On the Open Design of Tangible Goods
12 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2009
Open source software development has received considerable scholarly attention, much of which is based on the presumption that the ‘open source model’ holds some lessons of broader applicability. Nonetheless, our knowledge of its deployment outside the software industry is very limited. This paper focuses on the open source development of tangible objects, the so-called open design. We propose a generalised definition of open source development. Drawing on 27 exploratory interviews and six comparative case studies selected from a pool of more than 75 projects, we analyse the workings of open design. The analysis reveals that open design is already being implemented in a substantial variety of projects with different organisational and institutional structures.
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