SHOWCASES & SESSIONS:
Alternate Societies, Dutch Design Week 2017, Gemeente Inwonersplein, Eindhoven
In 2030, Eindhoven is a Full Service Society. Your house, your car, your food, but also your choice of hairstyle, or the time you spend being productive (or not) – all are services. You have a Spotify-like subscription to your life. There are both benefits and pitfalls to this, as for example when better living conditions come at the cost of higher restrictions, or more data being collected from you.
This scenario was used to design a series of workshops in collaboration with the Gemeente Eindhoven. The aim? To start a broad discussion about how cities should engage with the service economy, and, with the technologies and License Agreements that come with it.
What role should the Local Government and Companies play? Should giants like Google be legally obliged to invest in cities they collect user data from? What about companies registered in the Netherlands? What are residents' needs, desires, aspirations?
A testing ground and plenty of discussions about the Full Service Society could prove valuable tools in finding out how to shape fair, resilient future cities and societies.
PART 1: SCENARIO
The scenario itself is placed in 2030, in the city of Eindhoven. It looks at the idea of Eindhoven as a city where everything is a service. The concept is inspired by the book "The End of Ownership" by Aaron Perzanowski and Jason Schulz.
It does this on 3 scales: the individual, the metropolitan and the more loosely-defined governance scale. The individual scale looks at the tangible impact on a resident's personal belongings, environment, behavior and social status. The metropolitan scale looks at the impact on different types of urban spaces and businesses in the city. The governance scale describes the relations and interactions between the 3 main urban actors: residents, (private) companies and local government. Each scale is constructed by designing clear narratives of situations, spaces, behaviours etc.
At the end of each example, the participants are invited to build upon what they have seen by communicating an opinion, discussing, redesigning, adding to the existing etc. This establishes the scenario only as a starting point for a more extended conversation.
PART 2: FROM SCENARIO TO WORKSHOP
With the visualised scenario of the Full Service Society as a starting point, a workshop format was devised to explore how residents see a city-wide future society looking and functioning like. Will it be a watered down version of the Full Service Society? Or something completely different? What kind of priorities and value sets do people from various backgrounds and ages employ in making decisions about the scenario? The workshops aim to collect valuable insights for the Strategic Divisions of the Gemeente and kickstart a conversation with Eindhoven residents about the ethical and practical implications of the service society model – to provide a platform where both expert and non-expert residents have an input in the process of deciding on and developing strategies and policy for the long-term outlook of Eindhoven as a city.