Openness: Community & Participation

August 8, 2011 § 1 Comment

There is a growing trend to use the term Open-, and the fields where this applies vary from programming, design and even data.
We see a huge opportunity to change the way we work together, how we consume (or prosume) things or even understand the social structures. Even though it is starting and we still do not know if it is an utopia or a plausible reality, we already see how we could create solutions for the every day life and for very complex challenges in a more collaborative, creative and effective manner.

In our research we wanted to find out the current situation in relation to this current trend of opening up. And we found several topics that people are discussing: community, participation, business models, copy and authorship, misuse of the term open-,…. To share our findings with the community, we started a series of episodes that gather these discussion insights and help others to understand what is going on and hopefully trigger some interesting discussions.

We have chosen to start with “Community and Participation”:

How do we create Open Culture?
How do we let the community take part in the process?
How do we structure collaboration?
How do we design complex things involving the user?

Openness is dependent on the community behind it and the content they create. It is a personal choice and a way of living.

Interviews: Pedro Pineda
Production: Hans Goedecke
Filmed at DMY Makerlab 2011.


Energy Street Fighter: Jetzt geht’s los!

June 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

A bit less than a year ago, we did a enable session for the Energy Street Fighter project. For us was a very good opportunity because was the inspiration for the working model that we have been developing since then. Now we are very happy to see that it has become a reallity, and we are very exited to see what are the results of such a ventures.
Join the fight, Samstag 25th June 2011: Stargarder Strasse,  Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin.

Energy Streetfight: Eine Strasse, zwei Seiten, ein Streetfight.

Die Revolution ist zurück in den Straßen Berlins – aber anders als 1848 oder 1989 geht es dieses Mal nicht um politische Kämpfe sondern den Einsatz für die Umwelt. Energy Streetfight – ein transformatives Strassenspiel von vicventures – ruft Berliner dazu auf, in einem achtwöchigen Spiel ihre Straßenseite zu verteidigen.

Das Auftaktspiel beginnt am 25.06.2011 und wird über einen Zeitraum von 8 Wochen in der Stargarder Strasse im Prenzlauer Berg gespielt.

Die Bewohner jedes Hauses versuchen gemeinsam ihren Stromverbrauch so niedrig wie möglich zu halten um ihrer Strassenseite in der Piratenspielewelt von Energy Streetfight zum Sieg zu verhelfen.

Jeden Sonntag werden die Messdaten der Stromzähler an einer Spielestation in der Straße abgegeben. Ein autarkes, mit Solarenergie betriebenes, Touchpad steht zu diesem Zweck und zur Abgabe der Spielentscheidungen zur Verfügung. Die Mitspieler können sich neben Tipps und Ideen zum Stromsparen über diese zentrale Anlaufstelle auch Nachrichten zukommen lassen und Strategien ausarbeiten, um die gesparte Energie in den Triumph über die andere Strassenseite zu verwandeln.

Ziel des Projektes ist es, die für die Entwicklung einer nachhaltigen Lebenskunst für das 21. Jahrunhunderts notwendigen Gewohnheiten spielerisch auszuprobieren.

vic ventures ist ein Kollektiv das durch die transformative Kraft unternehmerischer Initiative individuelle, kulturelle, und gesellschaftliche Enfaltung vorantreibt. vicventures ist gegenwärtig in Berlin, London, und Paris aktiv.

Das Projekt Energy Streetfight wird gefördert von ÜBER LEBENSKUNST, einem Initiativprojekt der Kulturstiftung des Bundes in Kooperation mit dem Haus der Kulturen der Welt.


Benedikt Foit
+49 176 201 76 102

Visions for Mobility: Review

June 21, 2011 § 1 Comment

Video from last session Visions for mobility.
A case study about the session is available for those who would like to learn more about it.

//Hack a bike.

June 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

Picture from heiwa4126 (via Flickr)

A bicycle, also known as a bike, pushbike or cycle, is a pedal-driven, human-powered, single-track vehicle, having two wheels attached to a frame, one behind the other. A person who rides a bicycle is called a cyclist or a bicyclist.

We would like to expand on the Wikipedia definition of bike and continue to explore what can be done with the concept of bike.

Cargo bikes, bikes with integrated software, or a bike with legs? We are open to see what people would like to make out of it.
Next wednesday 15th of June at 19:00 we want to invite you to come along and hack bikes!

The idea is simple, get together with other people interested in the topic, have a big brainstorm to find some cool ideas. And then in teams start building prototypes (we got the workshop and the machines for it).
At the end of the evening we hope to have developed some interesting concepts to ride the city in a different way.

