CCCB, June 27th: Participatory Design Workshop of proposals around City-Labs

Here is the text describing the activity that we organized at CCCB, together with I+C+I (CCCB Lab), on the concept of “the city as a laboratory”. This is a concept that is being developed in different versions around the world. In Barcelona the City Council is promoting the idea of the city as a “Cultural Laboratory” and we wanted to open up a design-centered activity to explore the concept with citizens.

According to our line of work, the idea is to open participation and work together with the participants to develop proposals. We will start online well before the actual event at the CCCB. Feel free to share this invitation with everybody: the important thing is to get diversity. We want experts and non-experts, but mostly people willing to create their own version of a city learning for transformation emerges.



Send an email to explaining what concept of laboratory city you want to work on, some of your previous related experiences  and if there is some specific project that you want to work on.

The metaphor of the city as a laboratory has been well received because it incorporates a component of urban and cultural experimentation. What form will adopt these new “laboratory cities”? What connection do they have with digital culture? Are this cities organic developments or planned projects? How can a city orchestrate its transformation into a laboratory city in an inclusive way? Will be Barcelona a laboratory city? Will it be a network of laboratories or the bets will go again to a large complex of laboratory facilities instead?

10-14h / 16-18h / / “LAB Cities” Workshop. With CoCreating Cultures – La Mandarina de Newton and Laura Forlano.

In this workshop we will work on proposals to articulate the concept of laboratory city. We will follow a collaborative design process that can become the basis for further in-depth development.

Places are limited: register by sending a e-mail to:
Workshop + Debate price: 6 € (when registering you will be informed of the terms of payment). Free for Friends of the CCCB

19-21h / / DEBATE “Citizenship and action in the city laboratory.” Participants: Laura Forlano, Inés Garriga (Department of Creativity and Innovation ICUB) and Antoni Nicolau (Director of IAAC). Moderator: Ramon Sangüesa (UPC and CoCreating Cultures).

A discussion on the role of citizen’s action in the laboratory city. If the city becomes a laboratory: what is going to be researched there? What is an innovation in this perspective? Who is going to do this? And who is going to decide what to do research and innovation on?.

Debate Price: 3 €. Reduced ticket € 2.50, under 25 years and retired. Free for Friends of the CCCB, unemployed  people and teachers of the Generalitat. Tickets may be purchased at Tele-Entrada or at the desk of the CCCB.


Townsend, A. A Planet of Civic Laboratories: The Future of Cities, Information and Inclusion. Institute for the Future-Rockefeller Foundation.

M. Foth, Laura Forlano, Christien Satchell and Martin Gibbs (Eds.) From Social Butterfly to Engaged Citizen: Urban Informatics, Social Media, Ubiquitous Computing, and Mobile Technology to Support Citizen Engagement. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2011.

On the change of the term “laboratory” and its democratizing potential: Ramon Sangüesa. “La tecnocultura i la Seva democratització: soroll, Límits i Oportunitats dels labs / Technoculture and its Democratization: noise, limits and opportunities of the labs “. Revista d’Etnologia de Catalunya, número 38, 2012.

On the future of the medialabs: VV.AA. The future of the LAB. Baltan Laboratories, 2010.

On the forms of participation and operation of the Technoculture: From Mobile Playgrounds to sweatshop City. Situated Technologies Pamphlet 7: Fall 2010.


What is participation?

From the co-creation workshop organized by Co-Creating Cultures at the CCCB

I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

Photo of the prototype of Hypermedia City realized during the workshop

Foto taken by CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna, 2011

I will not go into how the co-creation workshop was carried out by Co-Creating Cultures at the CCCB because few participants have done it very well here and here (only available in spanish). I would like to talk about how I experienced it as a repeat participant (I participated in the first workshop last year), and what I have learnt from it.

