Today, the products we buy usually travel thousands of kilometers before we can enjoy them. They are assembled in super-sized factories out of materials that often have to travel long distances before reaching the factory. These factories turn out mass-produced, highly standardized products, which leaves no room for individual customer needs or and the use of local resources.
What if we could change this system? Reduce the ecological footprint of products, democratise the access to quality design and expand the market for designers, makers and manufacturers?
The designer’s role is evolving and adapting to a new digitized world. Distributed Design is a new approach to design which utilises global connectivity to move data, instead of product. The approach rethinks how goods are produced, from what materials and enhances the customer’s relationship with their products.
The Distributed Design Market Platform or DDMP is a Creative Europe project that fosters the role of emerging Makers and Designers as part of this new digitized world. It celebrates, supports and inspires these professionals from across Europe and provides opportunities to support the mobility and circulation of their work to connect them with new, digital markets.
DDMP is empowering European makers and designers to change the production paradigm; to design anything, and make it anywhere.
What is the Distributed Design Market Platform?
The Distributed Design Market Platform is a four-year project funded by the European Union through the Creative Europe fund. It acts as an exchange and networking hub for the European Maker Movement. It consists of both online and offline activities such as events, resources, workshops, fairs and bootcamps that promote and advocate for emerging creative talent in Europe and their business productivity and sustainability. With events across Europe the Platform also supports the mobility of emerging creatives and their work.
What is Distributed Design?
Distributed Design is one outcome of the intersection of two global trends: the Maker Movement and the digitisation of the design discipline. This convergence has lead to the rise of a new market, in which creative individuals have access to digital tools that allow them to design, produce and fabricate products themselves or easily connect to a global network of collaborators to undertake aspects of this process with them. We call this process and the subsequent market which is emerging from these trends, Distributed Design.
The emergence of Industry 4.0, the global shift away from Fossil Fuels, climate change and overconsumption have raised questions about the nature and culture of the products we buy. Through Distributed Design Market Platform we are researching and developing alternatives to mass-production and the linear consumption models of Industrialisation. We focus on the movement of data, use of local material supply chains and digital fabrication as an alternative to the movement of materials and goods from production to consumer. This system can provide consumers more control over their final products by allowing them a voice in the production process.
Supportive. We promote of designers and makers who are working on new approaches to product development and commercialization.
Sustainable. We promote sustainable production and consumption with a focus on: product distribution and fabrication, the application of ‘zero kilometer’ in supply chains, open source distribution, and the circular lifecycle of products.
Open. We promote platforms and toolkits that help designers to go from idea to prototype, and from prototype to products and markets.
Ecosystemic. We promote an an ecosystemic approach to both online and offline tools which can connect designers, makers, manufacturers, and markets.
Who’s it for?
Emerging creatives in Europe
We wish to reach all creative disciplines dealing with design and the Maker Movement: creative players, makers, designers, artists, architects, scientists, students and others.
We hope 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.
This global movement merges artisanal skills with a digital layer of tools. We hope to benefit this global community of do-ers by enhancing the connectivity between them and the spaces in which they work such as Fab Labs, Makerspaces and Hackerspaces.
Who are we?
A platform membership of 12 partners, supported by the European Union through the Creative Europe fund and an Advisory Board made up of experts related to Distributed Design.
Platform members 2018-2019
Institute of Advanced Architecture of Catalonia | Fab Lab Barcelona
Stichting Pakhuis de Zwijger
Happy Lab Vienna
Danish Design Centre
POLITECNICO DI MILANO
Fred and Company
The Advisory Board provides experience and knowledge to the development of the Platform. It meets two times a year with the members of the project, and where possible they also participate in other events organised by the Platform.
Indy Johar is an architect, co-founder of 00 (project00.cc) and a Senior Innovation Associate with the Young Foundation and Visiting Professor at the University of Sheffield.
Carla Cammilla Hjort is a creative and cultural entrepreneur with a deep passion for people, radical ideas and meaningful design. The common denominator for everything she does is her wish to develop projects, businesses and communities that leads to positive change. “The Rebel Way” is about unleashing the full potential of companies, communities, and people.
Primavera De Filippi is a permanent researcher at the National Center of Scientific Research (CNRS) in Paris, a faculty associate at the Berkman-Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, and a Visiting Fellow at the Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies at the European University Institute.
Daniel Charny is a curator, consultant and educator with an enquiring mind and an entrepreneurial streak. He is co-founder of From Now On and FixEd (fixing.education) the home of Fixperts and FixCamp. He is member of the VARI advisory board and Professor of Design at Kingston School of Art.
Nadya Peek develops novel fabrication machines at MIT’s Center for Bits and Atoms. With her great knowledge in machines and digital fabrication she is an active member of the global fab lab community and a board member of the Open Source Hardware Association.
Liza Chong has a blended background in strategy, project management and implementation. In INDEX she leads the ‘Design to Improve Life Investment’ program, an acceleration program that works with design entrepreneurs and impact investors in realising sustainable solutions to global challenges.