OpenStructures is a design methodology for open modular design (also see ‘About’).
What is OS_Studio?
OS_Studio is the design studio that facilitates the use of the OpenStructures design methodology (also see ‘Team’).
Why this project?
Because we want to develop a networked alternative on how to create, exchange, manage and redistribute value.
Why another modular system?
Because modularity is one of the basic principles of sustainable design
Why an open system?
Because we believe in collaboration rather than competition.
What makes the OpenStructures model different from existing modular systems?
Unlike most existing modular systems, the OS model doesn’t follow the classical top-down approach in which one person designs a complete (modular) system for everybody, but rather favors a system where everybody designs a small part of one shared system.
How open is OpenStructures?
The Platform aims at establishing a balance between openness, fairness and economic viability. Parts are open and accessible enough to allow innovation based on existing designs, yet closed enough in order to protect their creative value. Revenue is redistributed between the community and the platform in order to remunerate the work of contributors on the one hand and to maintain the services of the website on the other.
Why would I want to use this system?
The OS model will offer a more flexible environment to the end user, allowing his built environment to adapt (grow, shrink or update) more easily.
If we shift from project to process, each design object becomes a prototype, an update, a new version. If we see our society as ‘under construction’, rather than ‘accomplished’, we will free up space for progress.
Isn’t the OS model very primitive?
Every evolutionary process started with only a few blocs to build from, frequently resulting in rather primitive designs. But with every cross-pollination more pieces were created, and with every piece more complexity was added to the overall system, finally sophisticated constructions and creations emerged.
Since the OS system is conceived as an evolutionary model, it doesn’t consider its designs to be static end results, but rather sees them as updates of existing versions, phases within a broader cycle. Apart from that, the OS model wants to introduce variety within man-made modularity, welcoming different signatures to the design of its individual parts.
Isn’t the OS model very restricting?
Modularity is a dimensional restriction by definition, but it also offers new opportunities because of the shared dimensional framework it proposes. And within this restriction, variation is endless.
Won’t the OS model result a totalitarian, all-encompassing grid?
The OpenStructures project doesn’t impose its grid system, it proposes it. It invites people to experiment with it and hopes to learn from their outcomes. The OS model doesn't aim at convincing everybody but hopes to unite a tightly knit network of likeminded enthusiasts.
Why a grid of 40x40 mm?
Because it syncs up nicely with already existing standards and it’s easy to use.
Why did it take so long to develop the system?
Because developing a(n ecosystem) is more complex than developing a product.
Why should I buy an OS design?
Because you don’t buy a consumer product but rather an assembly of parts that can be infinitely adapted, reconfigured and re-used.
Because it’ll stimulate you to rethink, play and improvise rather than simply consume.
What can I do with my product if I don’t need it anymore?
What would you do with a LEGO car if you don’t need it anymore?
What do you mean with a Part?
A part is a modular piece, based on the OS Grid and the Design Principles, that cannot be further disassembled without breaking it.
What do you mean with an Application?
An application is a functional assembly of two or more Parts (such as f.i. an object) that contains at least one registered OS part.
What do you mean with an Original?
An original is the first appearance of a Design, stated by submission parameters (submitted by a Contributor on a given date).
What do you mean with a Derivative (version?)?
A derivative is a variation on an Original / an edited version of an original in which the 3D file of the derivative is (slightly) different than the 3D file of the original.
What do you mean with an edition?
An edition is a specific reproduction of a design; one design can have multiple editions, and each might have a different price tag though they all share the same 3D file.
What do you mean with Network?
The institutions and organisations that have actively supported the project (with whom we’ve been interacting) through workshops, exhibitions commissions, debates, conferences etc. until now.
Can I submit a design myself?
Yes, you can!
You can either submit work via this formula or email pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give us some time to review your submission and get back to you.
Why can’t I simply upload it directly?
All design submissions need to be verified prior to uploading in order ensure that all published content (product photography, fabrication files etc. ) is coherent and technically sound.
Why are certain downloads for free?
Because the designer chose to share his / her design for free.
Why do certain downloads come with a price tag?
Because the designer chose to do so.
How is the revenue of these downloads divided?
50% of the revenue go to the designer, the other 50% goes to the OS platform.
