Collaborative Services

Be sure to check out Collaborative Services: Social Innovation and Design for Sustainability [PDF 11.2MB]. It’s a 200-page research report by François Jégou and Ezio Manzini that introduces a mosaic of 24 community initiatives:

Even though these organisations have different goals and actors, they present fundamental common traits: they are all built up by groups of people who collaborate in the co-creation of commonly recognized values. For this reason, we will call them collaborative organisations: production and services based on peer-to-peer, collaborative relationships and consequently on a high degree of mutual trust. Production and services where the values produced emerge out of relational qualities, i.e. out of real, dynamic personal relationships.

The case studies were gathered over the course of three years from Milan, Paris, Eindhoven, Utrecht, Cologne, Glasgow and Helsinki and fall into six broad categories.

  • Family-like Services organized within a household by combining common family routines with available household appliances.
  • Community Housing based on particular housing infrastructure, which could allow for sharing domestic resources and mutual assistance.
  • Extended Homes whereby a share of household activities are outsourced to collective infrastructures in the vicinity.
  • Elective Communities in which members get organised and find synergies to help each other.
  • Service Clubs are open workshops where a group of passionate amateurs share their skills and equipment.
  • Direct Access Networks whereby groups of citizens arrange to buy directly from producers.

I’d love to find some more detail on these projects; they’re terrifically inspiring. It’s like skimming a couple dozen master’s theses on service design. Lots of great learnings including a distillation of ten guidelines for collaborative services.

The second half of the publication (which I haven’t had a chance to dig into yet) includes 14 essays by various authors including a reflection on Dott2007 by John Thackara.

If reading a 200-page PDF isn’t your cup of tea you can order a full color printed copy of the publication.

[via Doors]




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