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Title: Critical Factors for Implementing Open Source Hardware in a Crisis: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic
Authors: Corsini, L
Dammicco, V
Moultrie, J
Keywords: open source;open source hardware;crisis;humanitarian;success
Issue Date: 30-Dec-2020
Publisher: Ubiquity Press
Citation: Corsini, L., Dammicco, V. and Moultrie, J. (2020) 'Critical Factors for Implementing Open Source Hardware in a Crisis: Lessons Learned from the COVID-19 Pandemic', Journal of Open Hardware, 4 (1), 8, pp. 1 - 11. doi: 10.5334/joh.24.
Abstract: Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). The rapid spread of COVID-19 has created an urgent demand for critical items including clinical care equipment and protective personal equipment. The failure of traditional industry to meet this demand has led to a huge response from the maker community, who are rapidly mobilising to produce Open Source Hardware (OSH) solutions. Community-driven, distributed manufacturing is enabling production on a global scale never seen before. In this paper, we focus on sensemaking as a process by which meaning is given to collective experiences. We identify six case studies of OSH projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and report on their activities between March-June 2020. In doing so, we uncover several novel collaborations that are emerging between the informal maker community and other formal institutions, including research institutions, non-government organisations and incumbent manufacturers. By observing and reflecting upon these experiences, we identify potential critical factors for implementing OSH in a crisis. We highlight the importance of establishing legitimacy and community management, as well as the enabling conditions in the ecosystem that make OSH more favourable. These findings have implications for various actors beyond the Maker community. In conclusion, we suggest several promising areas for further research. In particular, we believe that this initial study of OSH during the COVID-19 provides a foundation for further longitudinal studies of OSH in a crisis.
Other Identifiers: ORCID iD: Lucia Corsini
Appears in Collections:Brunel Design School Research Papers

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