The OpenStructures blog.

OS > trolley by Pierre-Benoît Pirlot and Saname Viseux

on 2013-10-10 05:08
Posted in: OS explorations .

Pierre-Benoît Pirlot:
"Open Trolley is a modular furniture based on the OpenStructures grid. With a very small range of pieces, we can generate easily many different arrangements.
All pieces are made by laser cutting. All vector drawings are open source and will be available soon. The trolley we've built is more like a beta-version : everyone is able to generate new models and pieces to improve or change when needed."

OS > Scaffolding by Lukas Wegwerth

on 2013-05-04 08:35

'We liked the functions and potential of scaffolding. 
So we adopted, expanded and made them open!'

Scaffolding systems are specialized, enclosed and consistent. In comparison OS Scaffold is open and ragtag. Basic elements are pipes, connector knots and endpieces.

Pipes can be any material and become customized with different endpieces. Connector knots can be added all along the pipes and again be quickly customized by exchanging its stackable parts. 

Appearance and specification can vary from heavy duty steel construction to light wood and fabric structures. Quick setup, growing range of compatible elements and the possible use and reuse of different materials leads to a highly customizable system.

Beyond temporary structures we also see potential for a gradual developing architecture, which grows over longer periods from temporary to permanent, always driven by the needs and dreams and ideas of the inhabitants 

The project is ongoing. Currently we are working on the realization of a first experimental setup existing of communal space and workshop on the ground floor and a terrace and tent-like structures as private spaces on first floor.

OS scaffolding is a design proposal of Lukas Wegwerth in collaboration with Thomas Lommée and Christiane Hoegner. It has been developed as the second OS apprenticeship project at the OS work_shop in Brussels. (the first OS apprenticeship project being the OS WaterBoiler by Jesse Howard)

various construction knots

Visualization of how parts relate to the OS grid.

First concept sketch by Lukas Wegwerth.

OS > The Bee monitoring project by Okno + FabLab Barcelona

on 2013-05-02 17:45
Posted in: OS explorations .

Since 2009, Okno is researching the co-evolution between city honeybees and urban ecosystems in its OpenGreens and Bee Monitoring programs. Bee colonies are now threatened in all industrialized nations. Given that the survival of bees is crucial for human sustainability, there is a great urgency to improve by all means the ways in which colonies could thrive.

The research program surveys in an artistic way the multiple fields of interaction between honeybees and the (urban) ecosystem. It is remarkable to see how a bee population functions and evolves very much in accordance to the human activities we are developing around them: gardening and (urban) agriculture. The production of honey is different related to the flowers we grow, the plants we like, the garbage or pollution we produce. Bees are very responsive to the different biotopes that we share. Though we seem to have rather few insight into what constitutes the diversity of our surrounding living place, and that's something we want to research on a deeper level. As bio-markers, bees can give us valuable information about living conditions in our continuous productive urban landscapes.

To monitor the bees in a non-intrusive way we are building Intelligent Beehives. These are hives that are augmented with sensors and sensory processing algorithms that analyse the quality of pollen and propolis as well as the behavior of the bees in order to monitor the state of the ecology in the surrounding areas. In a first research phase, the people's hive of Abbé Warré was adapted to the grid of the Open Structures project. The new Warré-hives are a collaboration between OKNO Brussels, Fab Lab Barcelona and Sony Computer Science Lab in Paris. The Intelligent Warré Beehives are distributed in a European network, the data are available online and the creation of local biological Corridors can be consulted in realtime.

Okno Brussels (media – art – ecology) : and

Fab Lab Barcelona :

Sony Computer Science Lab Paris :

OS > kids toys

on 2012-11-12 21:06
Posted in: OS explorations .

For the kids toys project we took the BlocBox, an existing OS component and cut it into pieces. We then passed these pieces to a number of other designers, craftsmen, students and asked them to build a kids’ toy or furniture from it.

