This project is the result of a transnational cooperation associating different professional sectors as diverse as design and the arts trade; the digital sector and the culture of freedom; political engagement and local democracy; cultural mediation; and finally, economic, cultural and local development.

Our partners from Belgium, Spain, France, Italy and Latvia are sensitive to the deep changes currently affecting our society, which is experiencing various crisis in terms of economy, democracy and identity…

They wanted to share their expertise in a collective project in order to experiment with new ways of « rebuilding cities », founded on an economy of solidarity

Pourquoi faire simple quand on peut faire compliqué ?!

They laid out their principles to imagine this project together:

  1. Creative professions and manual skills are universal.

    They facilitate the dialogue between men and encourage mutual recognition. They are a part of each and everyone’s cultural identity, thus playing an essential role in the writing of new, collective and shared narratives.

  2. An object tells a story.

    It can raise questions and challenge the norm. The design is a creative process that is esthetical, functional, economical, and socio-political all at once. The designer starts by analysing practical and emotional needs.

    « The designer does not get asked to draw a bridge but rather to draw a way of crossing the river. ».
  3. Je pompe donc je suis

    The new working methods that come with collaborative design are particularly focused on knowledge and skills crossing over, in order to trigger new potential for creativity, production and more widely speaking, to encourage sociability.

    Collaborative design removes any sense of hierarchy between individuals and the division of know-how; it breaks the social divide at work and enables for a better grasp of the different stages of production, allowing for everyone to share their competencies with everyone else.

    The participation to the design process facilitates its appropriation, from the problem to the solution, and it enables each participant to get involved more fully.

  4. Learning through play is a useful tool to motivate people, to reignite their interest and to develop their team spirit.

  5. The philosophy of free culture, inherited from the free software movement, relies on a bank of independent initiatives of solidarity, and on exchanges around the aptitudes and opportunities for all; it is also based upon the democratisation of knowledge, education and means of production, as well as on a distribution of income that is proportional to the work completed.

Logo creative commons


Various important questions on the way our society is evolving were raised:
  • The changes caused by the NTIC: the mass treatment of digital data and the improved performance of 3D printers are fundamentally changing design and production methods. Will they lead to a separation between the design and manufacturing trade, or, on the contrary, will they encourage the shared practice and the emergence of new creative methods through the Open source?

  • The local democracy crisis: can the Open design have an impact on the way citizens engage and get involved with fundamental social issues, such as healthy eating or the question of identity?

  • Putting the classic economic models into question: cooperation rather than competitiveness; the creative commons rather than royalty payments: are these simply militant choices, or do they incarnate models of research/development and income which are effective, ethical and fair?

What new forms of cooperation, what new methods of production and of communal sharing would help our society to evolve, as it is currently experiencing various crises?

Partners and support

Transnational co-operation

In order to bring part answers to these questions, the CHIC partners have defined a substantial project, enabling to put in place, from the start, a process of collaborative design, which relies on:

  • The creation of learning activities that are part of the collaborative design process, bringing together designers, artisans, fab managers, educational teams and users
  • The easy reproduction of these games at low-cost, by working on the collaboration between high-tech and low-tech
  • The networking of various European participants, who are thinking about the different types of remuneration for production of collective goods.

A common manufacturing tool: the stamp


CHIC has chosen to work on a theme that is common to all: the stamp.

This object was born from a universal need to repeat and multiply motives, patterns, designs, and figures with a decorative purpose (e.g. wood patterns) ; from a need to learn (e.g. print), to trade (e.g. to brand), and to share artistic works (e.g. lithography).

From popular culture to the most sophisticated artistic professions, the stamp is accessible to all and is representative of a shift in time, in techniques and in local identities. It is still used for both leisure activities (for example, pupils will use ink stamps to personalise their books) and for professional use in terms of printing, for instance with « batik » prints or embossed paper.

For 18 months, the CHIC project revolves around workshops open to the public, festivals and seminars, organised around the five European countries.

Closing seminar

The closing seminar of this project took place at the National Archives in Pierrefitte sur Seine in November 2017. His theme was:

Icône PDF "Open source / Open design: working together, or widening the gaps between professions, residents and areas ?"

What next ?

The closing seminar gave the opportunity to animate 3 workshops of braisntorming with the participants.

These exchanges on the work perspectives focused on 3 axes:

  • Making open source a resource that is part of daily life
  • Enriching and developing the « Make it togather » collection
  • Maintaining a european collaboration

Icône PDFThe synthesis of exchanges