Over the last few years Free Libre and Open Source Software - FLOSS, a form of collaborative software development has proven itself as a driving force of digital networks, especially the internet. Now this approach is beginning to open up new approaches in design and visual culture. This seminar presented clear information on this software and how it both challenges and provides new opportunities for media design.
Art and design work using computers can often get stuck in the use of the same old tools. One thing that FLOSS does is to allow for new ideas to become software on a much faster timescale and with less reliance on conforming to a mass market. Learning design increasingly means learning to use the applications of a smaller and smaller amount of companies. FLOSS offers one possibility for escaping such a trap.
At the same time FLOSS itself could do with a good dose of design. Born as it is through the energy and imagination of software developers, FLOSS can in some cases fall behind in meeting the needs of users who aren't also programmers. On the one hand this creates an important demand for greater technical literacy amongst users, but it also means that interfaces to, for instance, cultural practices, need creating.
The morning session presented an introduction to FLOSS software in design. The emphasis was on a realistic survey of the possibilities that this way of working is opening up.
The afternoon presented a number of case studies. Artists and designers using FLOSS software showed and talked about the tools they work with, the culture of use of the software. Software developers presented their projects and opened them up to questions and debate.
This seminar was jointly hosted by:
- Media Design Research, Piet Zwart Institute, the institute for postgraduate studies and research of the Willem de Kooning Academy Hogeschool Rotterdam http://pzwart.wdka.hro.nl
- Institute for Interactive Media, Hogeschool van Amsterdam http://www.hva.nl
- V2_, Institute for the Unstable Media http://www.v2.nl
Rishab Aiyer Ghosh [IND, NL]
Graham Harwood [GB]
ANne Nigten [NL]
Willy LeMaitre [CDN]
Eric Rosenzweig [USA]