2011 – ongoing
Thomas Lommee’s project ‘OpenStructures’ is a geometrical grid, or modular construction system, designed for participants to build freely upon. Lommee describes it as ‘a collaborative Meccano to which everybody can add their own parts and pieces – just like Wikipedia is a collaborative encyclopedia to which everybody can add their own articles.’ This cooperative aspect of design is already apparent within the realm of digital creation – with the emergence of open-architectures on the Internet.
The ‘OS WaterBoiler’ by Jesse Howard and Thomas Lommee, was designed using the OpenStructures system. The WaterBoiler was the first object conceived at the OS Work/Shop in Brussels (a hands-on workspace that offers OS enthusiasts a space to design and develop their own objects). Coffee makers and water boilers are relatively simple machines, yet their workings are typically inaccessible to the user. The OS Boiler explores an alternative approach to the design and production of these ubiquitous appliances. The WaterBoiler’s design and transparent construction invites users to adapt, repair, and combine it with existing OpenStructure components. Lommee hopes that the consistent application of simple and straightforward principles, in design and production, will lead to objects that can evolve and adapt over time.