Social product development: the democratization of design, manufacture, and innovation

Hannah Forbes, Dirk Schaefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Citations (SciVal)
374 Downloads (Pure)


With increasing globalization and 21st century trends such as the personalization and commoditization of technology, product design has become a level playing field for both engineering professionals and members of the maker’s communities. Terms associated with this shift in the industry include crowdsourcing, cloud-based design and manufacture, mass collaboration and Open Innovation. While academics have considered the impact of these phenomena individually, there has yet to be a discussion on how these terms work together to influence the process of product development. This paper serves as an introduction to a new area of research that treats these terms as tenants of a multi-faceted term labelled Social Product Development. By considering the relationships and impacts of these modern phenomena as a group for the first time, progress can be made in evolving traditional product development frameworks to take advantage of the tools the 21st century has to offer. In this paper, the authors present an overview of the tenants of Social Product Development and discuss what they actually mean in the context of 21st century product development. Future work is then discussed which considers how an SPD framework could be formed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)404-409
JournalProcedia CIRP
Publication statusPublished - 9 May 2017


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