Like Ramón Sanguesa said during the workshop: participation is an attitude. It is the starting point I believe, the fundamental of a participative project. This is what I have learnt from this workshop. There have been discrepancies on this matter during the workshop as we do not all agree on what participation is and what it involves. That is why we can feel, sometimes, that our work is not so productive, or gives the impression that it did not fully answer to the apprenticeship expectations.

I believe the reason why we sometimes feel that we have not learnt enough about participation, that we have not explored further enough the problematic, is due to this attitude we have acquired in school (sitting on benches receiving knowledge): to receive, being passive. Designing forms of participation is based precisely on active participation, that is to give, which is a fundamental element. It is with this state of mind that we will make the most of a workshop like this, that it will answer to our expectations. We will then stay away from the marketing aspect, that companies adopt, giving value, using 2.0 technologies, to the concepts of social currency, reputation, recommendation or networking; which, in my opinion, does not help (but the contrary) to develop a participative attitude.

I noticed during this workshop that my concept of participation must be clarifyed and my attitude improved. I chose the Hypermedia City project. Little after started working on it, I realized it was not a participative project (as I understand participation). This is a participant of my group who made this comment and made me realize it. I did not even realized it on my own! How come? First of all, I believe it is due to few words in the project description, like “networked”, “platform”, “innovation”, “social media”, “interactive technologies”, “web 2.0”, which made me think it was a very participative project, because these words refer to or are usually used when we talk about participation. But taking into account how the project was developed so far: the objective was to bring together on a same platform varius creative agents involved in research and innovation of different cities in the world, where their content on social media was shown according to an algorythm which aims to stimulate the competition between cities. In my opinion, there is no participation because actors of the project do not have an common objective to build something together.

I chose as well to be in the group of the project author because I thought I would understand better his proposal and participate “better”. In the end, it did not help to “hypermodify” the project as the workshop instigated. Trying to understand, through the author vision, the objective of the project, the value proposition and how it was generated, our group remained too close to the author original thinking, without giving another turn to the project, and consequently enrich it.

One difficult exercise is to discuss on a project when you have not developped it, i.e. you know little about it and you do not know your teamates. That is why it is mandatory to endorse this participative attitude, i.e. putting yourself into the skin of the final user to understand his needs and bring relevant modifications to the project. If one wanted to make the most of the workshop, its intensive format allowed to develop an immediate participative attitude, the one we usually adopt in real life, when we are sure something good will come out, or when we gain acknowledgement.

In a participative project, all the voices must be heard. Each of the participant has the responsibility: to give his opinion without imposing it, to listen (here I am referring to an active listening: understanding what the teamate wants to say, making his opinion ours); to make the voices of members who are shy or least interested in the project come out inviting them to give their opinions; and to mantain an elevated concentration without entering and leaving the debate when we feel like.

We experienced some difficulties during the debate because we did not have the same definitions of what participation is. For instance, the author of the project and myself did not agree on the word co-creation: he defended the idea that Hypermedia City is a co-creative project because actors of the platform build a virtual city together just by being on the same platform. I called his attention telling him that the actors did not have a common objective to create something together, that is why we could not talk, in my opinion, about co-creation. To avoid these discrepancies, at A+C+C CoCreació, when we started analyzing the first study cases on participation, Irene saw the need to write a post From interaction to Co-Creation that explained the different levels of participation, which we used as a starting point for our investigation. We have just finished our glossary (the first version, that will soon be published on our blog) based on the study cases we analyzed, to make sure we talk about the same thing when discussing the concepts we investigate.

Ramón and Irene, when we started to work in groups, explained the different steps of the work they asked and gave us a timeframe for each phase. In my group, we did not respect these timeframes (being absorbed by the discussion) because we did not come to make a clear decision, made by consensus, for each phase. We closed the steps because we had to. Maybe that is the reason why we had the feeling of something unachived. Maybe because it was only a workshop and not real life, we kept discussing (and it surely has been the most interesting part of the workshop for me) and we did not oblige ourselves to fulfill the instructions of the workshop. For my part, I admit I did not take into account the timeframes when discussing with the others. I do not think it was positive for the project, neither for the group in general.

