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Open Structures is a set of standards allowing product designers and architects to create hackable items — for instance, a sink or a bicycle — which could be recombined into new inventions. The system’s starting point is a 4x4cm grid that all components must accommodate.

[The] project explores the possibility of a modular construction model where everyone designs for everyone on the basis of one shared geometrical grid. It initiates a kind of collaborative Meccano to which everybody can contribute parts, components and structures.

The ultimate goal is to initiate a universal, collaborative puzzle that allows the broadest range of people – from craftsmen to multinationals – to design, build and exchange the broadest range of modular components, resulting in a more flexible and scalable built environment.

What’s especially interesting is that OS doesn’t paint itself into a corner by specializing in one area — participants have adapted the standard to facilitate product design, architecture, and interior design. Intriguingly, one of the core components of the system is the proposition that an item created should be easily disassembled and reassembled.

OS is a collaborative effort (open to everyone), originally conceived by Thomas Lommee at the The Institute without Boundaries and now being further developed and tested by Intrastructures, a design studio. [via openMaterials]