The Sparkwood and 21 Shield logo with the words STUDIO NOTEBOOK underneath

Building an Open Studio 🌿

2021-05-13

This is a growing resource on how one would go about building an open studio. You know? For artists, designers, musicians, creatives, business owners, etc… As in a studio from as much open source things as possible.

The Building

There’s one resource for this: Wikihouse. You can use this to build out your studio in the layout and way that you want. It’s got an excellent carbon footprint and low air leakage, plus it’s amazingly recyclable. Probably still need to consider [[water]], [[sewage]], [[heating]] and [[power]].

Studio Furniture

Here, OpenDesk has got you sorted. For all your desk, chair, shelving, storage, tables needs. Haven’t yet found anything for [[lighting]] or other smaller office things like [[pots]], [[bins]], and so on.

Studio Technology

This is the relatively easy bit for getting your studio up and running in an as open source way as you can.

Computers and mobile phones

Can be bought from Purism. They have great computers. Plus, there’s Fairphone. Or the amazing Framework laptops. Or or the MNT Reform.

Get yourself a local server as well. Here’s how to set a home server. Plus, with the correct placement and depending upon the size of your studio it’ll help warm the place?

Operating systems

Well, you can use Linux obviously. I personally really like Elementary OS and have that on computers that aren’t the Other Big Two(tm). But there’s Plan 9 and Free BSD, Open BSD and probably a whole bunch more if you root about enough.

Software

Way too much to explore here depending upon the needs of the studio. But here’s a bunch I’ve used for various things:

  • Libre Office — Full office suite
  • Godot Engine — Game development platform
  • Krita — Digital Painting
  • Blender — 2D & 3D creation platform
  • Inkscape — Vector art
  • Ardour — Digital Audio Workstation
  • LMMS — Digital Audio Workstation
  • Firefox — Internet Browser
  • SpaceVim — Text editor
  • SpaceMacs — Text editor
  • Processing — visual arts coding
  • Pure Data — making weird shit
  • Orca — Esoteric programming sequencer
  • Sonic Pi — Coding music
  • Ruby — Programming language
  • Python — programming language
  • C / C++ — Programming language(s)
  • OpenShot — Video editor
  • OBS Studio — Video streaming

Think I’ll add to this as and when I remember / use them.

Machinery

You might want to add a bunch of different things to support your productivity. Like a self-replicating manufacturing machine like a RepRap. Other manufacturing tools are available.

More technology

How about a privacy-first digital studio assistant? Stick Home Assistant onto a Raspberry Pi and you’re good to go.

You can also use another Raspberry Pi to get rid of all those pesky adverts you get when you go online with a Pi Hole. Networked ad-blocking at it’s finest. You might even want to build a corner arcade console with a RetroPie for when you’re having a break.

And because of all the amazing and cool stuff in your fancy new studio you’re going to need an excellent open source security system.

Business Practices

Be transparent with your earning and spendings. Show people what goes where and how. Buffer are really good at transparency and should be something to aspire to.

Have a studio log / journal that documents your journey through the years. Consider publishing it online so ideas that you don’t use, develop and build don’t die on the vine, but can get used by other people.

Open source things you can open source that aren’t business critical.