Design for fostering creativity in DiDIY

Designers can contribute to the development of makers’ creativity. In fact, in a world where everyone does design, professional designer have to find a new role to play. We envisage that they could lead, guide, provide scaffolds, or offer a clean slate to DiDIY practitioners, according to their level of interest and creativity *.

This contribution of the designer is significantly influenced by the scale of action (from local to global) and the typology of possible collaboration with DiDIYers.

In fact, designers could help by:

  • creating devices (such as 3D printers, parts and toolkits) globally distributed to facilitate Di-DIY tasks, that may compensate the lack of manual skills of the DiDIYer;
  • setting global networks of DiDIY amateurs and professionals who enact on a local level;
  • collaborating with local institutions and services, typically to increase the awareness of the Di-DIY and support actions for DiDIYers;
  • leading or facilitating creative experiences (such as participatory workshops) to directly support DiDIYers in places arranged according to their needs, such as FabLabs and makerspaces in general.

The resulting scenarios** express some of the possibilities for design contributions and opportunities. Designers can support digital DIYers either as collaborators or facilitators according to the creativity level. As collaborators, designers bring an equal contribution to a project shared with DiDIYer. As facilitators, designers support the development of the project drafted (or defined) by the DiDIYer.

We propose that professional designers may contribute by facilitating the creative process of making, especially within the digital social innovation phenomenon frame, as a means to foster people empowerment.

To learn more about the project results from the design point of view please visit the  "design" webpage where you can also download the DiDIY Co-Design Toolkit.


* Sanders, E.N. (2006) Design serving people. Cumulus Working Papers, 15/05, pp. 28-33. Copenhagen, Cumulus.

** DiDIY. (01/09/2015) Trajectories of Design for Digital DIY.