"The proactive consumer no longer judges an object for what it is but rather imagines what it could become, and the objects themselves are starting to behave more and more like dynamic puzzles…"

Thomas Lommée “The Esperanto of objects”

As a response to Domus magazine’s issue (Domus 948/June 2011) on open source design, Thomas Lommée’s essay introduces several themes that can help us develop a theory for an open source architecture and how this might be applied to open source learning environments.  First, he describes the need for an open standard – based on a need for sharing – “as a means to generate more flexible and resilient models of exchange.”  These conceptual puzzles employ mathematical tessellations as an open standard from which a standard unit or units can be combined in multiple configurations manipulated not by a sole designer, but by the players (users) – suggesting an open model of design.  When connected with particular spatial ideas about learning clusters, the user may begin to imagine what learning environments could become: they become producers, not merely consumers, of their environment.   Second, this open model of design raises questions: “how do we balance openness and protection, freedom and restriction?”  These puzzles, through the spatial configurations suggested by their reconfiguration, are studies in boundary conditions – open/closed, explicit/implicit, solid/transparent – offering the very play between openness and protection, freedom and restriction necessary for learning environments in the network economy.