Kuk, George

Dr George Kuk is an associate professor in strategy and information systems at Nottingham University Business School.

His research interest is in the open and user innovation of online communities and platforms; and the social and economic impacts of ubiquitous computing in the digital economy. Primarily, he studies online behavior including knowledge sharing and strategic interactions in open data, software, design and API. He is a co-investigator of Horizon (www.horizon.ac.uk) and CREATe (www.create.ac.uk) funded by UK research councils; and a principal investigator of two research in the wild projects involving open design with one of the largest UK-based retail outlets; and open mobile platforms in China. His publication has appeared in Management Science, Information Systems Journal, Journal of Strategic Information Systems, among others.

The social life of open design. This study examines what makes a design artefact perpetually open in the Thingiverse online community where hobbyists in 3D printing share design schematics and knowledge. Using the scraped data from the Thingiverse website, we constructed visual representations of design derivations into 1217 trees; and deductively and inductively coded a random sample of 110 design derivatives into nine design activities comprising: giving 3D printing instructions, reusing design files and schematics, recombining design elements to derive newer and novel designs, revealing novel design invention and techniques, sharing personal story, documenting design history, expressing personal emotion, and solving design problems and/or using design to solve a daily problem. We then subjected the coded design activities (with Kappa = 0.84) to exploratory factor analysis. The analysis resulted in four factors with eigenvalue greater than 1 and 62% accounted variance. The factors characterized four user-designer archetypes: a problem solver who seeks to solve a design problem and/or a problem of daily living; a composer who seeks to recombine the existing design elements to embody personal emotion and story; an inventor who seeks to reveal novel design techniques and methods to induce learning; and a historian who seeks to reuse prior design elements especially those of high quality to reflect the cultural history of design. We find composers played a significant role in propagating the social life of design by the ways they modularized designs through three unique processes in scaffolding, scripting and socializing design. Not only they instigate the conditions through demonstrating the increased utility values of design but also they chose to express design with significantly more warmth and competence words in making design more evocative and communicative and notably less context-bound.