Open Design by Ronen Kadushin

Open Design Exhibition in BerlinExhibition of his latest open designs in Appel-Gallery in Berlin, May 12-20, 2007

A frequent topic in my public lectures is the “open design” project by Ronen Kadushin, an Israeli product designer living in Berlin, Germany. Ronen created this product line to close the creative gap between product design and other fields, such as music, graphic design, animation and photography that are traditionally more connected to political, social and economic flows and issues. Inspired by the Open Source movement, he released the designs under a Creative Commons license, which means that you are allowed to reproduce them for personal use. Each design can be downloaded along with a description and a ‚blueprint‘.

“Industrial design is becoming more and more a toy for rich people … dominated by large names and big companies”, Ronen once explained to me in an interview. Industrial design industry is monopolized by a number of large producers (manufacturing and distributing the designs), focusing on the concepts of less than 150 “famous” industrial designers whose concepts are recognized. All the thousands of other well talented designers are just serving the elite. His intuition was that this system was just producing too much “waste”: Even of the more established designers, only one out of twenty design concepts are becoming products, the rest is just creative waste.

As a result, the concept of Open Design was born. The idea is to find a new logical method how design could be working, using open source software as a working model. His designs are two dimensional „cutout“ represented as digital information. It relies on the internet’s communication resources, to publish, distribute, and copy the designs under a CreativeCommons deed. Coupled with the flexibility of CNC production methods and their broad availability due to new enablers like emachineshop.com, all technically conforming designs are continuously available for production, in any number, with no tooling investment, anywhere and by anyone.

The latest developments and objects of this project will be exhibited in Berlin in a new exhibition in the Gallery “Appel-Design” (Torstrasse 114, 10119 Berlin Mitte) from May 12 to May 20. Meet Ronen during the exhibition’s opening on May 13, 6pm.

For more information on the exhibition, click on the picture or go to Ronen’s website http://www.ronen-kadushin.com.

About the Author:

Frank T. Piller is a Co-Director of the MIT Smart Customization Group at the MIT Media Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, and a chair professor of management at the Technology & Innovation Management Group of RWTH Aachen University, Germany, one of Europe’s leading institutes of technology. Before entering his recent position in Aachen, he worked at the MIT Sloan School of Management (2004-2007) and has been an associate professor of management at TUM Business School, Technische Universitaet Muenchen. Frequently quoted in The New York Times, The Economist, and Business Week, amongst others, Frank is regarded as one of the leading experts on strategies for customer-centric value creation, like mass customization, personalization, and innovation co-creation. His recent analysis of the crowdsourcing business model “Threadless” (co-authored with Susumu Ogawa), an innovative crowdsourcing business model in the fashion industry, has been elected as one of the Top-20 articles in MIT Sloan Management Review.