The power of open source hardware lies in the ability to build upon others’ work and good documentation is the key to making this happen. We believe that documentation best practices can increase contributions to open source hardware projects significantly. For this reason, we are hosting a collaborative event to arrive at an open source hardware documentation platform based on a set of shared standards.

The open source hardware movement has come a long way in the last few years, but a number of outstanding issues is still slowing down its expansion and ability to become a new economic engine of efficiency, sustainability and collaboration.

Documentation is a key factor.

As the number of open source projects continues to grow, it’s important to generate clearly-findable, modular, remixable documentation that can not only improve the quality of projects – but also enhance cross-project collaboration. Quality documentation is essential to boosting the true spirit of open innovation.

We are confident that the growth of the open source hardware movement can be accelerated by a global knowledge sharing platform made of generic tools, specialized software, documentation templates and other blueprints and best practices. We believe that such a learning and exchange framework will eventually enable the birth of a globally-collaborative R&D community, cooperating by means of shared standards and platforms.

We foresee the birth of a global repository of hardware designs based on a shared information architecture and a shared approach to design. We advocate for a more interconnected global community built upon awareness, understanding of, and access to open design.

Only a shared approach to open source hardware design and documentation, will facilitate this transition and will encourage others to contribute to a common pool of human knowledge.

The Process
Being conscious of the wide scope of the challenges, we have organized a first 3-day event, that will be based on a sort of mashup of well known co-design formats for group cooperation such as Service Design Jams and Hackathons.

The event will be focused on identifying and sharing outstanding problems concerning the diffusion of open source hardware documentation practices and generating creative solutions and prototyping them collaboratively.

Problem domains and Layers

Problem domains and Layers

The Event
The event will be held by the 26th to 28th of April: a preliminary meetup on Friday afternoon will be used to identify challenges and form  groups on an interest-based choice.

The groups will be then left to work, within an agenda that will encourage cross fertilization. Groups will be asked to prototype all the work, in the form of documentation and soft deliverables, pieces of software, service or business ideas, animations, handbooks, guidelines, stencils and graphics sets and so on so forth.

We will select participants to ensure balance between designers, hackers, developers, storytellers, facilitators, entrepreneurs, and others. If you are interested in joining please apply here >>

Backing organizations
Do you want to help organize? Do you want to run a parallel event in another location? Can you review the materials that we have so far? Can you help with space, tools, staff, stuff, travel, rewards, and other support? Join us >>.

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