open design at duke and beyond


What Is Open Design?

Open design is a variation of design thinking and human-centered design that emphasizes community-focused co-creation. Open design derives from two primary ethical frameworks: (1) open source values of inclusivity and diversity, community and collaboration, and transparency and democratic access to information; and (2) philosophical inquiries concerning empathy and an individual’s responsibilities in relation to self and others found in continental philosophies such as phenomenology, deconstruction, and existentialism. 

What Is Open Design @ Duke?

Open Design @ Duke is a collaborative of students, faculty, staff, and community partners from Durham and across North Carolina who are building opportunities to learn the theory and praxis of open design while solving complex, real-world problems together.

What Is Open Design Pedagogy?

Because design processes ask us to learn and demonstrate essential contemporary skills and mindsets – like empathizing with stakeholders, collaborating in diverse teams, communicating across media, analyzing data and iterating forward, thinking boldly and creatively in the face of uncertainty – we must develop more opportunities for integrating design within educational contexts.

Just as open design is influenced by open source values and philosophical inquiries concerning responsibilities between self and other, so too is the approach we take to teaching open design. This approach is called open pedagogy, an approach to teaching and learning derived from open source values and critical pedagogy, which frames education as learner-driven, project-based, problem-posing, and equity-centered.

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