Episode 14

Django Skorupa on segueing into Open Source Design at Open@RIT


November 30th, 2021

42 mins 35 secs

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Special Guest

About this Episode


Django Skorupa


Justin Flory | Richard Littauer

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain Open Source Design! The podcast where we talk about sustaining open source with design. Learn how we, as designers, interface with open source in a sustainable way, how we integrate into different communities, and how we as coders, work with other designers. Our special guest today is Django Skorupa, who recently graduated from Rochester Institute of Technology with a degree in Industrial Design and is now working as a UI/UX Designer for the internal team at Open@RIT Academic Open Source Program Office (OSPO). We find out more about what Django is doing at Open@RIT, he explains how bad design keeps your community stagnated, and why he thinks design is kept separate from developers in the open source space. He also explains some things he’s struggling with and what he’s trying to learn, he goes in depth with his assessment of design, and he shares some great resources and advice if you are a new designer wanting to get involved in the open source community that helped him on his journey. Go ahead and download this episode now to find out more!

[00:01:50] Django tells us what kind of leap he took going from the industrial side into the much more collaborative, interactive way of working in the open source side of things.

[00:08:13] Find out what Django is doing at Open@RIT.

[00:14:04] Richard wonders what open source kitchens Django plays in and if he does open source on his own how has that informed his own experience of also working with the OSPO.

[00:16:12] We learn how Django sees open source.

[00:18:46] Why does Django see the developers and designers kept so separate from each other in the open source space?

[00:22:20] Justin wonders what Django learned from his peers and other communities that he was working with while he was doing his teaching role and if anything surprised him when he went out and worked across these different communities and peers, and especially what he’s learned from Rahul Tuli.

[00:26:10] Django tells us about some things he’s struggling with that he’s trying to learn. He mentions using Roboto font.

[00:30:14] We find out if Django has started teaching yet, what his future plans are, and his assessment of design.

[00:34:27] If you are a designer and want to get involved in the open source community, Django shares some resources, and a hot tip that has helped him in his journey. He mentions Red Hat as a great resource and why.

[00:36:40] Find out where you can follow Django on the internet.


[00:17:21] “I’ve always seen open source as a subsection of open Asterisk.”

[00:17:52] “I think that as we move forward in the whole world, open in general is a humanitarian choice, because it is a support for people who cannot or don’t want to engage with the more closed forms of education, the more closed forms of thinking, the more closed forms of interaction.”

[00:21:08] “I changed my title when I was hired on as a UI/UX person from strategic designer to UI/UX and it was like the world immediately got brighter and more friendly.”

[00:28:48] “The biggest struggle is using open things, trying to make everything open when you are creative, and a lot of your tools are not open.”

[00:31:46] “I think that design is firmly 50/50 between skill and theory.”

[00:32:37] “Design and making, while extremely similar and both parts of a process, are not the same thing.”

[00:32:45] “To design is to think about the broader scope of why something happens.”

[00:32:50] “Design is so much theory and so much consideration on a massive scale.”

[00:32:59] “It needs to be a proper balance between pragmatism and holistic view.”

[00:36:13] “Try and find places that are really transparent, try and find places that are into talking about what they do, try and find places that go on podcasts and talk about what they do, and then find those people and pick their brains and steal as much information as you possibly can from a conversation with them and write all of it down.”


  • [00:37:15] Justin’s spotlight is Fedora Badges.
  • [00:38:15] Richard’s spotlight is a Justin Flory.
  • [00:39:45] Django’s spotlights are two open source projects: The League of Moveable Type and Unsplash.com.