unknowndomain edited this page Apr 3, 2013 · 9 revisions



Our modern lives are dependent upon proprietary technology which few of us could explain let alone understand how it works.

A growing number of people are reacting to this proprietary technology by building their own devices, so called Open Source Hardware (OSHW). This project explores the application of OSHW to the design of every day objects, taking the ubiquitous vacuum cleaner as it's subject.


This project is the result of several months of research, prototyping and discovery as a MA Design Interactions student at the Royal College of Art, London to produce a set of instructions on how to design your own Open Source Vacuum Cleaner following a set of design principals inspired by various manifestos and other documents produced by the Maker movement.

This document is a acts as a guide to designing your own vacuum cleaner rather than providing a set of step-by-step instructions on how to build a specific design because the availability of materials varies greatly from place to place, and the materials needed varies dependent on the intended purpose of the final design.

The raw research can be found on my blog under the Open Source Vacuum Cleaner category.

Next – Principals of Design

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