Distributed Design Platform

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


The Challenge

To support makers and designers 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

The Distributed Design Market Platform (DDMP) is a project funded Creative Europe Programme Platform under grant agreement No. 2017 – 3157 / 001 – 001.

Platform Outputs

Design, Remix, Share, Repeat book, website design and management, +42 yearly events and platform management

Our products in which we buy today often travel thousands of miles to reach the consumer, produced under difficult conditions and further, are thrown away carelessly at the end of their lifecycle. The emergence of Industry 3.0 has encouraged a global network of makers and designers to start designing useful and compassionate tools and products which are a step away from the commercialist society which is so commonly seen in the past. This calls for a new approach to how we design, make, manufacture and sell our products.

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 (DDMP), co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union, is a practice-based advocacy platform for Distributed Design coordinated by Fab Lab Barcelona. Comprising 15 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 two publications and a forthcoming third publication, an online digital hub at distributeddesign.eu, the Distributed Design Awards which received over 170 entries in collaboration with INDEX Project and have delivered the Distributed Design Academy, an online skills incubator for the emerging field. 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.

Who is it for?

All creative disciplines dealing with design and the Maker Movement: creative players, makers, designers, artists, architects, scientists, students and others. 

Designers and Makers

To benefit and increase the number of designers and creatives that self-produce goods by integrating resources they don’t have access to. Utilizing digital platforms for all aspects of the creation process, to financing and execution. We hope to benefit the global community of do-ers by enhancing the connectivity between them and potential markets.

Associate members

The platform also invites Associate Members to join including industry partners, SMEs and design organisations.


Project Partners

Supported by