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Matt’s PhD

Open design for medical artefacts; a practice-led design study in the NHS

The field of open design is relatively new, although designers and makers have been supplying plans and patterns of products since the turn of the 20th century. With the advent of the Internet, it became possible to share knowledge and distribute the development of products (digital or analogue) across large communities of diverse people. In the fields of photography and graphic design, the barrier to entry is now so low that the creation, editing and sharing of artefacts is ubiquitous; the same is poised to happen to product development with the recent developments in 3D printing, hacker spaces and Fab Labs.

This PhD will look at the impact that open design could have on the development of medical products; by working on a practice-based PhD I hope to show by example the effect that open design can have. I expect the output to be mainly methodological, but with a range of artefacts embodying the knowledge and working practices of the communities that will be involved.