Design was born with the industrial revolution. As is the case with a lot of professions, digital economy now drives the market; often the production process of goods or services is less valuable than the digital data produced during their manufacture and through their use. The relationship between client/supplier is transformed as a result.

Digital and new technologies : creating bridges or walls?

  • On the one hand
    • A fantastic opportunity to share knowledge and skills.
    • A pathway towards new possibilities of creation, conception and production.
    • The tool to achieve a greater involvement from citizens and a greater power to fight together
  • On the other hand
    • The tool to reinforce a class system and an economy that deconstructs the salaried workers (from the link of subordination to the employer, to the link of domination to a client).
    • A place where algorithms tend to replace the free will of humans
    • A tool which makes people dream of becoming ‘all-powerful’ humans whilst rights disintegrate.

As for the rest of the working and trades world, design is now affected by this profound transformation of capitalism, witnessing, in less than 10 years, Apple inc., Alphabet inc. (Google), Microsoft and Amazon becoming the first 4 multinational companies globally, through their stock value (followed closely by Facebook, in 8th position), getting ahead of the oil leaders. The appropriation and the mass treatment of digital data (big data) that are at the root of their wealth, have as consequence the erection of new «enclosures»1.

1Enclosure : Is an English term which describes the action of enclosing a field or a wood. The term refers to an act established by the English aristocracy, which had closed down the farmers’ access to the fields by using hedges and low walls in the XVIth century, to assert their right of land, which had before then been managed collectively. Enclosures impoverished an army of peasants who had to become a sort of working class condemned to sell its labour in the spinning mills in order to survive the start of the industrial era. The establishment of criminal laws against poverty alongside the enclosures structured a work market which is at the origin of modern capitalism.(Wikipédia)

Responding to these new barriers (ban on access to source code of software), free software and open source appeared in the eighties, contributing to the emerging movement of the commons. This in turn gave way to Creative Commons, leading the new creative practices to the digital era, facilitating the diffusion and division of a substantial amount of productions. The development of 3D technologies also opens new prospects and challenges the design industry over what the notion of « open design » could entail.

With the increasing performance of 3D printers, by fundamentally modifying the modes of conceiving and producing, the foundations of industry and design are being challenged. These transformations can either widen the « mur d’orgueil » (1919 Bauhaus manifesto by Walter Gropius) by entirely dissociating the design trade from the manufacturing one, in order to encourage working co-operations between manual and intellectual labour; between conception and fabrication; between the artist and the craftsperson; by feeding the reflection on what "producing commons in common".

Europe and big data: is the European culture of Human rights solvable through algorithms? - Relais Culture Europe -Pascal Brunet, directeur du Relais Culture Europe

Icône PDFSome keys figures (in french version only)

The movement of the commons

What is the resurging movement of the commons : free softwars, Créative commons, Open design?

Francesco Brancaccio, post-doctoral researcher from the IRI (Institut de Recherche et d’Innovation) presents the new enclosures of knowledge. He then describes briefly the main transformations of intellectual property today with regards to its legal roots. Finally, he focuses on the resurgence of informative and digital collective data and the legal inventions that emerge from it.

Icône PDFRead "La resurgence des communs" (in french version only)

Icône YoutubeLa résurgence du mouvement des communs

The philosophy of free culture, the legacy of the free movement of software

Xnet, association based in Barcelona since 2008 has been fighting for the cause of free culture and the defense of citizens against misuse when it comes to royalty.

The philosophy of free culture, the legacy of the free movement of software, is the living proof that a new kind of ethics and a new way of doing business are possible.

Icône PDFRead "We want it free, as in free internet"

How to retribute the free goods production?

The construction of an economic model through trade-union engagement: the example of the Trade Union: "Editeurs de Logiciels Libres"

Baptiste Larvol-Simon, SYNPELL's founder, presents the experience of Synpell, which has formed a union (in french version only)

Icône YoutubeLa construction d’un modèle économique par un engagement syndical (The construction of an economic model through an union commitment)

Collaborative work is also a productive investment

Emmanuel Antoine, Director, introduces through the journey followed by Minga within the CHIC project, what the strategy is in terms of « economic model », whether looking at the selection of varieties of the craftsmen – seeds sellers who refuse to « privatise » live goods, or whether considering the work of free software editors (in French version only).

Icône PDFLire "Minga dans le cadre du programme « CHIC »"

Icône YoutubeLe travail en coopération est aussi un investissement productif (Cooperative work is also a productive investment)