open design

The term 'open design' first appeared at the end of the last century with the founding of the non-profit Open Design Foundation, which attempted to describe this new phenomenon. The organization proposed necessary conditions for open design rather than attempting to comprehensively define it: open design was design whose makers allowed its free distribution and documentation and permitted modifications and derivations of it.


Ista Boszhard and Cecilia Raspanti of TextileLab Amsterdam are the winners at Future Fashion Pioneers.


Zeven exhibits curated and supported by Waag at the exhibition 'Chronic Health' at the Dutch Design Week 2018.


Design blog Dezeen has interviewed Sabine Wildevuur of our Creative Care Lab in their series called 'Good Design for a Bad World'. In the interview, she describes healthcare as "a closed system" in which patients have little power.


During the Dutch Design Week 2017 you can visit the Embassy of Health to discover is a cooperative in which your DNA is stored and only made available to third parties under conditions determined by you.


Last month I flew to Chile for the 'Gathering of Open Science Hardware' (GOSH). I went there there with the idea to see a lot of hardware, exchange ideas about equipment and problems you face during equipment development, and of course meet many awesome people. Those cool people I definitely met but I actually did not see that much hardware! Nevertheless, the gathering was no disappointment and left a much bigger impression than I could imagine beforehand.


Frank Kresin looks ahead to 2017, that brings new challenges and opportunities and a new job for him at the University of Twente, managing the newly founded DesignLab.


Fairphone has created a special set of wooden, 3D printed accessoires for its latest model, Fairphone 2, that are printed at a facility in your own neigborhood.


As an outcome of the Design/Fabrication lab project, we have put together a report, that is now available as a free download.


In 2015, we were part of the international Dutch Design Week again in Eindhoven. And for this occassion, we also replaced a part of our public activities to our Pet shop at the Klokgebouw, where it was all happening during the event.


The Rijksmuseum has added the digital design of the 'Makerchair Hexagon' from the Dutch designer Joris Laarman to its collection.


The past open design contest of 2014 challenged designers to send in their 3D designs for a Fairphone Accessory.




Waag developed 'Whiskers': objects that remotely connect people in a playful way.


At the website of designboom architecture I found a post about the Vietnamese pavilion for the Expo in Milan in 2015.


Steve Swiggers and Vincent Muller of the Dutch branch of Wikihouse presented their design at the RAP for an open source garden house. Via they invited everyone to co-design specific parts they could find a solution for themselves.


We published the content of the minor Open Design, that is offered since September 2013 at students of the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam, in a document under a Creative Commons BY-SA license.


A try-out on Instructables suddenly became a hit. The consequence was that after two days the page had more than 60.000 visitors.


In 2012 a collaboration with the Willem de Kooning Academy (WdKA) in Rotterdam started to develop and realize an Open Design Minor.


The minor Open Design at WdKA, developed in collaboration with Waag, explores the principle of 'openness' as a parameter for design. The Downloadable Design Exhibition was the first project of this semester.


The Rijksmuseum is now organising the competition Make your own Masterpiece… The winner of the Rijksstudio Award will be the best design created using Rijksstudio, i.e. one that is inspired by the Rijksmuseum's collection. Every conceivable form of art is allowed (design, fine art, applied art, photography, video). And anyone can enter.


This year the public voted for Fairphone (Bas van Abel) as the winner of the Fontanel Public Award at the Dutch Design Awards 2013. Fairphone was nominated in the new Future Concepts category.


Who wants to do the Dutch Design Week 2013 (DDW13) in just one day has to make choices, as there is an overflowing supply.


Waag and Kennisland organized the seminar ‘The Future of Open’. At this seminar, experts from various backgrounds discussed the future of Creative Commons and ‘open’ in the Netherlands.


After two years and three printruns of the book 'Open Design Now', a Japanese edition of the book has been published. A beautifully crafted book, like they only make them in Japan: a paperback with a dustjacket - all in the finest papers.


Waag is a regular guest at the annual Dutch Design Week (DDW) in Eindhoven.


The annual international meeting of FabLabs, FAB9, was held in Japan this year in Yokohama. FabLabs from all over the world came together to meet each other, to exchange knowledge, participate in special workshops and events, listen to lectures and present their research results.


