The recent political struggles between Hollywood and networked culture underscore a profoundly disruptive fact: exclusive ownership rights are no longer as valuable as they once were. What really matters is the flow. Increasingly, knowledge and other intangible things are more valuable when they can circulate -- when they can be freely copied, shared and modified via open platforms.
Finally, we have a big, meaty book that takes on this issue. Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive offers lots of specific stories and penetrating analysis by leading practitioners of “open creativity.” The book will make heads explode in certain executive suites around the world, but it will also inspire talented artists and amateurs to enter the exciting world of co-creation and social design. The stories show that online collaboration is not just for software; it’s a larger, more powerful force that now designs and builds cars, mobile phones, furniture, images, computer hardware, and much, much else.
Open Design Now was produced by three Dutch organizations – Creative Commons Netherlands; Premsela, “the Dutch Platform for Design and Fashion”; and the Waag Society, a foundation that “develops creative technology for social innovation.” Not surprisingly, the book has a bold, sleek, attractive design for its 18 essays, 21 brief case studies, and a “visual index” showing dozens of innovative trends in design.