Why do some designs have a 3D file attached to it and others not?
Because the designer decided to do so (or not)
Why are all parts open?
Because it’s the only way to truly build things together, to create a database of parts that is fully accessible to everybody at all times
Why aren’t all Apps open?
Because we want to leave this choice up to the designer.
Why would I want to open up my App design(s)?
When submitting an App with an OS open 1.0 license, you offer your design to use, enjoy or even copy - for anybody everywhere.
Why would I want to protect my App design(s)?
When submitting an App and choosing an OS_non-commercial 1.0 license, you still offer your design to use, enjoy or even copy - to everybody, but for personal use only. However you indicate that it is Not OK to commercialise it, without prior agreement with you.
Because you support the idea that people out there could copy your design and enjoy its use it in their everyday but you’re less comfortable with the idea that a (big) manufacturer would make profits with your design.
Why are not all parts for sale as a product?
Because some are (unique) archive copies and/or haven’t been produced in large numbers (yet).
Can I resell a 3D file that I downloaded?
Only of designs that are licensed under OS_open 1.0
Can I resell / redistribute a part that I bought?
No. Only the designer of the part is allowed to do so.
Can I sell a product that contains one or more parts?
Yes, please contact us if you are interested in distributing.
Can I edit a 3D file of a part that I downloaded?
Will this edited part be automatically published on the platform?
No, you would need to submit your edited Part first either via this formula or by emailing to email@example.com in order for it to be verified by us prior of being published as a derivative.
Does the designer receive royalties on the sales of the part(s) that he/she uploaded
No, because Parts are always licensed and published as fully open (OS open 1.0).
Does the designer receive royalties on the sales of the App(lication)s that he/she uploaded?
Only if the designer licensed his / her application as Partly Open (OS non-commercial 1.0) and if the purpose of reproduction is commercial.
How is the sales price of an Application calculated?
The sales price of an Application is the sum of the production price of the application + a royalty for the designer (only if licensed as OS_non-commercial) + a sales-channel fee for the use of the OS webshop.
How to recognize an OS design?
OS parts can be recognized on sight by their typical assembly point patterns and / or dimensions. Apart from that the designer can then decide to feature the OS trademark and ID number onto the design. This will allow other users to look up additional part information by searching for the ID number on the OS platform.
What is the meaning of the ID n°?
The Part and/or App ID allows
to interconnect Parts with Apps with projects and events (of our History)
to position them chronologically
to trace and track Apps and Parts
to see what others build from the same Parts
to reconfigure an object/ App
to get a missing Part which allows to repair and object/ App.
What do the various letters and numbers of the ID n° signify?
the letter in front stands for the database type
P = Part,
A = App(lication)
H = History (event)
C = Contributor / Community
N = Network,
S = Sponsor
M = Media
the 3 digits in the middle stand for the registration number (ordered by date of registration)
the digit behind the point (if any) stands for which edition it is
P means Part
137 means that it’s the 137nd part that was registered
2 means that its the second edition of Part 137
Why are there numbers missing?
Not all registered designs get published, mainly because their submission is incomplete, incorrect or files are missing.
Does every individual part of my object needs to be designed from the grid?
No, in order for an object to be OS compatible it needs to contain at least one OS compatible part.
What is meant with the OS_open 1.0 license?
The designer allows other Users to use their Design free of charge regardless of the purposes for use. Under the fully open licensing option, both Personal Use Purposes and purposes that surpass Personal Use (e.g. purely commercial use of your Application) are freely allowed under the following terms:
You and every other User must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
If you remix, transform, or build upon the OS_Application, you must distribute your contributions under the same license as the original.
As a rule all OS parts that are published on the OS platform are open (in order to allow others to easily use and build further on them). Wether or not a published OS App is open is decided by the designer of this app.
What is meant with OS_non-commercial 1.0 license?
The designer decided that the entity using and/or reproducing his / her OS_Application for purposes that surpass Personal Use (e.g. commercial use of your OS_Application) is bound to the payment of licensing fees as described in our Terms of contribution and commercial use.
In all cases:
the entity using and/or reproducing the application must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. He/she may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses him/her or his/her use.
the designer agrees that he/she shall not claim ownership of any kind of Derivative Design created by others on the basis of your OS_Application.