What are the levels of configuration of open source interactive artifacts and the design opportunities activated by the open source ecosystem: hardware, software, platforms and communities?

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 those 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 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. In particular, the participants will focus on the definition of solutions for facilitating the configuration, customization and re-production of the interactive product, by discussing the limits and the 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 open source products.

Through discussions and hands on activities supported by conceptual and design tools, participants will 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.

Workshop dates

Saturday 21st June
Sunday 22nd June


The workshop will be held at DIS 2014, ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems in 2014, taking place from 21st to 25th June 2014 at the Renaissance Harbourside Hotel right, Vancouver, BC Canada