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Commons in design (SNF)

In the four-year SNF research project, the fundamentals of common-based design are being developed.

The central question of the research project revolves around the concept of design in the context of digitization, which needs to be expanded and rethought, and the changing self-image of designers as a result. The research project generates essential insights into firstly 'knowledge practices in the open design process', and secondly 'collaborative spaces and media'. Third, specific design models and methodologies will emerge in the context of design research.

With the interconnectedness of technologies and the resulting increasing complexity of design problems, it is becoming more and more difficult to understand, overview and execute the entire design and production process. While there is a specific knowledge of technological sub-aspects, for example the handling and application diversity of 3D printing from rapid prototyping to product-ready prostheses, in our opinion there is a lack of holistic understanding of how future technologies and the resulting conditions manifest themselves in design.

The principle of commoning can also be used in design and enables new fields of activity and methods (such as open innovation, open learning, open design). There is great potential to share designs, workplaces, techniques, etc. in design, which promises increased agility in the development and production process and more flexible conditions for designers. Based on the socio-economic transformations described above, the research project will develop the fundamentals of common-based design.

The research project makes an important contribution to design research and enables a perspective on how the principles of open source and open design can be embedded in an open concept of design and made productive. The aspects to be worked on in the research project focus on networked, participatory and open processes based on commons and commoning.

Research Team:
Christine Schranz (lead)
Merle Ibach
Moritz Greiner-Petter
Charleen Elberskirch

Funding Institution:
Schweizerischer Nationalfonds (SNF)


Dreispitz Basel

FHNW University of Applied Sciences and Arts Northwestern Switzerland Basel Academy of Art and Design Freilager-Platz 1 4142 Münchenstein near Basel
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