Improving the enabling ecosystem with a hybrid collaborative platform: city-making involving the creation of ecosystems where, thanks to the existence of an appropriate material and non-material infrastructure, a variety of communities and social networks can thrive.

The starting point of these projects is one or more (existing or to be created) physical artefacts which, once in place, could trigger and support different activities and communities. Operating in this way, these artefacts can justifiably be perceived as an infrastructure, and the design process as infrastructure creation. As a whole these projects propose the idea of a city as a set of ecosystems where a variety of communities and social networks can thrive. And also, where design can mainly serve to co-promote a new generation of material and non-material infrastructure.

Proposed projects

  1. The Post-it City Project (SPAIN – School of Design and Engineering – ETSID Valencia) (co-designed temporary uses of empty spaces)
  2. Lettuce house (China, Tsinghua University DESIS Lab, Beijing (food, green homes and urban regeneration)
  3. Urban Planting (China, Tsinghua University DESIS Lab, Beijing (food, vegetable gardens, products for urban gardening and urban regeneration)
  4. Urbannovation (China, Tsinghua University DESIS Lab, Beijing) (urban sustainability projects in the areas of walkability, youth hostels, green trucking and air pollution information)

Type of project

Projects creating conditions in which different collaborative initiatives can emerge and thrive. Their results (such as knowledge, products, places and digital platforms) are to be considered as components of a new material and non-material infrastructure.

Besides architecture and planning, the main design disciplines involved are interior and environment design and product-service system design.

Open questions

  1. How can design improve ecosystems that can create material and non-material infrastructure? In other words, how can it collaborate in an unprecedented infrastructuring process?
  2. How can the existing infrastructure-enabling ecosystems be enhanced with new hybrid (physical and digital) collaborative platforms? How can some basic social, environmental and democratic values be embedded in these platforms?