At the Rural Design Collective, we are always working on something! And the RDC R&D Lab is where we do it. We work in real time during the official mentoring season (June – August), so you can always drop by and see what is going on. We have a designated day for open chats which we have dubbed “RDC Hacker Wednesdays.” (renamed “deBUG Days” in 2012) View our slideshow (at right) to discover more about what we do – Or bookmark our site and we will have more information about specific projects as the summer mentoring season takes shape!

Work In Progress

Each mentoring season, we like to find a new project that advances an important cause or helps out our local community and complete it during our designated summer timeframe. However, we make it a point to never be idle – so in our spare time we continue to work on a variety of sidecar projects in our R&D Lab (and sometimes when we are in complete overachievement mode, we take on a little Extra Credit).

Public domain icons – We love icons! We love them so much that we just can’t stop making them. We will be releasing our public domain icon set for the OLPC XO very soon (you can see them in action here). Plus, we are working on a new set for the 2010 season.

Public Domain Book Collections – The RDC R&D Lab provides an interface to approximately 2000 public domain books for kids! The books are courtesy of the Internet Archive as part of their Children’s Library, and we downloaded an additional 600 public domain volumes made available by the Boston Public Library on the Internet Archive to add to the collection. We will add these books when we release the next version of genCollectionInterface (gCI) (an open source software program authored in 2009). We plan to explore alternative user interfaces and technologies such as EPUB and OPDS as we continue to enhance our collection.

Open Source Software – We have two open source projects that we are actively engaged in: genCollectionInterface (gCI) and eSPG v2.0. We are in the process of documenting and releasing the first rev of gCI, which will be available in the RDC R&D Lab and on github. eSPG v2.0 is slated for a future mentoring project.

RDC Color Picker – We have a spiffy color picker used for mentoring that is just waiting for a new color standard like OpenColour to liberate the CMYK print palette! More soon – in the meantime, enjoy some of our other favorite color tools designed by others: ColourLovers, ColorBrewer and CheckMyColours (a color validator). And if you are feeling really creative, check out the cool HTML5 app Colorillo by Alexander Kirk! Viva la Colour!

Next: Resource Library