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About the OpenStructures project

Can we design hardware
like how we design software?

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What is the OS project about?

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- where everybody contributes a small piece to a common system
- which operate according to a (horizontal) network model

Os

- where one entity designs a complete system for everybody
- which operate according to a hierarchical (vertical) model

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When we look at modular construction systems we can clearly distinguish two different models:

Within software constructions however we are witnessing the emergence of open modular systems.

Within current hardware constructions we observe the existence of various closed systems.

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The OpenStructures (OS) project initiates a construction system where everyone designs for everyone.

It is an ongoing experiment that wants to find out what happens if people design objects according to a shared modular grid, a common open standard that stimulates the exchange of parts, components, experiences and ideas and aspires to build things together.

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Open_modular

Open modular systems

Closed modular systems

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Designer A designs modular system 1

Company B designs modular system 2

Although all these systems enjoy the benefits of modularity within their system,
they most of the time are completely incompatible with one another.

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Linux

open knowledge sharing

open programming

The OS project tries to find out what happens if we would initiate an open modular system for hardware

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… where different entities design different parts and components but all according to one shared modular grid.

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What is its purpose?

The purpose of this experiment is to investigate what the opportunities and limitations of an open modular system are and under which conditions it will prove to be most efficient and favorable.




What is its goal?

The ultimate goal is to initiate a universal, collaborative puzzle that allows the broadest range of people – from craftsmen to multinationals – to design, build and exchange the broadest range of modular components, resulting in a more flexible and scalable built environment.

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What is its potential?

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An open modular system of this kind has the potential to:

- generate flexible and dynamic puzzle structures rather than uniform modular entities
- introduce variety within modularity
- stimulate re-use cycles of various parts and components
- enable collaborative (and thus exponential) innovation within hardware construction




Who initiated it?

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The OpenStructures project is a collaborative effort.

It was originally conceived at the Institute without Boundaries and is now being further developed and tested by Intrastructures in association with the research group 4Dimensional Design of the Department of Architectonic Engineering Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.

www.intrastructures.net
www.institutewithoutboundaries.com




Who can participate?

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Everybody.




How to participate?

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You can enrich the project by:

- Designing parts, components or structures according to the OpenStructures grid

- Trading designs online.

- Exchanging your experiences and ideas with others in order to improve the system.

 

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