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Open Design Learning concept

The Open Design Learning concept (ODLc) is an innovative educational concept for higher education.  It is a reflective, creative and engaged learning approach that opens human development and unlocks new knowledge and solutions. ODLc stimulates students’ curiosity, clarity and creativity. ODLc teachers and students are working in an open spirit levelling relation.

The ODLc approach connects the inner personal learning ego and the outer real world eco. The students and the teachers cooperate in a living dialogue in- and on-action. This co-reflective dialogue creates an open space where alternative views can co-exist and new insights can be conceived. Students learn via a self-chosen system of interest arriving at an original response demonstrating their individual learning achievements.

ODLc is a constructivistic and experiential learning approach (“learn to design by real-life designing”) where students actively develop new solutions originating from their inner and outer designs. It forms the fundamental basis for creating ‘open, integrative and persistent learners’ concerned about solving future world problems.

Together with you, we would like to grow the We like to learn from other new ways of education enabling further co-development of ODLc. This open source context allows you to locally tweaked ODLc to your needs and specifics. We hope meeting you as a ODL connector and becoming a local hub soon!

“Only a living and reflective dialogue with luminosity in the mind, intimacy in the heart and warmth in the will can conceive openings for the challenges from tomorrow”

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Open Design Learning


Today’s real-world challenges are complex, rarely straightforward and lack ‘one right answer’. However, today’s education is often based on existing static knowledge where teachers instruct what students have to think. Alternative thought pathways are closed, instead students are funneled towards using single solutions derived from past problems rather than opening them so that they are prepared for solving future multi-faceted problems. Teachers mostly do believe that they are empowered to fill the inner of their students with known facts and procedures to understand existing situations.. We believe that education should also work outer wards to create solutions from our societal challenges and aims.​


The Open Design Learning concept could not have been developed and cannot grow without the help of others. Where our inspirators helped us getting started, you can help us branching out. We call this the Open Source Community, a school of people that can together change the traditional way of education. This school comprises of three groups: the creators, inspirators and connectors.

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The Open Design Learning concept has been created by Ruud Binnekamp and Rogier Wolfert who over the course of their own separate careers began thinking about a new way of learning. Joining forces they developed the ODL concept in order to open persistent learners connected to their world of interest and to encourage critical problem solvers.

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The creators of the  Open Design Learning concept are inspired by the work of several great educators in their respective fields. They paved the way for the ODLc principles enlisting several of their concepts.

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To further grow and branch out the Open Design Learning concept into the education world, we are cooperating with our connectors who practice and tweak ODLc to their specific local learning needs. Together with them we form an open source community of enthusiastic education professionals:

Open Source Community
Open Ended Horizon

Please join us in creating autonomous service provisioning Regions 4.0 with infrastructure networks and facilities to provide decentralized/federated (regional) local services:

  • Internet (mesh topology, federated information systems, block chain, etc.)

  • Energy (geothermal energy, local thorium energy system, etc.)

  • Water (ground/rain drink water treatment & sewage systems innovations, etc.)

  • Public space (user driven asset management, local resourcing, etc.)

  • Housing (steward ownership, local community concepts, facility sharing, etc.)

  • Health care (healthcare systems, adhocracy/ self-management, etc.)

Open Incites
ODL R&D projects

ODLc provides individuals and organizations the opportunity for MSc and PhD projects guidance and support.

Examples of fields in which guidance may be provided are:

Open Advice
Open Design Courses

Here you find the ODL courses of the Open Design connectors.

Click on the logo for more course details. 



“The work has a very interesting theoretical foundation and a conclusion that show the difference with the PBL, CDIO and CBL. The ODLC model led to the configuration of a teaching strategy that is in the initial testing phase. There are the perception of its use based on a survey. An interesting proposal that deserves to be discussed at EDUCON.” 

—  EDUCON reviewers 2020

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