Tristan Kopp

Department: Social Design


A design concept empowering users to engage
with the production process

The aim of this project is to bring the user
into the manufacturing process. It intends
to provide the tools for the creation of a
community of involved users, who want
to be the actors of their consumption. By
this project I want to show the benefits of
combining a global network of involved
users and local production sites.
The design concept facilitates the
involvement of the user by splitting the
object into two categories: the elements
that can be found easily on the market
and the elements that connect these preexisting
I chose to apply this concept to a bicycle.
Thanks to its simple technical aspects
and the joy of its use, people already
have a strong relation with a bicycle: they
customize it and make it their own. The
elements available on the market are the
equipment (seat, handles, wheels, etc.) and
the tubes. I chose to focus on the design of
a set of connection, parts using one material
(aluminium) and one technique (casting).
With this set of pieces people can build
their own bicycle by using the resources
found in their area.
To involve the user in the manufacturing
process, I designed a model that offers
the user a choice to be part of the
production process for other members of
the community. When the user orders the
connection parts, he or she can also buy
the prototype that provides the sand mold
for the aluminium casting. This will make him
or her part of the manufacturing process:
when another user wants the connection
parts, they can contact him or her via
the website connected to the platform.
For a low price, he or she can send the
prototypes to the casting workshop nearest
to the other user and receive the prototype
after the casting. By doing this several
times, the user recoups his investment in
the prototype and starts to make a small

One of the important points of this concept
is that the consumers owns the tools of
production and thus becomes a responsible
actor within his own consumption.

Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven
Photographs: Femke Rijerman