People have learned and people have feasted. It goes without saying that the second edition of MAKER WEEKEND was an awesome success and it was great see everyone enjoying and learning new skills. However, this doesn't mean that it has ended. For those who has missed MAKER WEEKEND and wish to follow our DIY WORKSHOPS, we have confirmed new dates for you to sign up!

  • BUILD A BERLINER HOCKER | Saturday, March 16th / 5pm-6pm |
    Within this workshop you will get to know how to build Berliner Hocker - a little magic thing, which can basically be anything, depending on what you want it to be at the moment, where and how you would like to use it. SIGN UP!
  • SCREEN PRINTING | Thursday, March 21st / 6.30pm-9.30pm |
    Screen printing is a great technique which can be used to apply designs to lots of different things whether its a t-shirt, cushion or a bag. This workshop will teach you the basics of screen printing as well as how to apply words and type in your designs. Get ready to be creative and leave us with a smile and an awesome bag or clutch!. SIGN UP!
  • LEATHER JEWELRY | Tuesday, March 26th / 7pm-9pm |
    Have you ever been looking at a nice piece of jewellery and thinking “Hum… I think I could do that!”. But didn’t quite know where to start? This is the right time for you to explore the possibilities! SIGN UP!
  • DECOUPAGE TECNIQUE | Saturday, March 30th / 1pm-4pm |
    Your chairs look boring? Your table is sad because it`s from IKEA and looks just like every other table? And all you have in mind is to color them white? No-no-no, that`s not the way to go – we have a better idea! SIGN UP!
  • MELT A BAG | Saturday, March 30th / 5pm-8pm |
    Within this workshop you will learn how to use a fusing technic for the plastic bags (yes, the ones you get in the shop to bring tomatoes home), obtaining a new, cool and resistant material. SIGN UP!
  • THIS IS CONCRETE | Sunday, March 31st / 1pm-5pm |
    Concrete is most often thought of when talking about architecture or urban space, but it really isn’t the first material that pops into mind when you think about domestic objects or jewelry. SIGN UP!
  • PAPIER MACHE: LAMPS | Thursday, April 2nd / 6.30pm-9.30pm |
    No, papier maché is not just for making halloween masks. It is also a great material for building anything that needs to be both light and strong. Also, it’s only made of old newspapers, and you can give it pretty much any shape you want. SIGN UP!
  • CARDBOARD Up-Light LAMP | Friday, April 5th / 6.30pm-9.30pm |
    Tired of the mass produced lamps from Ikea? Want to add more light to your space? With our Cardboard Up-Light lamp workshop it will not only brighten your space but will also provide a soft and warm atmosphere. SIGN UP!
  • INTRODUCTION TO 3D PRINTING | Friday, April 5th / 6.30pm-9.30pm |
    A computer is a wonderful thing, it structures your email and shows you video, but can you make things with it too? Things that you can touch ? Things that are useful? Yes you can, with the help of a 3D printer! This production equipment of the future builds up any object layer by layer automatically producing real physical objects from your computer. SIGN UP!
  • TEXTILES & ELECTRONICS | Saturday, April 13th / 1pm-6pm |
    This workshops combines textile crafts, new materials and electronics to build interactive fabrics. Participants will be introduced to a range of conductive fabrics and threads as well as a selection of electronic components that include LED lights and vibration motors. SIGN UP!

If there's any workshops up there that look interesting to you, make sure to check them out and sign yourself up. Who doesn't want to learn new skills?!

If you want to stay on the loop on new activities, talks, workshops, parties and much more, check out the betahaus Pulse aka our calendar. Even better, sign yourself up for our newsletter!


deople network e.V. invites you to join a collaborative workshop at their new teamworking-space in Berlin. Together with design expert Prof. Peter Jones you will explore models of citizen engagement through design principles. It will be an interactive workshop in which you will explore and develop startegies on how we as citizens can become co-creators of our environment.

deople warmly invite you to join the first colective session at their new location at
Okerstr. 45. - Saturday Nov, 24. - 04:00 PM to 07:00 PM.

Facebook Event:

Thank you and see you soon!


Resident Steffen Bahnsen von der bietet am 19. Februar einen Workshop für Design-Thinking an.

