How can we develop open source interactive artifacts exploring the diverse level of configurations and opportunities activated by the open source ecosystem?

Practices related to open source hardware and software, open design and digital fabrication demonstrate new ways for designing and producing things. In the domain of open source technology, novel paradigms emerge in which customization is combined with personal fabrication, product development is expanded by users’ co-design, open licenses replace the traditional patents system.

We assume that the impact of open source paradigms activate opportunities for developing new design approaches that consider products as platforms: similarly to open source prototyping platforms such as Arduino, “products-platforms” feature several interactive layers that enable people to access, reconfigure and build upon the physical parts, behaviors and interfaces of the product.

The objective
The workshop aims to engage participants in an experimental process addressed to the conception of interactive “products-platforms” that are open source artifacts that users can modify or build upon thanks to an ecosystem of shared documentation, services and licenses.

The goal is to define solutions for facilitating the configuration, customization and re-production of the interactive product, by discussing the limits andthe opportunities of the current open source ecosystem (technology, interfaces, communities, etc.). The workshop reflects on the integration of the human centered design approach into the open source culture and it proposes a framework for designing innovative products.

Open design + Open Source Hardware + Open Source Software + DIY + Licenses

The practice
Through discussions and hands-on activities supported by conceptual and design tools, participants learn how to leverage the design opportunities offered by the open source ecosystem in order to define both concepts and high-fidelity and low-fidelity prototypes of innovative interactive products.