Open Design: A History of the Construction of a Dutch Idea

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In a short period of time, open design went from an unknown notion to a buzzword in the Dutch design world. This development is usually attributed to the proliferation of bottom-up activities fostered by a typically open Dutch society. However, although open design is commonly associated with grassroots, bottom-up activities, in the Netherlands, the most visible effort at widespread dissemination of these ideals has been the result of a highly centralized effort largely supported by government funding. Why were the government and cultural organizations interested in fostering open design practices? And what type of open practices has this top-down model engendered? Advancing from a constructivist approach, we examine how this discourse has been formed by the convergence of actors with distinct agendas, and position it in relation to its cultural and economic contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)405-422
Number of pages18
JournalThe Design Journal
Issue number4
Early online date28 Apr 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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