Distributed design is about decentralizing and opening up the design process. Instead of shipping materials and products around the world, we ship data. This new approach to design utilizes global connectivity to use local material supply chains and digital fabrication techniques such as 3D printing to enable local production anywhere in the world.
Distributed design presents a fundamental shift in the relationship between the designer and user. Designing for distributed manufacturing requires designers to collaborate with the users on a whole new level:
”I think one of the really important characteristics of a distributed design is its flexibility. In order for it to be distributed and to be manufactured by different people in different locations, the design documentation needs to be crystal clear. It needs to be really well understood how this is designed.” says product designer Alex Kimber.
The challenge for designers is their willingness and ability to open up the design process and create designs suited for local production. If they succeed, the approach has great potential for developing products that are more in tune with the users’ needs.
To help you get started with distributed design, we offer two free design tools focusing on essential parts of distributed design, for example how to create the right conditions for distributed manufacturing.
Download the tools and learn how to start imagining the benefits of opening up your designs and create the first prototype of a community of co-creators.
The Danish Design Centre
More Information here.