PS: You are welcome to bring your own unused tools, bike parts, or inspirational materials!!

Opening Up: Session Fees

May 30, 2011 § Leave a comment

We would to open up here the way we charge for our sessions.

The graphic displays how we use the money that we receive. (Session Design is 20.8%, -the top right bit-, then follow clockwise)

If you claim to be doing something social and fair, we believe that everything should be open and transparent.
Of course sometimes is scary to open up and show what is happening behind the curtain, but if we are sure that what we do is fair, why shouldn’t we do it?
It helps us to show that we believe in what and how we do it, but also other people to learn about the work that is behind the process.

So here is the first chart with the distribution of our fees* and a little explanation of each component.

  • Session Design: Meeting with the client, Understanding the Challenge, Setting goals and background research, designing the creative process for the session and gather the participants.
  • Session Hosting: Preparing space, tools and materials, visuals, hosting participants, leading session and documentation.
  • Session Facilitators: Fees for facilitators.
  • Space, Tools and Materials: Rental space, materials and tools for people to play with.
  • Miscellaneous: Usage/rental of technical equipment.
  • Catering: Food and drinks for participants.
  • Kick Starter**: Kick starter for a team that would like to take ideas forwards as Start-up/ social business.
  • Enable Berlin: Budget to continue developing Enable Berlin, legal issues, …

Further info:

* Fees: They are in percentages because they are not always the same amount, so we prefer to show how we distribute them rather than a final quantity.

**Kick Starter: This is our idea for Crowd sourcing. It was introduced at our last session (visions for Mobility). If we are earning something with a session we also want that the community gets something. At the same time we wanted to support locals to be proactive in solving social challenges. So we came up with this kick starter idea:

If any of the participants in the session is inspired to take further one/some of the concepts generated in the session in the form of social business or start-up, we will give them a small grant to help kick start the project.

We will welcome feedback about what you think about this step we are taking towards more transparent structures.

Visions for Mobility

April 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

Concept by Michel David ( Helixator )

Mobility is a major issues for the future of our cities. While policy makers, architects, urban planners, engineers and many others continuously try to invent future transport systems – from building new infrastructures and designing electrical vehicles to encourageing bike commuting and car sharing – we have the feeling that most companies and leaders still see the future transportation systems as an update or adaptation of current, state-of-the-art solutions. In order to get accurate insights on this complex topic,we need to find out how urban mobility is evolving, and in which way are paradigms shifting.
During our next session, we want to learn from Berlin’s citizens. What are our needs and our vision on mobility? What are our experiences and our wishes?
Being the future users, Berliners should be able to have a say in how to design and implement future mobility systems. We want to gather a group of people who want to share insights and visions to collaboratively address these issues and prototype possible solutions.
If you are interested in taking part at our next session write us few lines. And tell us a bit about yourself and what you do, so that we can build a diverse group for the session.
Enable session: Visions for Mobility, Wednesday 25th of May 2011 at 20:00.
Open Design City, Prinzessinnenstraße 19-20,10969 Berlin
Enable session Visions for Mobility is part of the research lead by InnoZ

Hacking the public space

April 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

Last week some of the We Creative People crew, together with many others (MakerLab Milan crew), went down to Milan to spark public action during the Milan Design Week.
As MakerLab, we took part in the Public Design Festival and set a public workshop in 4 different locations. We set up a workshop (with a working bench and tools) and brought some expertises from Berlin, to instigate Milan citizens to design their own public space.

How much do we need to change our public space?
Time? Money? People? Designers? Architects? Policy makers? ….
Most of us are always waiting for perfect situations, which normally never happen, in order to start to make a change.
It was great to meet the guys from Stortplaatsvandromen and the FOUNDation project. They set them self to make a cafe, in the public space, with whatever they could find in the street. With a clear goal in mind, but with a creative approach wich allows them to modify the concept according to what is available. They produced not just a very nice -temporary- cafe, but also a wide range of great furniture and tasty soup and coffee.  The cafe was full every day with the neighbours, first those who contribute by donating some materials, and then through word of mouth many others. The cafe was a great and lively place to be.

As citizen I want to be involved in the design of the urban space that I use, and want to have my say and propose solutions for those challenges that are common to us all.

As designers, how do we encourage and facilitate people to change the city and the urban space by them self?

As entrepreneurs and policy makers how do we create flexible and open structures which benefit from the input of the citizens to create solutions for us as society?

  • We are always looking for new challenges;

    If you have a challenge where collective thinking & participatory design could help, let us know! We are happy to design new sessions with you.

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