“The OS (OpenStructures) 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 OpenStructure project is not about one designer who designs a complete system for everybody. It’s about everybody designing a small part of a common system”.       

“The purpose of this experiment is to investigate what the opportunities and limitations of an open modular system and under which conditions it will prove to be efficient and favourable. 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 scaleable built environment for all collaborators”.

OpenStructures at Ventura Lambrate for Milan Design Week. For the exhibition new OS parts and structures were designed by Johan Bruninx, Brussels Cooperation, Mieke Dierckx, Lizanne Dirkx, Ben Hagenaars, LInde Hermans, Christiane Hoegner, Pascal Koch, Sophie Lachaert, Lore Langendries, Maison Caro, Dick Van Hoff, Matt Sindall, Unfold and Rayah Wauters.



To ensure the compatibility of new parts to existing ones, a grid structure is used to design from. The OS grid is the centrepiece of the system, its built from 4cm x 4cm squares that guides designers to build and proportion parts so that they can be easily connected and assembled. They also favour assembly techniques that allow deconstruction without damage or loss in order to facilitate the re-use of components.


Two examples from the Parts Database; which enables you to upload, edit and rate parts. The first is an open design HT8 plate while the second is a copyright part that can be bought in.


The OS WaterBoiler is an appliance that uses the OpenStructures design principles to explore an adaptable and scalable production process. The Waterboiler is a design by Jesse Howard in collaboration with Thomas Lommée.


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