Open Source Architecture

Avant-garde architecture mag Domus asked Carlo Ratti, director of MIT's Senseable City Lab, to write an op-ed on the notion of "open source architecture." Ratti seeded a Wikipedia page and asked folks like of Paola Antonelli, Bruce Sterling, John Maeda, Nicholas Negroponte, and others to chime in. Domus published this Open Source Architecture (OSArc) manifesto as it appeared on 11 May 2011, but of course it's still subject to evolution on Wikipedia. From Domus (Wikimedia commons ilustration):

530Px-Arch Illustration
OSArc is not only involved with production; reception to a given project–critical, public, client, peer-related–can often form part of the project itself, creating a feedback loop that can ground–or unmoor–a project's intention and ultimately becomes part of it, with both positive and negative consequences. OSArc supersedes architectures of static geometrical form with the introduction of dynamic and participatory processes, networks, and systems. Its proponents see it as distinguished by code over mass, relationships over compositions, networks over structures, adaptation over stasis. Its purpose is to transform architecture from a top-down immutable delivery mechanism into a transparent, inclusive and bottom-up ecological system– even if it still includes top-down mechanisms.

OSArc relies upon amateurs as much as experienced professionals–the genius of the mass as much as that of the individual–eroding the binary distinction between author and audience. Like social software, it recognises the core role of multiple users at every stage of the process–whether as clients or communities, designers or occupants; at its best, it harnesses powerful network effects to scale systems effectively. It is typically democratic, enshrining principles of open access and participation, though political variations may range from stealth authoritarianism to communitarian consensualism.

Open Source Architecture (Domus, thanks Alan Rapp!)

Open Source Architecture (Wikipedia)