Open Design: Driving Product Design Innovation through New Collaborative Working Practices and Professional Models

By Jamie Billing and Tracy Cordingley.

Published by The Design Collection

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Over recent years the spirit of Open Design has been
ignited. Based on the principles of Open Source, this new
model has given birth to a challenging social movement that
is co-operative, community-minded and seeks acceptable ways
of public sharing creativity. A host of new working
practices and professional models are now emerging which
extends the community-based model well beyond the domain of
software to hardware and thus products. The main aim of this
paper is to address the potential effects and implications
of emerging Open Design schemes on both the professional and
teaching practice of Product Design. The paper builds on
current research undertaken in social sciences on open
social structures and innovative communities (Shah, 2005)
and examines qualitative research from a number of new
entrepreneurial ventures, industries and product categories
who foster Open Design models. The research will pay
particular attention to changes in Property Ownership
Rights, User Innovation, Professional Practice Structures
and Entrepreneurial Motivation.

The paper will also draw from a live case study of a new
Open Design Business Model founded by Cordingley and
Billing. Co-oproduct ( is a new Community
Interest Company set up to explore the potential for a more
open, social, and collaborative model for product design.
Unlike the traditional proprietary model whereby consumer
needs and products are constructed for commercial gain,
centred on ReUse, Co-oproduct presents an alternative model
for the design of products, one which is community driven
and harnesses a more natural, open product design process.

Keywords: Open Product Design, User Collaboration, Community Innovation, Open Source, Co-Operatives, Co-Products, MIY, Co-oproduct

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 5, Issue 5, pp.299-312. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 967.157KB).

Jamie Billing

Senior Lecturer, Product Design, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK

Tracy Cordingley

Senior Lecturer, Product Design, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire, UK


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