FOSDEM is the Free and Open source Software Developers’ European Meeting, a free and non-commercial two-day weekend event that offers all open source contributors a place to meet, share ideas, learn and collaborate.

After 6 successful years we will host another design devroom at FOSDEM 2021 (virtually)!

The Open Source Design devroom will take place online over the weekend of 6th and 7th February 2021.

The exact times will be confirmed in the coming months. Due to the global health situation, FOSDEM will take place completely online.

There will be talks about design work on free, libre and open source projects.

We invite you to send in your submissions about design work on free, libre and open source projects.

We mean ‘design’ in the broadest sense: user research, interface and interaction design, information architecture, visual design, typography, illustration, iconography, spatial, accessibility (and anything you can think of) – all in the context of open source projects, which we believe introduces unique challenges.

Designers and developers working with designers (or on a design-minded project) are welcome to submit proposals.

Possible topics include:

  • FOSS design tools
  • Unique challenges that open source brings
  • Design techniques and deliverables
  • Design/engineering collaboration approaches
  • User engagement and design research activities
  • Project case studies

If you’re interested in seeing all previous talks, have a look at the schedule, and videos for 2019 and 2018,

Talk submission details

Due to FOSDEM 2021 being fully online there are some important changes -

  • Talks must be pre-recorded in advance. The talk will then be streamed during the event.
  • Speakers are responsible for recording their talks
  • After the talk stream, there will be a live Question & Answer session
  • People watching the talk stream will be to chat online, and submit questions
  • The reference time will be Brussels local lime (Central European Time)

For accepted talks

For talks which are accepted:

  • All speakers will be assigned a devroom contact to support them and answer questions before the event
  • All speakers will need to record their talk and upload it to FOSDEM’s website
  • The deadline for uploading talk videos is expected to be in the first two weeks of January
  • The talk videos will be reviewed to ensure they have the required quality
  • During the stream of the talk, the speaker must be available online for the Q/A session.
  • Final timeslots will be co-ordinated with speakers after all talks have been finalised

Recording and licensing of talks

By submitting a proposal you consent to be recorded, and agree to license the content of your talk under a Creative Commons (CC-BY) license.

What and how to submit

Submission format

20-minute presentations

Submission deadline

23rd December 2020

Notification about accepted talks

We expect to notify people if their talk has been accepted or not by approximately 31st of December.

How to submit

All submissions are made in the Pentabarf event planning tool at

When submitting your talk in Pentabarf, when asked for the ‘Track’, you must select the ‘Open source design devroom’.

If you already have a Pentabarf account from a previous year, please reuse it. Create an account if, and only if, you don’t have one from a previous year.

Who to contact for help

If you have any issues with Pentabarf, do not despair contact - bernard + fosdem at ei8fdb dot org or vic3brown at gmail dot com

Who co-ordinates Open Source Design devroom

The Open Source Design Devroom is co-ordinated by the Open Source Design community.

Check out the links below to learn more about us:

Examples of past talks:

Date & Location

  • Date: Sat & Sun, 6 & 7 Feb 2021
  • Time: Exact times yet to be defined
  • Location: Fully online