Open Design City on Fast Company: Recommended Reading

A couple of months ago we got a visit from a journalist from Fast Company.

We were on fire that day, and personally I found the experience an opportunity to gain a refreshed insight into the passions, motivations and thoughts of the other founders.

Sadly not present were fellow cofounders: Tonia Welter, Philip Steffan, and Axel Stab as it would've been a great to get their insights and thoughts on the process also.

I highly recommend reading the article, it captures elements of the spirit of ODC beautifully.

We were on revolutionary form that day, and I'd love to get the full transcripts from Jude. Interesting aspects worthy of further exploration and documentation include:

"It’s not so much about scientific development, because this work doesn’t require rocket science. It’s more about creating the social interactions that invent new things" - Christoph Fahle on how Open Design City creates a space for innovation

“At the very beginning, she kept repeating: This is impossible. How can I do this? But then we spent 15 minutes together, she saw how it’s actually fun and easy to make, and she and her friends totally enjoyed it. They spent a week cutting like crazy, building a jailhouse out of bricks, inventing a method to join the letters. All that was needed was this little start.” - Christopher Doering on our culture of enabling others to make.

“Industrial culture says: here’s a product with a certain use or value. But products don’t work that way; things can be used in so many ways. You cannot say: this is a lamp; its purpose is to fill a space with light. That’s totally limiting. It’s also a gift from your grandma; it’s a personalizing touch in your living room; it’s landfill; it’s made of materials that cost something." - Christopher Doering on the need for an emotional connection and understanding of what products actually mean to us.

"The best way to get attached to a product or object is to make it yourself.” - Ronen Kardushin on why open design offers an emotional connection.

"We’re sustained right now by this big system that’s more fragile than we might like to believe. Distributing this knowledge [of how to make products] within the community gives us resilience, lets us fend for ourselves better." - Myself on the social and cultural importance of Open Design City.

Finally some notes from the Author Jude Stewart, place Open Design City in the context of an aspect of the Emergent culture.

"It's a movement that has the potential to upend traditional modes of industrial design and manufacturing -- and even change how we consume products."

"It’s an intriguing Mobius-strip vision of the next decade: the detritus of an industrial revolution becomes raw material for medieval-style workshops, a movement made possible by the crowd-sourced Internet, a populace tired of living virtually, and machinery democratized in price by a consumer base eager to buy the new means of production. What’s old is, indeed, new again."

The article touches on many of the questions as to why Open Design City is relevant for business (innovation), community (knowledge, community, enabling resilience), and society (emotional connections, sustainability). Whilst there are a few amendments - (chiefly that we actually have 2 cnc machines rather than the zero cited), I thoroughly recommend it - click here for the full article

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