Daniela Dossi


Department: Social Design


Connecting and Co-Creating Unexpected Services

Today, the will to participate, to change
a situation collectively, has never been
more actual. It is typical for many different
contemporary movements and practices,
ranging from occupied theatres to
experiments with regional currencies,
from Time Bank projects to Iceland’s
crowdsourced constitution.
These examples are the result of all sorts
of of initiatives by a variety of people,
associations, enterprises, and local
governments who all feel the need to
change an unsatisfactory situation.
They do so by recombining what already
exists, without waiting for a general
change in the system - the economy, the
institutions, the large infrastructures. Many
have spontaneously appointed themselves
as living prototypes aiming to generate
new rules, new behaviour, new social,
political,economic and cultural models for
They have demonstrated that when facing
the economic crisis, bad politics, cuts to
culture, bad management and unfair laws,
the best answer is not the state nor the
market, but us; and this us is often the
easiest,fastest and most reliable answer in
providing a bottom up, long term solution
created by a common action.
What can design do to trigger and support
this new way of thinking and doing? How
can designers use their knowledge and
tools to empower these grass-roots social

Micro Utopias is a platform which connects
people’s needs and available resources to
co-generate services, a new generation
of services inspired by the concept of
commons and attuned to collaborative and
active citizens.
Micro Utopias explores existing examples,
as well as my own experiments to
stimulate collective participation against
dissatisfaction in everyday life. Research
involved collaborative experiments in the
neighborhoods of Rotsoord and Hoograven
in Utrecht (NL ).
Micro means: small-scale and locally based,
but with a higher degree of connectivity,if
it is the node of a network and open to the
interactions with wider flows of people and

Utopia: the ideal system for life.


Copyright Design Academy Eindhoven

Copyright: Design Academy Eindhoven