Distributed Design Platform

A Europe-wide platform to advocate and champion the emerging field of distributed design.


The Challenge

To support creative talents in the emerging field of distributed design in which we move data, instead of products.

Our Solution

A networked platform to further develop the skills and capacity of makers and designers in Europe through events, workshops and publications.

Type of Project

Platform funded by European Union’s Creative Europe programme under Grant Agreement 101059118.

Platform Outputs

“This is Distributed Design” short documentary and book, Books: “Viral Design”, “Design, Remix, Share, Repeat”, website design and management, +42 yearly events and platform management

The Project

Distributed Design is a phenomenon that integrates design skills and the ‘making’ approach to enable new entrepreneurial types of professional producers. On one hand, designers acquire more technological and practical skills. On the other hand, makers evolve their design attitude and capabilities. The concept builds upon the practice of the global Fab Lab Network. Design and production practices are enhanced by a digitally connected, globally distributed infrastructure of digital fabrication tools. Data (designs) can move globally, whilst atoms (materials) stay locally. This paradigm presents a new sustainable alternative to the Industrial model of ‘take, make, waste’ and designers can create personalised, localised products in collaboration with others at distance.

The Distributed Design Platform (DDP), co-funded by the European Union, is a practice-based advocacy platform for Distributed Design coordinated by Fab Lab Barcelona. Comprising 17 members from across Europe the Platform presents an annual programme built around open source, public-facing tools and methodologies with the aim to educate, train and upskill designers and citizen-designers in the field and potential of distributed design.

Our Contribution

Fab Lab Barcelona at IAAC is the coordinating entity of the Distributed Design Platform. This means we are responsible for the strategic, technical and administrative development of the platform and coordination of all communication and media related activities. In this capacity, we have developed multiple highly successful project outputs including three publications, an online digital hub at distributeddesign.eu, the “This is Distributed Design” short documentary, the Distributed Design Awards in collaboration with highly recognized companies such as the INDEX Project, Wikifactory, Craftbot and many more. We have delivered the Distributed Design Academy, an online skills incubator for the emerging field which will be transformed into a Distributed Design Masterclass (MOOC). In 2019, the team delivered a highly recognised project incubator with the Precious Plastic headquarters in Eindhoven – The Plastic for Good Challenge – in which 15 creatives developed projects that put recycled plastic to good use through innovative product design and construction. The Fab Lab Barcelona team made a mini-documentary about the experience.


Project Partners

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