Und dies ist die Einladung:

Sehr geehrte Damen und Herren,

Unsere Innovationsagentur inventedhere hat das Ziel, durch die Anwendung von Design Thinking eine Arbeitskultur zu schaffen, die Kreativität und Innovation für jeden möglich macht.

Um Ihnen einen Einblick in die Methode zu vermitteln, möchten wir Sie gerne zu unserem
Design-Thinking-Workshop am Samstag, den 19. Februar 2011 von 10.00 bis 15.00 Uhr im betahaus Berlin einladen.
Da die Arbeitsumgebung entscheidend für Kreativität und Innovation ist, veranstalten wir den Workshop in Kooperation mit dem betahaus Berlin, einem der größten Co-Working-Spaces Deutschlands. Hier werden wir auch die Werkstatt der Open Design City im betahaus nutzen.

Die Veranstaltung bietet Ihnen neben der Methodenvermittlung die Möglichkeit, mit interessanten Personen aus Wirtschaft, der Kreativ- und Gründerszene zusammenzukommen und gemeinsam Ideen zu entwickeln. Im Anschluss an die Präsentationen der Teams wird es eine Happy Hour von 15.00 bis 16.30 Uhr geben, um Ideen weiter zu denken, Gespräche fortzusetzen und Projekte anzustoßen.

Die Teilnehmerzahl der Veranstaltung ist begrenzt. Deshalb bitten wir um eine verbindliche Zusage bis zum 2. Februar 2011.
Zur Kostendeckung ist ein Teilnehmerbeitrag in Höhe von 50 Euro vorgesehen.

Wir freuen uns auf Ihre Rückmeldung!


Herzliche Grüße vom inventedhere-Team,
Steffen Bahnsen

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Rubbish = Resource: Waste based innovation in 2030

On the 21st November between 14.00 and 19.00 at Open Design City, you are invited to participate in an event that will bring together thinkers and doers to create and explore futures in which Cradle to Cradle, Upcycling and Open Design have flourished.

How will processes and approaches such as Cradle to Cradle, Upcycling, and Open Design affect how we innovate with waste? How will these changes affect our daily lives?

Cradle to Cradle and Upcycling processes both view waste as a resource for production and creation, but from different perspectives and approaches as to how to achieve this. Open Design is potentially an enabler for both processes, facilitating the distribution of these behaviors and also the sharing of knowledge and process.

In this workshop, we will share our knowledge on different processes, and then explore together what the world looks like in 2030 in light of these emerging trends. We will use the resources of Open Design City to prototype and articulate these visions.

This workshop will be in conjunction with the Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research. Our aim is to bring together a range of researchers, radical thinkers, activists and practitioners from the fields of Open Design, Cradle to Cradle and Upcyling together for one day to build a vision for the future.

We will provide you with good food, a space to explore and create, and other interesting people with which to explore and innovate.

Spaces on this workshop are limited, so please email us, along with a little bit about yourself to reserve a space.

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Open Up

Open Design Meeting
Image by Fräulein Schiller via Flickr

OPEN UP will give participants insights into the processes, methods and associated challenges of the Open Design process. The workshop will begin with an overview of Open Design principles, participants will then engage in an Open Design iterative process, where they build and reiterate an existing patented design. The workshop will end with an Open Space discussion of the benefits, challenges and potential solutions as to how to apply Open Design principles to this specific business case, exploring in depth the opportunities and threats with the original designer.

This workshop is particularly aimed at individuals who have no previous experience of Open Design or Open Culture in general. It represents an opportunity to bridge the communication and knowledge gaps using an action process - understanding by doing.

The workshop will be held at Open Design City, a collaborative production space in Kreuzberg where the space itself is in constant reiteration in response to the needs of the community.

Participation is free of charge. However, we expect you to support us with the documentation of the workshop – in the form of texts, photos or video contributions.

The workshop will be led by Jay Cousins, in collaboration with Christoph Doering. Please note that the workshop language will be English!

Click here to register yourself!

