OOI is a consortium of researchers and institutions driven by a desire to address questions of openness and diversity as they relate communication and exchange across cultural divides. What unites us is a common focus on “objects” as a methodological concern and a conceptual device that links diverse groups of people. Our interest is in tracing how different cultural practices intersect through objects. By “intersect” we mean to emphasize how people who do not just have different ‘values’, but different ways of producing and legitimating knowledge, relate to one another through material objects. The central premise is that a more thorough attention to the experiences, emotions, and engagements that objects make possible can provide deeper insights into how people communicate, debate, and exchange understandings about the world despite cultural differences.

Our goals are to

  • establish a body of research that will to help people collaborate and build objects in a respectful and equitable manner.
  • bring together policy makers, artists, scientists, social scientists, technology developers, community leaders and commercial bodies to make diversity a key ingredient to building a better material world.