DIF Studio How Open Source is changing the rules of design

  • Speakers:
  • Joni Steiner

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Technology such as 3D Printers and CNC Routers have given rise to the prospect of mass localised production. Rather than transporting goods from, say, China, we can instead transfer blueprints and then produce goods in situ using locally-sourced materials. This promise is nothing new, yet it’s still not the norm. What will it take to create a significant shift towards the local model?

UK-based Open Desk are at the forefront of this type of thinking. Discover what they have learnt from their years of experience designing furniture for workplaces, working with a community of designers and makers, and integrating augmented reality into their work.


Joni Steiner

Joni Steiner

Co-founder and Co-CEO at Opendesk

Joni Steiner is a London-based architect and designer. He co-founded Opendesk with a mission to build a new kind of furniture company through an open, distributed and equitable supply chain: empowering a network of independent makers to fabricate locally in cities around the world. Leading the company’s creative direction and design, he is also a founding member of the strategic design studio 00.

As a qualified architect, he has designed projects including Bristol’s Urban Beach and the RIBA award-winning Manor Works centre for social enterprise, Sheffield. Earlier work with Adjaye Associates included the Nobel Peace Centre, Norway, and the Stirling prize nominated Ideas Store library in East London.

Joni co-designed the initial range of Opendesk furniture, including the original desk, which was nominated for Icon’s furniture design of the year 2014. The Edie Stool - designed with his brother David - has been exhibited internationally, including the Bauhaus, Dessau and the London Design museum. His designs are also in the permanent collections of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, Paris, the Vitra Design Museum, Basel and the V&A, London & Shenzen.

Despite his background working on cultural and civic projects, Joni likes nothing better than getting his hands dusty in the workshop.


Colin Webster

Colin Webster

DIF Programme Manager and Education Content Manager

Colin is one of the two Ellen MacArthur Foundation's DIF Managers. He manages content in the DIF's Live Studio, ensuring that we have a great mix of brilliant people armed with interesting topics. He also directed last year's DIF documentary, System Reset.

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