Fab Academy 2022 by Anna Trap
Anna Trap voor Waag BY-NC-SA

Open Design Lab

The Open Design Lab investigates open collaboration methods and processes. We look at how the results can have shared ownership. We believe that design cannot remain exclusive.

The FabLab in the Waag is part of the Open Design Lab. This is the oldest FabLab in the Netherlands. As a place for digital fabrication and design, it houses the same machines as all the other FabLabs in the world. Enthusiasts, designers, artists and activists can work here to experiment, design and make objects, materials and products. The designs are shared worldwide and are open-source, so that they can be made anywhere in the world. We call this Open Design.

We believe that design cannot remain exclusive. Designs should be shared globally and be open-source.

The principle of Open Design is reflected in what we call 'Fab City Networks'. In these networks, local FabLabs play an important role in small-scale production of products that can be used for housing, cooperation between citizens and the design of public spaces. Accountability for the origin of materials and circular production are central to this.

By making things, opening them up and through unmaking (investigating what is no longer needed, and discarding or disposing of this) we think critically about technology. Art, science and collaborations between the two (art-science) also offer new perspectives on technology and its design.

The Open Design Lab represents Waag in the European initiative STARTS, a joint venture with Ars Electronica, BOZAR and others to promote activities at the cutting edge of art, technology and science.