Traditionally designers work on their own or collaborate as small teams often within the same studio or company. We wondered why? At Opendesk we love to share. We’re trying hard to share Open Making around the world so hundreds of small workshops and independent designers can benefit from furniture design and making rather than just a select few big names and factories. We’re proud of our maker community exchanging ideas and skills across the world and we’ve been thinking of new ways we can help designers do the same thing.
Software engineers collaborate on open-source projects using Git. Git is a version control system that allows one person to make a copy of a code project in it’s current state and start making their own changes. They can then either merge these changes back into the original project with the permission of the original owner or depending on the licence use it as a starting point for a completely new project. In this way improvements are made and completely new ideas can be developed by a global network of software developers. Can designers do the same thing with physical products?
With a couple of key changes in the way we think about physical product design and the way we share and disseminate our ideas we believe this same model can be applied to product design. If we can achieve this, products can be shared using the Creative Commons licensing system to be improved and adapted for new uses helping “to build a more equitable, accessible, and innovative world”.
CAD design has digitised product design and in doing so has unlocked the ability to truly collaborate. We’ve been playing with Onshape recently, it’s a cool new browser based CAD system and is one of the few systems that enables intelligent model versioning in a similar way to Git. So we’ve decided to run an experiment to see if you and others just like you want to share and collaborate on our designs. We’ve built our Studio Desk in Onshape and made the model public, you are free to hack, mod, edit and improve the design as much as you like and we’d love to see anything you come up with.
Click the “Join the experiment!” button at the bottom of this page and follow the instructions you find there to get modelling. The Studio desk is licensed under the CC BY NC licence and can be adapted and changed for non-commercial means as much as you wish. Should you wish to use your new design somehow in commercial sense please get in touch and we can put you in touch with the designer.