How is Creative Commons Helping Architecture?

Wrriten by: Daniela Cruz | June 12, 2017

You can read this article in: Español | English

The Internet is an historic proof of the extraordinary achievements of humanity. It is a universe of information at everyone’s fingertips, a vast open-access encyclopedia written by others. In the field of architecture—as a profession, as a career and as an art—this digital network has become essential to quickly obtaining information, transmitting knowledge and discovering different ways of thinking. Data and content that have contributed to the profession and served as inspiration.

However, despite the fact that the world of the internet is a very important medium to expand knowledge in our era, a question remains: how to protect the intellectual material developed by creative minds? If we want to share and contribute, how can we safeguard intellectual property in an open source culture? To respond to this question, I will highlight the benefits of the liberating movement that is known as Creative Commons. This is a trend that enters the world of open information in order to set knowledge free.

Put simply, Creative Commons is a system of licenses for the protection of copyright in the free distribution of information and creative work, with the sole requisite of citing the author of the work. This ideology is presented as a public benefit for any creative field. As the editorial committee of The Conversation puts it: “we see open licenses as a very effective means of combating disinformation.”

The collaborative trend for creating culture and sharing creations is also of vital importance to the architectural world. The best model to point to is Architecture for Humanity (now called Open Architecture Collaborative), founded by Cameron Sinclair, which began under the Creative Commons licenses—specifically with the “Developing Nations License,”—contributing “liberated” architecture and design solutions to respond to the global, social and humanitarian crises of the moment, with the aim of benefiting local architects and those from other parts of the world.


Although this innovative project has had some economic repercussions, it continues to inspire the open network of knowledge that a field as diverse as architecture requires. It has also helped to imagine how to take creativity to a totally open level, expanding its collaborative capacity and converting simple conceptual proposals into systems for community recovery, such as the projects created for Haiti and New Orleans.

Finally, it is worth noting the words of Jennie Rose Halperin at Creative Commons: “Creating in the twenty-first century means embracing common goods and the disordered, collaborative form of open creativity that makes digital media so special. It means using tools that question the status quo and, above all, it means sharing and giving thanks to the community that makes it possible.”

Contributing the experience in architecture under the open source concept is simply to promote creativity and innovation with respectful use to achieve good things. Which means, it all adds up! If you still have doubts about how open licenses work, we invite you to check out the CC website and read the official blog written by their team.

SMBloggin’ will form part of this global tendency towards collaboration, promoting our engine of work to respond to the search for specialist information and adding our own little grain of sand to the vast world of knowledge that the Internet offers, based on the work generated and studied at Sordo Madaleno Arquitectos.

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