In September 2013, the first Open Design Minor started at WdKA Rotterdam.


How to position yourself in the field of design research? As a researching designer of as designing researcher? This theme was explored at the third design research hotpot, that took place on Wednesday 19 June. This edition of the evening was organized at design agency Muzus in The Hague. Sanne and Neele welcomed the participants in their atmospheric studio, to involve them in an inspiring discussion.


Industrial Designer Maarten Hertog joined our three day FairPhone Design Bootcamp and wrote a blog about it.


Through his documentary “Year of Open Source” project, the Berlin-based New Zealand filmmaker Sam Muirhead has set himself the challenge of trying to live as open source as possible for a year: abandoning goods protected with traditional copyright, getting rid of his Apple, discovering Creative Commons films and music, producing clothing with circular knitting machines and parametric designs, creating digitally manufactured furniture and learning to master open hardware and 3D printing.


Alex Schaub visited the Salone at Milan on invitation of Carmine Deganello.


Waag and Fairphone organized a design bootcamp in that focused on the complexities around mobile phone design, production and the supply chain. During three days, design teams worked towards proposals and prototypes for the fair phone of the future.



Fabbing Russia

ind 17e eeuw bezocht Tsaar Peter de Grote het Waaggebouw, waar hij zich in het anatomische theater liet inwijden in de ontleedkunde door arts en geleerde Frederik Ruysch. Op 10 april 2013 zat het Theatrum Anatomicum weer vol Russen. Ditmaal was het een delegatie van de ‘Association of Innovative Regions of Russia’ (AIRR), die alles wilde horen over digitale fabricage en open design.


On Saturday, January 12th, our Fablab was all about the Golden Age. Visitors made personal art based on our history and on the work of the old masters.


Since 12 December 2012, the contents of the book 'Open Design Now' is for 100% open under a CC-license online.


Connectivity Lab Live celebrated the new Connectivity Lab at Medea, Malmö University with a two-day creators event exploring innovative prototyping in the field of connected devices and social media. The event gathered visionaries, designers, programmers, makers and other creative minds for ideas and inspiration, talks, workshops, exhibitions and a 24-hour prototype challenge on 7-8 December 2012.


At the end of October 2012, the Rijksmuseum launched Rijksstudio, an open collection of 125.000 works of the museum. We showed people what you can do with this collection at the Bijenkorf stores in Amsterdam and Eindhoven.


The (Un)limited Design Contest was an experiment in Open Design.


This year Fab8, was held at the Massey University in Wellington New Zealand. The worldwide Fablab community is growing rapidly.


During the DEAF 2012 festival, project manager Isjah Koppejan saw some fine examples of the results that you get if you combine traditional textile crafts and modern manufacturing technology.


Last week I participated in a workshop on Booktype at the Sandberg Institute. Booktype is an open source 'self-publishing' platform. Here's an introduction to Booktype and a short report on what we tried to achieve and got done.


On 4 May I gave a keynote at re:publica 2012 in Berlin (co-incidentally on the same time as Neelie Kroes) about Open Design and local (digital) production, titled 'Made in my Backyard'.


The fifth edition of the alumni magazine 'REX' is about Open Design.


Smart Textile Services was about the development of successful methods, platforms, guiding principles and the business models required to understand the multi-disciplinary opportunities and challenges of creating Smart Textile Product Service Systems.




During the three days of the PICNIC Festival 2011, the NDSM Wharf saw an exceptional sculpture emerge.


Instructables Restaurant is the first restaurant in the world where everything you see, use and eat is downloaded from


The publication Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive examines current developments in the emerging open design movement and looks ahead to its future.


Fablab Yogyakarta was a collaboration between Waag and the House of Natural Fiber (HONF), Yogyakarta, Indonesia to set up a Fablab in Indonesia.


The design of products is no longer reserved for professional designers only. With today's computer-driven prototyping machines, anyone can make designs and print them in 3D.


For an exhibit at the expo of nominees for the Rotterdam design prize at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen, Open Design Lab of Waag made a collection of quotes and instructions about Open Design.