In case the registration link doesn't work, please send an email to ek [at]

Tell us something about your professional background and about what you expect from the workshop. Please note that we can only accept a maximum of 25 people to take part, otherwise it won’t be possible to get into a productive working mode. Please send your application e-mail before November 22. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Open Up is part of the Free Culture Incubator workshop series. Click here for details

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This isn't an Open Design Manifesto

Open Design Meeting
Image by Fräulein Schiller via Flickr

Recently my good friend (and pioneer of the Open Design movement) Ronen Kardushin, published a Manifesto on Open Design. As Open Design is a dialogue in physical form, always in Beta, always changing - the same should be said of the underlying concepts, hence this response.

I would like to broaden the scope of the Ronen's Manifesto, beyond that of specific machines. As Open Design has at it's core a permission to modify, edit and reiterate, I'm sure Ronen will not object.

Ronen's version can be found here. The initial paragraphs I agree with, however where I stumble is the preconditions.

Open Design method consists of two preconditions:
1. An Open Design is CAD information published online under a Creative Commons license to be down-
loaded, produced, copied and modified.
2. An Open Design product is produced directly from file by CNC machines and without special tooling.
These preconditions infer that all technically conforming open designs and their derivatives are continu-
ously available for production, in any number, with no tooling investment, anywhere and by anyone."

Above everything for me, Open Design is about permission to duplicate, engage with and reiterate designs. Whilst tools enable this, so do processes. Aspects of Open Design practice in the future may also include skillsets, and physical literacy. Open Design is not new, it was here before, we just didn't need a name for it. This isn't yet a manifesto. Just the start of some thoughts. Feel free to discuss, challenge and re-iterate.

Ronen, I thank you for sparking the discussion.

I sent this to Ronin to get some feedback, and this is the response.

Hi Jay,

Yes! let's spark a dialogue!

I read your message three times before I understood what exactly is the difference between our stand on Open Design. I completely agree with what you write; there is this inherent creative energy when the design process is open: reiterations, improvements, unplanned outcomes, collaborations, discoveries. It's a fantastic way to learn by doing and empowers all its participants to create and acquire skills, artistic, technical and social, in a supportive, sharing environment. It also has a political aspect, a clear stand on the way products come into our lives, in contrast to normal consumption, and their authentic relation to their creators and users. But when I speak or write about Open Design, the "design" is like source code, it's the plan, the blueprint, the data itself. Your open design describes a process, mine focuses on the circumstances of information publication and use. The manifesto was written from an industrial designer's point of view and its intended readers are mainly industrial designers as well. It addresses what I perceive as a creative crisis or at least a relevance problem of industrial design (and education) in context of the internet revolution, or a "globally networked information society". Industrial design, as a discipline, never left home. Although it is intensely IT dependent and software based, a designer's creativity is regulated by producers, so when you compare this situation with other information based creative fields, I find it totally unacceptable. This is also why I make a point about CNC production. It allows repeatable production that is easily scalable up to mass production numbers without tooling investment. A product becomes a physical instance of its information, as quickly, cheaply, easily and freely as possible. Still, Open Design can't include all products and fabrication processes, but as an alternative it has many advantages for a designer.

One more thing: Open Design is new. I started my research for my MA on Open Design in 2002, and for three years I was intensely looking for anything that is similar. Nada. There were books and articles that described methods such as Open Source software, Mass customization, User innovation, collaborative development, CNC production etc., but no one has put together OS principals, CNC production  and internet publication. I was inspired by the works of experts such as Eric S. Raymond, Eric Von Hippel, Frank Piller and Design Prof.  Jochen Gross. I think that each one of them has good strong claims, but not the motivation that initially  pushed me to come up with Open Design: To free myself to do what I really love- to design.

Thanks for writing me, we can have more of this ( although I prefer a face to face talk).

I think as a statement of motivation, I love this quote - To free myself to do what I love. I think this is one of the core drivers of the Open Culture. To pursue our joys and our passions, above everything else. This is true freedom.

However the debate still rides, is Open Design a philosophy, a process, or a method of production and distribution? Should we even seek to define it, or does the opportunity lie in the uncertainty of interpretation?

Feel free to add your thoughts here.

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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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Open Design City in 2-4 Words: Discuss

It started as a thread from Christopher Doering - a couple of suggestions a prompt:


I was wondering what "ODC" is all about. And how to describe it in two or three words. Clear, unmistakeable and unique. It order to communicate to the outside and the inside world. Something like a brand name and a tagline.

