This is a great idea and the designs look good, but maybe someone needs to build a sister site that designs open source pillows.
"The goal for this project is not just to complete the software and release the source code, but also to build an online community of people creating, sharing and editing designs."
Going on the premise that, while digital manufacturing processes have great potential in terms of innovative manufacture, there is not much in terms of accessible software that allows for useful, customizable products you can take and personalize. So, SketchChair have made it possible for users to design and upload chair designs to an open library. Sort of a chair Repository.
"SketchChair will be a free, open-source software tool that allows anyone to easily design and build their own digitally fabricated furniture"
Once they are uploaded they become freely available and open to customization and design evolution by anyone who wants to do so. Go there, grab a design and tweak, refine, change, sell or give away. "In this way we hope that SketchChair will be like an open-source Ikea store, filled with customisable products! ". I might not of used the IKEA reference as that just makes me think of all that tatty furniture and cheap candles I was surrounded by in the student ghetto I lived in during undergrad. However, I like the idea of sharing and encouraging design even if it reminds some of disposable softwood furniture with beer bottle rings all over them and a residual smell of wood glue.
It is clear this sort of thinking doesn't stop people designing and I like the chairs. I wouldn't mind the "Tote Lounger" myself.
Anyway, the issue isn't the chairs themselves, it is seeing the practical follow through to the belief that creating a constantly evolving forum for practical design that isn't stifled by copyright issues that is exciting. Nice. Get in there and design and share something, then see someone take it and shape it how they want. If you aren’t into chairs do it with something else. Sharing makes you feel good.
Information like this wants to be free and should be...even if there is a danger it could give you waffle-ass.
Check it out at: