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Tool: How to get started with distributed design

Distributed design offers a unique opportunity to rethink how we design, produce and consume products. We’ll help you get started

Distributed design is about decentralizing and opening up the design process. Instead of shipping materials and products around the world, we ship data, enabling local production anywhere in the world. This new approach to design leverages global connectivity to use local material supply chains and digital fabrication techniques such as 3D printing instead. 

Distributed design presents a fundamental shift in the relationship between designers and users and requires them to collaborate on a whole new level:

”I think one of the really important characteristics of distributed design is its flexibility. In order for it to be distributed and manufactured by different people in different locations, the design documentation needs to be crystal clear. It needs to be really well understood how this is designed,” says product designer Alex Kimber.

The challenge for designers is their willingness and ability to open the design process and create designs suited for local production. If they succeed, the approach has great potential for developing products that are more in tune with the users’ needs.

Get started

To help you get started, we’re offering two free design tools focusing on the essential parts of distributed design, like how to create the right conditions for distributed manufacturing.

Download the tools and learn how to open your design process and create the first prototype together with a community of co-creators.

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