Projects:LivingLab Design

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LivingLab design is a series of workshop that took place in the fall of 2014 and were designed and facilitated by Katalin Hausel.


Context

The UniverCite co-working space is launched, given 16 months to build a live community and network of the business/scientific/artistic community within the Lausanne-Renens area. It is hoped to prove itself to be useful either for the commune, and/or businesses, and/or individual members to become economically stable after this initial period. Before addressing specific design issues, let's look at the big picture: let's try to design the near-future of the lab by asking questions, sharing the background of the different stakeholders to support this project. How can we build a common vision for the space? How can we set shared achievable goals that integrate everyone's own? How can the lab itself benefit from the diverse community it hopes to attract?


Goals

To understand the different interests and motivations behind the project; to have a shared idea of the future and how to start making it happen; to forge teams/collaborations and to make plans to tackle foreseeable challenges.

Method

- listen always to what is emerging, don't see the world just through an Excel spreadsheet

- build raw and fast prototypes, collect feedback, fine-tune and iterate till needed

- trust the collective and individual attitudes and skill

Workshop Specifics

To ask questions:

VISION: what is the vision of the space in a year's time for each workshop participant

EXPECTATIONS: we need to understand the expectations of stakeholders, including communities which will inhabit the space

CHALLENGES: what are the foreseeable challenges for the project

VALUES: what are the core values the space needs to reflect MOTIVATION: what are the personal motivations for each person to work on the project

GOALS: what are the goals for each stakeholder

SUCCESS CRITERIA: for each person - 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months


To design the near future:

VISION: let's create a shared vision

VALUES: what are our shared values

TIMEFRAME: create a shared timeline

GOALS: identify shared goals and place them within the timeframe

CHALLENGES: how to address specific challenges

SUCCESS CRITERIA: within the timeframe

COLLABORATION: teams; how to utilise the expertise of the emerging community of the space

TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER: follow-up; a platform to trace progress and voice concerns; set a regular weekly meeting time for optional face-to-face exchange


References

http://www.artisopensource.net/projects/near-future-design.html

http://www.shareable.net/

http://www.methodkit.com/

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wyIje9lqc1oFF7viViN6Tpls3p0J50GmTbuD47_m-XY/edit

Workshop OUTLINE

1. Check-in (circle)

Who are you? What brings you here?

2. COLLECTING personal inquiries - tools: post-it notes, pens, board to stick them on

ask to write and read them aloud one by one: vision; values, timeframe, etc identify overlaps and contradictions

break

3. FINDING common future(s) - tools: another board (white), post-it notes from previous session, markers

  • Shared aspirations: VISION, VALUES, GOALS

each person tell a scenario for the future of the lab that incorporates as many visions, goals, values on the board as possible (based on previous "Wow!" moments) work on a shared narrative; try to tweak the central narrative so that everyone feels that their most important personal goals etc are included

  • Shared responsibilities: TIMELINE, CHALLENGES, SUCCESS CRITERIA

in the shared narrative for the space, how deliverables will be delivered and problems solved (expand the narrative)

4. WORKING together to make it happen:

-personal expertise, how can you contribute, form teams -how to bring people on: the emerging community in the lab, finding specialists -follow-up - how to communicate successes and problems, how to keep the group working together, how to meet face-to-face

5. Check-out (circle) What do you take away from the workshop?


REPORT of first Livinglab workshop

Workshop held on Sunday 28 October 2014

Participants: Luc, Yann, Carmelo, Marc, Gianpaolo, Sachiko, Urs, Katalin Hausel

The idea was proposed by Katalin, to collect individual responses and then try to imagine the (near) future of the lab, in which most responses are accommodated, in the form of a narrative. Everyone, first person by person for each concept, later more intuitively associating and moving freely, articulated their response to the following questions:

  • VISION: what is the vision of the space in a year's time for each workshop participant?
  • EXPECTATIONS: (this was thrown in together with goals and values)
  • CHALLENGES: what are the foreseeable challenges for the project?
  • VALUES: what are the core values the space needs to reflect?
  • MOTIVATION: what are the personal motivations for each person to work on the project?
  • GOALS: what are the goals for each stakeholder?
  • SUCCESS CRITERIA: for each person - 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, 12 months

There were a few rules:

  • Responses should be based on personal positive experiences, which can serve as models for the Lab.
  • Recall an event when you felt "wow, this is why I want to collaborate/to work in a co-working place/ to meet new people; etc", rather than saying “I hate {x}, and so my goal is to create non{x}”.
  • No computers. The point is to pay attention to each other, and feel being listened to.

The idea was to move from first individual to shared aspirations (visions, goals, motivations), from there to measurable goals with timeframe, and from there to small tasks with deadlines that people can form teams around. Although we did not get to the “shared” part, the session already proved the approach useful. We walked away with a fairly detailed understanding of each other’s motivations and goals, and small deliverable tasks that already move things towards reaching them.

