Opendesk: Making making local again with open-source furniture designs

Opendesk is a global platform offering open-source furniture designs that can be made anywhere in the world by local makers.

By connecting customers to a library of designs, and a host of nearby craftsmen, Opendesk is ensuring furniture is made on-demand – locally, sustainably and affordably.

Currently Opendesk make workplace furniture only because it’s the “best fit” for current digital fabrication technology.

More than 30 downloadable pieces of furniture are available via Opendesk, including chairs, shelves, and solo working booths. The designs are simple and minimal.

Businesses and individuals can download a design from Opendesk and either make it themselves in a FabLab or a personal workshop, or get connected with the nearest CNC machine (a mill that cuts wood from a digital file) or wood workshop where the woodworker manufactures the furniture piece according to instructions.

Opendesk’s website lists local makers, and features designs from independent designers who list their designs either free of charge or for a small fee.

Opendesk say: “Opendesk is a new kind of furniture company. We empower independent designers and makers to create beautiful furniture local to where it’s needed. 

“Rather than mass manufacturing and shipping worldwide, we’re building a distributed and ethical supply chain through a global maker network.

“We believe in being sustainable and impactful by design. Our challenge is to make all of our designs as universally makeable as possible.”

Nike, Google and Etsy are among the companies who have kitted out their offices in furniture made locally from designs found on Opendesk.

Opendesk

Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief. She writes about lifestyle including sustainable and green living. She also offers content services to businesses and individuals at Rosamedea.com

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