REMODEL is an initiative to explore how manufacturing businesses can use open source methodology and principles to develop environmentally sustainable and economically sound business models in the manufacturing of physical products.
REMODEL aims to uncover, through concrete action and practical experimentation, how open source hardware business models can be created in a sustainable fashion so that manufacturing companies can use them to grow their business and consequently boost economic growth through the creation of innovative and sustainable open source hardware products as well as attributed solutions and services.
REMODEL will do this by pulling together leading experts in the field of open source business model consulting, research and practice, in order to conceptualise, prototype and test new open source driven business models in collaboration with Danish manufacturing businesses that act as use cases. The goal is to design business models that are directly implementable.
The work will be documented extensively and made available to the public under an open license to ensure that the learnings can be applied by any company worldwide wanting to test the principles for themselves. By applying such transparency, the intention is to enable the project to scale massively beyond the stakeholders directly involved.
The open source label comes from the software development world and refers to a more decentralised model of production, in contrast with more centralized models of development such as those typically used in commercial software companies. A main principle of open source software development is peer production, making elements such as source code, blueprints, and documentation freely available to the public. This model has proved increasingly powerful in producing software products that not only manage to compete with proprietary software in quality, design and functionality, but also at the same time create economically sustainable companies and hundreds of thousands of jobs.
What we have still to see is whether open source principles can be brought into the realm of physical product manufacturing on equally massive scale. This has proven difficult because of the innate costs of acquiring materials, handling logistics, keeping shelf space and the actual fabrication of such physical goods, as opposed to that of virtual products. There are are already some successful business ventures in this realm on the international stage, but still, however, the dominant perception is a widespread hesitation towards experimenting with these concepts that so radically contradict the conventional market economy mechanisms of using copyrights and patents to stay competitive. This is what REMODEL aims to help change.
REMODEL is a project that is part of Danish Design Centre’s ‘Future Fabrication’ program which explores how design methods and new manufacturing technologies of the maker movement - including its fundamental open source currents - holds the potential to significantly revolutionize manufacturing business worldwide.