CONTRIBUTIONS:

Vision

  • nice & humble people
  • a place to MAKE
  • explore ways of different knowledge distribution
  • create new business model for biotech
  • sharing, responsible community (culture!)
  • a hub for innovation
  • a place for diverse competences
  • a perfect place for freelance work
  • nurture independence and freedom in work
  • mesh meeting
  • connective vision
  • “out” (beyond?) institution // Switzerland
  • local community

Values

  • self-governance
  • openness
  • spontaneity
  • democracy
  • independence
  • sharing
  • growth
  • synergy
  • open source, open everything
  • alive
  • sustainability
  • responsibility (be excellent to each other)
  • transparency
  • trust
  • safety
  • ethic code diy bio/ no harmful diy/ no guns

Goals/Expectations:

  • complementary with existing structures (of working)
  • ideas/values pollination
  • learn from other similar projects
  • educating/training
  • public events
  • create a hub/node
  • answer actual needs for freelancers (wifi; coffee; events; networking)
  • mapping of competence needs
  • recruit
  • attract everybody, not nerds only
  • gender balance
  • new business model// ecosystem
  • gain independence (weaning)
  • library /digital+analog/
  • kitchen
  • gallery
  • produce rich documentation
  • quality tools

Challenges:

  • burn-out
  • existing science model, which is exclusive, protective
  • to communicate culture low cost / low-tech
  • to articulate values
  • to build awareness
  • to nurture distributed projects
  • to become visible
  • to set clear guidelines
  • make a manual
  • identify tools

Success criteria (subjective and/or objective):

  • self-sustainable
  • carefully picked dependencies
  • in 15 months, we are doing better
  • set higher standards/ better coworking culture in the area
  • 30 stories in 3 months
  • gender balance
  • very independent members
  • plan “B” risk management
  • a community strong enough to be able to survive moving
  • 50 users in 3 months
  • 30 projects in 6 months
  • co-designed space in 6 months

NEXT MEETING: Oct. 10

tasks/people:

REPORT of second LivingLab workshop

Near Future Design Part 2 - workshop held on 10.10.2014

This session with small reports on the following:

  • draft preliminary report / Luc
  • preliminary inventory / Sachiko
  • draft business model / Carmelo
  • dirty lab wish list / Marc
  • list of available (digital) tools / Yann H.
  • description of ideal entrepreneur environment / Gianpaolo
  • report of the first session / Katalin
  • interviews and a survey on website / Katalin

The conversation that span out of the presentations threw out the following ideas:

  • create a skills database//marketplace (through website)
  • wiki sprint to create website
  • the dirty lab can become a revenue source (needs a budget)
  • safety rules for lab is necessary before it opens
  • separation of the space to seal noisy/smelly/toxic tools
  • we need a co-napping space
  • we need a shower
  • we need a kitchen
  • we need centralised image depository
  • social media presence for Univercity
  • RECRUITMENT (forge partnerships)
  • network with outside (hackers and non-hackers)
  • events and shared meals

In the second part of the session we placed the various goals, expectations and problems to solve into a timeframe:

within 1 week:

  • produce rich documentation / YH, CB
  • answer actual needs for freelancers: wifi, coffee, networking / YH, CB

within 3 months (by January):

  • co-governance / YH, CB, LH
  • a perfect workplace for freelance entrepreneur work / YH, GR
  • quality tools / MY
  • a place to MAKE / MY
  • transparency / CB, YH, LH
  • kitchen / CB, KH
  • recruite / LH, PR
  • more nice people / LH
  • PARTY / everyone
  • plan "b"; risk management / CB, YH
  • nurture independence, freedom in work / unassigned
  • safety / Dirty Lab: MY, KH; Chem/Bio: LH
  • write description of complementarity with existing structures (of bio research) / LH
  • education and training / LH
  • ideas/values pollination / LH
  • library digital+analog / unassigned
  • map competence needs / SH
  • trust / YH, KH
  • users 50 people by January / PR
  • MANUAL / YH
  • clear guidelines + organisation /YH, CB
  • articulate values / KH
  • communicate culture (low-cost/low-tech) / unassigned
  • become visible / PR, KH, LH, CB
  • build awareness / PR, KH, LH, CB
  • openness / YH, KH
  • responsibility 'be excellent to each other" / KH, YH

6 months (by April):

  • attract everybody, not only nerds
  • carefully picked dependencies
  • democracy
  • gallery
  • 30 projects
  • co-design
  • humble people
  • nurture distributed projects
  • synergy
  • gender balance

9 months (by July):

  • hub/node events
  • creating new business model for biotech
  • new business model/ecosystem

12 months (by October):

  • sustainable
  • a place for diverse competences
  • gain independence (weaning)
  • growth
  • "doing better"