Fashion Design consultancy Seymourpowell has launched a collection of conceptual modular objects, inviting makers, creators, engineers and tinkerers to have their way with them. Using Google’s Project Ara (a now-discontinued plan to make modular smartphones with interchangeable parts) as a springboard, Seymourpowell designers expand the modular concept beyond mobile phones. The open-hardware approach leaves space for experimentation and flexibility, and enables established designers and nascent start-ups alike to take part. The upshot? Products reach the market quickly and more easily, and users benefit from customizable items.
New design concepts include a robot scanner and printer on wheels, a wearable biometric device for patients and a series of environment monitors that link to one another to provide a global snapshot of local-area earth, water, light and air issues. In each case, the open hardware system invites modification as specific needs demand, or as more compelling uses are dreamed up. Rather than the traditionally closed system of invention and design, open-hardware promotes democratic design for a changing world keen on flexibility and adaptability. Head on in – they’re open!