GOSH (Grounding Open Source Hardware) in Banff

A global meetup, across all disciplines- creative, strategic, user experience based and business-minded.
The Grounding Open Source Hardware (GOSH!) Summit at The Banff Centre serves to bring together the many and disparate makers, producers, theorizers, and promoters of physical objects that come to life under open and distributed models.

(From the website) This Banff New Media Institute (BNMI)summit highlighted and facilitated the emerging dialogue on both artist-driven and socially conscious open source hardware projects. From prosthetic limbs to electronic hardware, the breadth of open source hardware projects and distributed models of manufacturing suggest that it is time for these disparate manufacturers, designers, artists, and engineers to come together to discuss the common issues of their practices.

Why it’s significant?

Because it’s one of the first centralized attempts at organizing all the hackers, phd’s, artists, creatives, interaction designers, experience designers, researchers, teachers, theorists, and studencts that work in open source hardware. While open hardware practices have led to the rapid development of a multitude of varied projects, no central organizing rules or practices exists for open hardware.

Open hardware brings excitement, a potential for real social effects, and a lightning-fast collaborative progress to the development of physical objects, but along with these benefits come a host of complicated issues. A central goal of the conference will be to bring to light these issues, in a multidisciplinary context that encourages exchange and collaboration.

Why does this matter?

‘Cause these are the people that are shaping the future of media experiences- for everyone. And we need to know what they are doing. These people are the ones that are inventing the next iphone, for free, for the sheer hell of it. They probably already have.

Why does this matter from a planning perspective?

Because good interactive design is social, and often experiential and progressive. And because these people are breaking down barriers and creating new ways to interact with their products, creating new kinds of products and totally re-working hardward as we know it.

Because this conference represents a core sampling of very different people all working in different ways under the framework of open hardware. Because they are not centrally organized, intentionally? and that represents an opportunity/platform for engagement with this audience on many levels- plainly speaking it means that they need help, guidance and support. They are growing communities of makers and they have to be service oriented in the social media space.

Following people and conferences like this that keep me inspired to do great work. The stuff I can learn in two days from a conference like this trumps hours of research. I got a first hand sense of the future of products, and design experiences by the people that are inventing tomorrow…


The wiki for the project is here: GOSH WIKI


See Flickr.

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