Open Design City

Learn where Germany’s first Makerbot lived.

Berlin’s place to be for makers: Open Design City, a part of Betahaus, was a combination of space, resources and community.

It was one of Berlin’s first fablabs: Besides giving Germany's first Makerbot a home, it provided people with a workspace for making products, objects and tangible things.

A stuffed desk with 3D prints and a Makerbot.
Berlin’s first Makerbot.
Photo of a stuffed workshop with various tools and a table saw in the front.
A view of the space.

At Open Design City, members provided evening classes, events and workshops. They prided themselves on creating a space for knowledge sharing and openly accessible design processes.

The space differed from the existing hacker culture in Berlin: It was not an insider’s club, but wanted to reach everyone. Together with the advent of Arduino & Co, it sparked a fresh DIY and sustainability movement in Berlin.

I gave seminars/workshops about programming and hardware there, and I co-organized a weekly electronics evening where people came together to tinker and learn how to repair things. We worked on growing the space as an environment for a local community of international designers, programmers, and engineers.

Our work was covered in a 20-minute documentary on Spiegel.TV about planned obsolescence, in Tagesspiegel, DeutschlandRadio Kultur, Berliner Zeitung, and on NPR Berlin.

After several years, the space closed. I recently discovered that it's website is still online 🥲

Are you looking for similar spaces in Berlin? Then visit X-Hain.