Proposals include:

Open Design City - Creative Workshop
Open Design City - a space to create and share
ODC - Produktionswerkstatt
ODC- Make something happen


What else can we come up with?

Please make suggestions and send it back to me!"

I tentatively offered:
Open Community Space
Open Source Community Space
Open Maker Space
Community Maker Space

Then Christophe Valliant drops in:

Open Design City - merging minds
Open Design City - tangible learning
Open Design City - sharing knowledge
Open Design City - meet your peer
Open Design City - experience diversity
Open Design City - shaping future
Open Design City - Makerzone
Open Design City - Make your Goods
Open Design City - share your vision
Open Design City - experimental zone for physical literacy
Open Design City - space for collaborative knowledge production
Open Design City - leave your computers
Open Design City - peer-to-peer workshop
Open Design City - Join the Berlin Maker Community
Open Design City - the world is physical!
Open Design City - physical thinking
Open Design City - thinking with hands
Open Design City - tangible inspiration
Open Design City - communicate by working with your hands
Open Design City - manufacturing ideas

How would you define Open Design City?

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On Open Design

When we first launched Open Design City in May, I set out to explain Open Design, but not to define (as our understanding of such a concept should likewise be open):

"Open Design is design for the commons. Products that people are free to make, adapt, modify and build upon. The barriers to entry and access should be minimal. Open design products by their nature should be delivered in beta, perceived not as complete but continuously evolving, in dialogue with the user and the world."

I did not however seek to elaborate as to why Open Design is important. This I shall attempt to do below.

The most important aspect of Open Design for me is Access. Call me an idealist, but i'm of the opinion that no individual or business should have the right to prevent any human being from accessing the means to sustain their existence. AKA their right to keep on living. This restriction is a byproduct of the existing intellectual property system as well as the economic system it protects.

Open Design grants people the right to Access the technologies that can help them to sustain themselves. It removes a reliance on a service provider, instead focusing on the redistribution of knowledge, skills and processes, empowering people to meet their own needs cheaply and effectively. Such behavior, I feel is critical not just from the perspective of survival, but also critical to an individual's sense of power and ownership. To take responsibility for improving ones own environment. In countries worst struck by tragedy, poverty, famine and plague, adding reliance on a benevolent outside body does not help develop a psychology of survival (an issue explored in considerable detail by Tori Hogan).

But Open Design also holds tremendous value for societies less concerned with daily survival (who should maybe be more concerned with such matters). Below I have listed some of these aspects (elaborating only where I feel it is necessary) , which will have differing appeals for different social groups:

Emotional connection - building your own product connects you to the process and generates an emotional relationship to objects, countering a disposable attitude to the material world.
Empowerment - The ability to shape the world around you is an empowering attitude, the permission inherent in Open Design allows you to directly engage with the production of your product and understand the implications of it's manufacture.
Accelerated Innovation - Many minds make light work
Autonomous Collaboration - Open Design creates the opportunity to collaborate without concensus, we don't have to agree on the best path or course, but can instead be driven by our own egos and passions. By sharing the outcomes we are able to learn and derive benefits from each others action and learning without limitation.
Community Resilience - We have passed peak oil, yet at present our society is reliant on centralised provision of resources, Open Design is only one aspect of a distributed resiliant culture, yet one which can assist with the infrastructural and technological components of "lifeboat communities".

Open Design is not a new concept. In reality it's closed design that is new, with Intellectual Property only becoming a part of our culture over the last 200 years. However the myth of the designer is something strong in our psyche (especially in religious thinkers). Open Design is more akin to an evolutionary model of creation, the designer a catalyst, a spark of lightning or environmental influence.

Open Design as a concept, expands out in front of me, and there is more that I have yet to go into, to explore and describe. I encourage you to do likewise (shortly I will post a request and article from our philosopher in residence Camille to further provoke you). But my brief experience with developing a continuous Open Space - Open Design City, and the practice of Open Design we have been adopting, convinces me that Open Design represents a profound opportunity to empower people to take ownership of the world, and responsibility for improving it themselves.

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Visit us

ODC is open Monday–Friday from
10–19h (betahaus rates apply)

Free and open DIY nights:
Every Monday from 19h.

Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20
10969 Berlin