OWi Introduction

deutsche Version

Open Source for Zero Waste. The OWi Project explores Open Source for an Zero Waste Ecological Economy. OWi creates experiments, supports projects, collects and generates content on Open Regenerative Design (aka Cradle to Cradle Design) and trys to develope the Open Source Hardware Idea further. The project is open for your help.



Open Regenerative Design & Closed Material Cycles

In the heart of an waste-free ecological economy is regenerative design. Regenerative design is also known as  ecoeffective design or under the trademarked term cradle to cradle design.


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It is the vision of a zero-waste economy that is inspired by nature and ecology aims for colsed material cycles. Recycling and Reusing are no afterthoughts but the first design principle for all products and production-processes. Everything is designed in a way, that it easily can be recycled later.


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No ressources get lost. Because we pick for our designs only materials and use them in a way, that are fit for recycling and closed material cycles.


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To make this possible and happen we need new and open methods for communication, interaction and innovation between producers and also consumers. Open source provices interessting possibilities and chances for this. While successful already for software development open source becomes more and more important for hardware and design currently. Open Source means to publish information about things openly and make them free and easy to use for everybody. Open source uses and explores the full possibilities of the internet


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Open source offers new possbilities for collaboration and business- and product-organization. Regenerative design and zero waste need those.

Free information like open building plans and open recipes make it easier to organize the recycling of a product. If something is really designed in a way, that all its parts or materials can be reused for other products of the same or even higher quality, the knowledge, how to do that, must be easy accessible for everybody in order to make the recycling really happen and possible. What materials and chemicals are inside? How to disassemble everything? How to make it fit for reuse? Those informations need to be open for the complex cooperation patterns of a zero waste economy.


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A complex circular material flow economy has to work decentralized. Full decentralization needs full openness. Regenerative design on a large scale works only as open regenerative design.


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* Innovation: But a regenerative design revolution needs more than new possibilities for organization it also needs new possibilities for innovation. The majority of our products and processes have to be redesigned and reinvented as regenerative designs. But how to design regenerative? This is a hard task to solve for many. There is interessting knowledge in the world for this but it is not enough and it not spreaded enough, a lot of it is closed.

The more knowledge we can open up about regenerative designing the more people can study it, adapt it, improve it, use it and spread it. Open knowledge enables and speeds up collective and collaborative innovation. Open source and open innovation are known for the power to innovate faster, cheaper and more sustainable. Let’s use this power for the regenerative redesign of our houses, lives and industries. More and more open source business models appear at the stage and use this potentials.

*       OSCE en 400, by lars zimmermann, OWi project, cc-by-sa


OWi works for all of this! At OWi we collect ressources and expamples for open regenerative design, research on communication methods and business models and advertize the idea of Zero Waste with Open Source. Let us work for a circular flow economy. Join, contribute, help the project.


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>Einführung und Mission Statement auf deutsch

(text & animation by Lars Zimmermann, 2013, Download all the raw data, CC-BY-SA)

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