Prototyping for opening production: from designing for to designing in the making together

Open Access: PDF

Seravalli, Anna. 2013. Prototyping for opening production: from designing for to designing in the making together. Presented at Crafting the Future, 10th European Academy of Design Conference, April 17-19, 2013, Gothenburg, Sweden.

ABSTRACT – Open and collaborative processes are assuming a growing role in the generation of goods and services. There is an increasing number of examples where production processes are opened, relationships between producers and final users become blurred and where making together represents a central strategy in generating value.

Design is increasingly involved in supporting opening production, both in terms of developing technical infrastructures and in facilitating and nourishing processes of making together trying to understand how design can boost collaboration and openness in diverse fields.

In trying to contribute to the discussion about how to design for making together, this paper reflects on the experiences made in the establishment and running of the makerspace Fabriken in the city of Malmö, a research project where the author is involved. The focus is on prototyping and how it has been used to foster collaboration and openness in the making of Fabriken.

From these experiences it emerges how prototyping (the design approach), has been a fruitful way for experimenting, learning by doing and conducting small-scale interventions. Moreover, in order to account for togetherness, prototyping has also been used as a way of infrastructuring and thinging.

In conclusion it emerges how prototyping in Fabriken has become a composionist tactic that can be appropriated by participants to drive their own making activities and shaping the space according to their needs. From this understanding a new role for the designer involved in processes of making together starts to appear and also issues about how to support them. From the experiences of Fabriken it emerges how design for opening production should be concerned with how to design in the making together rather than how to design for making together.

More articles from Crafting the Future Conference 2013 can be found at craftingthefuture.se.

Related open-access publications
Infrastructuring for opening production, from participatory design to participatory making?
– Building Fabriken: Design for Socially Shaped Innovation
– Democratizing production: challenges in co-designing enabling platforms for social innovation
– Dealing with Dilemmas: Participatory Approaches in Design for Social Innovation