Abstract

The manufacture of mass produced quality assured products has previously remained within professional practice. Digital manufacture presents opportunities for producing products in low volumes, catering to bespoke requirements. This phenomenon can benefit parties where the manufacture of goods has previously been financially unobtainable, i.e. non-government and charitable organisations. Open hardware (accessible electronic components) can complement digital manufacture, enabling bespoke products to become intelligent, with the ability to sense, monitor, record and produce data. This paper tests an Open Design / Citizen Science toolkit drawing from practice based research and supporting ethnographic activities. The study documents design workshops with The Sussex Wildlife Trust and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, conservation and wildlife experts. The papers research contribution is a design toolkit, identifying insightful opportunities for Open Design through Citizen Science. The study showcases new prospects for organisations to engage with the public. The prospects form ‘reciprocal relationships’ via members of the public fabricating monitoring devices and gathering data. Users’ individual accrued data can meet wider community needs and address local or national conservation challenges. The emphasis of this study has focused on accessible wildlife monitoring, beyond the valuable but limited versatility of the smartphone, extending Citizen Sciences reach.

Keywords:

Toolkit, Design Methodology, Design Workshops, Citizen Science, Open Design

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Exploring Open Design for the Application of Citizen Science; a Toolkit Methodology

The manufacture of mass produced quality assured products has previously remained within professional practice. Digital manufacture presents opportunities for producing products in low volumes, catering to bespoke requirements. This phenomenon can benefit parties where the manufacture of goods has previously been financially unobtainable, i.e. non-government and charitable organisations. Open hardware (accessible electronic components) can complement digital manufacture, enabling bespoke products to become intelligent, with the ability to sense, monitor, record and produce data. This paper tests an Open Design / Citizen Science toolkit drawing from practice based research and supporting ethnographic activities. The study documents design workshops with The Sussex Wildlife Trust and Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, conservation and wildlife experts. The papers research contribution is a design toolkit, identifying insightful opportunities for Open Design through Citizen Science. The study showcases new prospects for organisations to engage with the public. The prospects form ‘reciprocal relationships’ via members of the public fabricating monitoring devices and gathering data. Users’ individual accrued data can meet wider community needs and address local or national conservation challenges. The emphasis of this study has focused on accessible wildlife monitoring, beyond the valuable but limited versatility of the smartphone, extending Citizen Sciences reach.

 

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