The Possibilities of Open Design Enabled by the Do-It-Yourself Movement
Acta Academiae Artium Vilnensis
Keywords:do-it-yourself, democratic design, consumerism, digital production, maker movement, open design
The author of the article discusses the history and evolution of various do-it-yourself movements, with a particular interest for its relation to the discipline of industrial design. Throughout the last century, various designers used do-it-yourself as a tool to bring better design to wider masses and equip them with the tools to change and understand the world of objects that surround us. The author argues that the last iteration of do-it-yourself is the existing maker movement, which relies on open connections and digital tools. These tools give the movement the power of creativity and production never witnessed in its previous iterations. The members of the maker movement show a much greater self-reliance and assume a more active role in society, in which passive consumption has become a status quo. The movement itself is still under formation and offers many different ways to approach it. For industrial design, it is a source of a large population of users equipped with abilities and tools to produce, change, and adapt design products. This type of design might actually be democratic not only in its affordability, but also in sustainability, social awareness, and a greater power given to the end user. Open design is the type of design that tries to democratize the knowledge of design and connect it with the existing maker movement. It is no longer just a theoretical possibility, but an actual tool for empowering the user with new forms of distributed design and production. The ever-expanding maker movement, easy access to information, and digital manufacturing tools demand for new forms of design. That is why the design discipline and the maker movement can enable one another to become a much larger parts of social and economic changes.