Prerequisite for collective action genuine treatment of constraints

A new complex building or a new residential area can be seen as collective goods for which a collective optimum must be found. For a summary of economic theory regarding the individual versus the collective optimum and its consequences for Open Design methodology, we refer to Appendix B.

Let us consider the example used there regarding how many bridges can be built from the money that people, collectively, wish to spend on bridges. What would happen if part of that money was secretly spent on other issues than bridges? Undoubtedly, when such manipulation surfaced, people would feel betrayed and refuse to cooperate any more, so collective action would become impossible.

A prerequisite for collective action is, therefore, that someone - in our case the open designer - genuinely adds up all the individual contributions the people involved are prepared to make to the common cause. This implies that the open designer should never change a constraint without the consent of the associated stakeholder. The open designer may only do so in a trial run to find out which stakeholder to address and ask for possible alleviation of the constraint concerned.

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