Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2024


Comprehensible Open Hardware: Building the Open Book

We live in an era where technology, especially as shipped by large companies, can be an inscrutable black box to the end user. Your smart phone arrives in your life as a fully formed slab of glass and silicon: something meant to be used, but not understood. This kind of technology diminishes users' agency and disempowers them from using the technology on their own terms.

The Open Book is an open hardware e-book reader that can be built from scratch and understood, at least in broad strokes, by the average user. In this talk I'll walk through strategies that I've used when designing both the Open Book and other open hardware projects, to make objects that open themselves up not just to the developers that work on them, but to the users that work with them.


Joey Castillo