The resulting object series ( a sled + a chair + a sand digger + a swing) illustrate the flexibility of the Blocbox component  as well as the new opportunities that are offered by an open modular system as a whole.

The choice for kids furniture has multiple reasons:

First of all, small kids grow fast, so there is a real need for objects that can adapt and grow with them. Secondly, kids toys and furniture are most of the time very simple objects, which makes them interesting for Fablabs or home fabrication. and thirdly these objects have the potential to generate a community around them .. a community of motivated young fathers sharing experiences, exchanging knowledge and uploading new designs .. (and of course eager to create thé coolest toy for their kid).

Last but not least, if your kid has outgrown its toys, the components can again be reconfigured into other objects, such as a suitcase or a toolbox.

This project shows contributions of Marijn Van Der PollChristiane Hoegner, Tristan Kopp & Ricardo Carneiro, Artin Aharon and Thomas Lommée

Sled by Artin Aharon in collaboration with Thomas Lommée 

Suitcase by Marijn van der Poll

ToyBox by Christiane Hoegner

Sand digger by Ricardo Carneiro and Tristan Kopp.

OS > WaterBoilerFilter by Unfold

on 2012-11-12 08:04
Posted in: OS explorations .
The WaterBoiler was passed on to the Antwerp based design studio Unfold.
 In their adaption the water recipient, a salvaged, PET bottle, 
was replaced by a cut through glass bottle that holds a 3D printed ceramic water filter.

The WaterBoiler was originally designed & composed by 
Jesse Howard in collaboration with Thomas Lommée
It contains OS parts designed by Fabio Lorefice (3D printed adaptor piece) 
and Unfold (3D printed ceramic waterfilter)

Sporemarkt Utrecht

on 2012-06-14 04:23
Posted in: OS explorations .

Pablo Calderon applied the OS grid as an underlayer for type.
more info at

OS > WaterBoiler by Jesse Howard

on 2012-04-14 08:17
Posted in: OS explorations .
The OS WaterBoiler is an appliance that uses the OpenStructures design principles to explore an adaptable and scalable production process.

The Waterboiler is a design by Jesse Howard 
in collaboration with Thomas Lommée.

Coffee makers and water boilers are relatively simple machines, yet their workings are typically inaccessible to the user. Repair or even recycling becomes impossible: once the product ceases to function, it is rendered disposable. The OS Boiler explores an alternative approach to the design and production of these ubiquitous appliances. 
Based on the OS design principles, the WaterBoiler’s (completely disassembleable) design and transparent construction invites users to adapt, repair, and combine with existing OpenStructures components. The limited complexity of the Boiler allows new partnerships to emerge that can adapt to the scale of production: a single unit designed as a DIY kit to one-thousand units produced in a collaboration of international suppliers and local manufacturers. Consistent application of simple and straightforward principles in design and production leads to an object that can evolve and adapt over time. 

The WaterBoiler is the first object that has been conceived at the OS Work_Shop in Brussels.

OS > applied by Gert Aertsen

on 2012-04-04 00:07
Posted in: OS explorations .
Artist Gert Aertsen applied the OS grid in a number of his recent installations.

more info at

OS > ape.

on 2011-07-13 20:22
Posted in: OS explorations .
We mounted an aluminium frame on the rear end of a vintage Piaggio Ape.
The cube as well as the ground plate of this rear end were designed and built according to the OS grid 
(the cube measures 120x120x120cm, consists out of aluminium tubes of 4x4cm and has 5mm perforations every 4cm).

The vehicle is now travelling through 5 Belgian cities, where 5 groups of students will build further on the vehicle / cube (each time giving it a different function) under the supervision of a different artist. At the end of this road trip the different installations will be brought together, disassembled and reconfigurated with one another.

To be continued ...

Concept & reconversion 
by Thomas Lommée and Jo Van Bostraeten

OS > tree structures

on 2011-06-19 18:20
A proposal for temporarly wooden structure to host an art festival somewhere in the woods by Thomas Lommée & Christiane Hoegner.