OPENNESS IN DESIGN EDUCATION FROM OPEN SOFTWARE TO OPEN HARDWARE

Author:
Paul Cardini
Company/School:
Rhode Island School of Design

1.    PREMISE

Over the last 20 years, terms such as Free Software and Open Source are populating our digital experience. Other than small ideological distinctions, both are defined as the legal freedom to use, study, distribute and modify a piece of software (Stallman, 1985). In the beginning, these terms were attributed exclusively to computer code. Today, however, the idea of free access is applied to a wide variety of meaning and contexts. In 2010 Ronen Kadushin coined the term Open Design, inaugurating what later would be identified as the transfer of this open philosophy from software to hardware and subsequently to product design. In this new environment, project sharing is the key to speeding up the innovation process, and promoting a broader access to products through self-production. Within this panorama, a new typology of designers is taking shape: the “Remixers”. A Remixer is someone, not necessarily a designer, who is comfortable with a new design process that doesn’t start from scratch but utilizes existing open material, builds upon it, and sets up a mutual exchange with the global community. The Web became indeed the ideal marketplace for this new approach, representing the place where resources are stocked and shared. The Digital Natives, or the Net.Generation (Junco, Reynol; Mastrodicasa, Jeanna, 2007), are the main users of this huge amount of ...read more.

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