Whole Earth Project

Useful information

Team members
Louis Bindernagel Laura Laipple
Crisis Design Open Source Global Commons Distributed Design Decentralised Think Global Make Local

Short Description

A community-driven library for solutions to humanitarian and environmental crises as a common good.

Detailed Description

The Whole Earth project is a unique emergency response platform that facilitates a dialogue between designers, makers, and people working on the ground.
Inspired by the independent production of face shields during the Covid-19 pandemic and the impact this had, the Whole Earth project deals with the analysis, consolidation, and creation of networks dedicated to the idea of Think Global, Make Local. It follows the approach of a decentralised production system, with ideas that are shared globally. The concept of open-source and the common creative licence allow blueprints of products to be shared freely as digital data via the internet and independently produced on-site following a demand. This gives rise to the possibility that not just one or a few actors, but a global process can emerge—with people from various backgrounds working on it. The Whole Earth project puts this approach into practice in the context of responding to humanitarian or ecological crises.

Project Details

Does your design take social and cultural challenges and human wellbeing into consideration?

The heart of the Whole Earth Project is to work for the well-being of humanity. We as a global society have solutions to most man-made problems but they are not available to all cultures and social classes. Through an open source approach and the co-creation of a global commons with solutions to these problems, the Whole Earth Project is creating alternative and citizen controlled ways forward.

Does your design support sustainable production, embodying circular or regenerative design practices?

The project supports the decentralised production of relief goods and products to cope with crises. This allows for demand-driven production and avoids long transport routes. Furthermore, open source makes it possible to adapt the construction plans of the solution according to needs and thus create products that are tailored to local conditions.

Does your design use principles of distribution and open source?

Distributed design enables a group of globally spread people to find a solution to a problem together - freely according to the maxim Thing Global, Make Local. The Whole Earth Project is based on a global community jointly designing solutions for local problems. Open source methods allow these solutions to be adapted to other contexts, alternative versions to evolve and the best ones to emerge over time.

Does your design promote awareness of responsible design and consumption?

Design sets the pace in a world that is trimmed to consumption and can no longer be imagined without it. The Whole Earth Project is dedicated to a new movement that wants to completely break down traditional production and distribution channels and look at globalisation in a new way. Through a global-democratic design phase, products can be carefully designed, which is equal to responsible design. For this reason, the project promotes responsible behaviour by taking it for granted.