at it from a collaborative sense, and not from a purely problem solving attitude. There is huge potential for us makers to play on the simple idea of building upon each others work.

Ideas can be shared, discussed, prototyped, and altered, where ultimately we end up with an exciting chair which has multitude of iterative design stages within it, from a variety of experienced people.

I'm in. Hopefully have something up for you in the next day or two.