online co-design lab

It’s starting today so perhaps it’s getting a little late for readers to free-up some time to participate but Felipe Schmidt Fonseca, a PhD researcher at Northumbria University, is launching a very interesting online co-design lab which will run all month.

During four weeks (between April 5th and April 30th 2021) I will be working in the open in various manners to sketch, discuss, prototype and experiment ideas such as an universal registry of things, as well as various interfaces to access it. I expect also to advance concept ideas related to public infrastructure for waste prevention, and policies to support those ideas. […]

This online co-design lab is open and free to anyone interested in discussing and creating around themes such as zero waste, circular economy, maker cultures, regenerative design, critical urban studies and other related fields. As well as providing particular outcomes to be incorporated in my research, I also expect to facilitate the emergence of a community of people interested in such themes and the collaboration between them.

Felipe is also sharing his readings and learnings on his blog, with topics like abundance and repair, hacking, upgrade, prototyping, ecosystem mapping, and a homelab under lockdown.

His research and the lab taking place this month are part of OpenDoTT, an innovative PHD program at Northumbria University run with the support of the Mozilla Foundation and a number of other great partners, I encourage you to have a look at the consortium page to learn more about them.

The challenges of the Internet of Things (IoT) require interdisciplinary thinking. OpenDoTT will train five Early Stage Researchers with backgrounds in design, technology, arts and activism to create and advocate for connected products that are more open, secure, and trustworthy.

The language and proposed projects around the smart city are often pushed by large corporations and so is the discussion around the Internet of Things, both leading to very top down visions, but more citizen-lead projects stemming from interdisciplinary research are also progressing and showing alternate paths more broadly aligned with the Fab City framing. This co-design lab and OpenDoTT are both such projects and worth following.