The Big Idea - designing in open source Open source communities pushed collaboration, sharing and transparency (in regards to licensing and copyright) throughout various industries. While design and creativity have never been more important, we often wonder where can designers who focus on open source projects share what they do, push their designs further and encourage other designers to join the community? Enter the Open Source Design NYC Collective.

Who are we and where did we contribute last? We are a collective of designers and design advocates who contribute to open source projects. Julien Deswaef, Jessica Klein and Dina Michl opened a chapter in NYC to meet regularly and grow the open source design community. In September, we held our first meeting to collaborate on defining what shape the meetups should take.

nycgroup Top row: Atul Varma, Julien Deswaef, Brian Carr, Dina Michl Bottom row: Jess Klein, Dave Crossland Not pictured: Dixie Ching

Collaborative Mind-mapping and Affinity Diagramming At the first meetup, we got to know one another through a series of design exercises (what else?!). Additionally, we needed to establish what our collective mission would be and how we might organize future get togethers. We asked the following questions:

  • What kind of meetup excites you?
  • What excites you about open and open source design?
  • Sticky clustering
  • What common themes are emerging?

sticyclustering (/images/cardsorting2.jpg) Sticky clustering happened!!



Through the affinity diagramming activity, we determined that there are about nine core themes that the group was interested in supporting through the meetup. These themes are:

  • Sharing
  • Education
  • Community
  • N00b Friendly
  • Social Atmosphere
  • Participatory
  • Accessibility
  • Multidisciplinary
  • Toolboxes and Workflow

These themes will act as kind of our design values for developing out the concept for the meetup. Whatever shape the ultimate meetup takes, these themes will help us to frame future conversations around what success might look like for us.

Break out groups: The themes informed a deep conversation about our mission and how we were to organize future sessions so they would be a success. We wondered What kind of impact do we want to have 1 year from now?

It was clear that as a group we all wanted to focus on sharing and applying knowledge of design within open source parameters but also keep a broader context that would avoid us only focusing on open source tools. Design needs to be a priority for open source so we having peers share knowledge and tips will only support and spurn much needed design growth. As a result, we decided that the meetups will have two core elements to them:

  • Presentations - gathering of peers (using community to build design)
  • Making - applying knowledge (using design to build community)

Share-out and Next Steps (identify guest speakers, etc) Our upcoming meetup will take place place in ThoughtWorks offices, 99 Madison Avenue on Thursday the 9th of November, from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Date & Location

  • Date: Thurs, 09 Nov 2017
  • Time: 6:00pm - 8.00pm (EDT)
  • Where: Thoughtworks offices, 15th Fl, New York
  • What: Open Source Design Kit

We will start to put some of this theory into action by attempting to run the meetup and iterate from there. Thank you for your interest and please stop by and say hello!

You can RSVP for the meetup at eventbrite