Towards a model of the open-design process: Using the grounded theory for modelling implicit design processes

DS 87-2 Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 17) Vol 2: Design Processes, Design Organisation and Management, Vancouver, Canada, 21-25.08.2017

Year: 2017
Editor: Anja Maier, Stanko Škec, Harrison Kim, Michael Kokkolaras, Josef Oehmen, Georges Fadel, Filippo Salustri, Mike Van der Loos
Author: Boisseau, Etienne; Bouchard, Carole; Omhover, Jean-François
Series: ICED
Institution: Arts et Métiers ParisTech, France
Section: Design Processes, Design Organisation and Management
Page(s): 121-130
ISBN: 978-1-904670-90-2
ISSN: 2220-4342


The open-source approach arose in the computer industry. It now also impacts physical goods. In order to benefit from alleged benefit of open-design for tangible artefact, it appears needed to model this design process. We thus studied the 12 projects that took part to the PoC21 innovation camp, and construct a model based on interviews of projects stakeholders we have conducted. To develop the model, we followed the methodology of the grounded theory. The two main contributions of this paper are: first, the model of the open-design; and second, the methodology we used to construct this model. We have found that it is possible to use the grounded theory framework for formalizing implicit processes. Our model depicts the open-design process as a process, which features resemble to both traditional product design processes, and open-source software development processes. However, it also presents specifics that are not shown in any of these models detailed in literature. This model can serve as a basic for future prescriptive research on open-design. Moreover, we recommend a grounded-theory based methodology to model undocumented and implicit design processes.

Keywords: Open-design, Grounded theory, Open source design, Process modelling, Research methodologies and methods


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