I will conclude saying that this workshop allowed me to identify the starting point of participation: the attitude.



Compressing a lot: what happened in the workshop about co-creation in the cultural sector

Genealogies of Participation

Designing participation

(This is a long post, maybe you prefer to read it on PDF: PDFResumPost)

The workshop we co-organized this year with the CCCB was focused on exploring the field where different genealogies of participation meet. Because the way that participation projects have started in many cultural institutions, mostly  from the interest and drive of the communication department, there is a tendency to equate participatory projects with projects that use 2.0 technologies or are inspired by their procedures. With this workshop we wanted to go further and explore the terrain beyond the interactive/dialogical frontier between the public and the instituion.  So, we took as our departure porint a view which is more based on action that on dialogical interaction or the promotion of “social interaction”. We focused ourselves on production by identifying participation with collective co-creation.

However, as we discussed in the presentation of the workshop and their complementary activities (talks and conferences), there is an opportunity in recognizing the possibilites that exist in the connection of the participatory concepts and practices of Social Media, Open Source and participatory design.

The crucial question is not who are you designing FOR but WITH. Image: the self-managed center La Tabacalera in Madrid. Photo credit: CoCreating Cultures/La Mandarina de Newton

Key point: who do you design WITH?

The essential question is not who you co-create FOR but WITH. We stressed the importance, when you start designing a participatory project,  to draw very clearly with whom you are going to work together. We believe that this precision is essential. It is the touchstone for distinguishing participatory projects where users are actually builders of an object, activity or even an organization from those other projects where participation is aimed at creating “social dialogue” rather than a production process.

When one thinks of creating participatory projects and asks about who is the project FOR,  the mental frame one gets immediately in is that of an emitter (the institution, for example)  addressing a proposal to the receiver (the public). We try to explore other frameworks that, paying tribute to the importance of communication and dialogue, aim at building things together and acknowledges in the participants/public the ability not just to give feedback (the minimum level for 2.0 projects) but to actually work and build together. From our point of view, participation can create genuine communities of production.

The challenge is to find methods and platforms that integrate processes aimed at the autonomy of the participating public, in order to maintain a creative relationship of mutual influence between participants and the instituion or the group that initially leads a projec that asks for participation.

As long as the institutions think in doing projects “FOR”  the  public instead of “WITH” the public,  they  will be locked in  the “participation à la Facebook” stage.

These processes of collective creation level the entry point for everyone involved (participant public, project leaders, representatives of the institution ….). On the other hand, they do not intend to keep the initial roles fixed throughout the process. Instead, their design should require anticipating the mechanisms by which participants end up becoming the core leaders of the project. That is, each level of participation is associated with a level of decision-making. What level we want to take on a project?.

Participants can show great competence in design and implementation. Therefore, they expect recognition. This is correlated in large part to their ability to participate in decision-making.  Whe one starts a co-creative process (at least in the sense that we give to “co-creation”) one has to anticipate how the following dimensions are going to be defined and managed:

  • recognition of participation
  • inclusion of participants in decision-making and evolution of their roles as decision-makers
  • and, most complicated and hard of all, how to manage the possible perversion of the process.

Regarding the latter point, collaborative systems which are more or less open are exposed to “free riders” (those who do not contribute to the project but exploit the work of others without giving due recognition), those who impersonate others and appropirate their work and the groups that collude to do both of the two aforementioned thigns and subvert the whole project. Human nature, as much as the apostles of 2.0 may like us to think otherwise, sometimes has trouble with altruism and fairness.

Creating and respecting human complex systems

All this brings us into design scenarios of some complexity. This complexity comes from emerging interactions between different actors. The consequences of these interactions cannot always be predicted in advance but some of them can be designed and must meet a minimum of participatory fairness. All this seems terribly complicated but is a challenge that is worth taking.

Designing participation (in / for / with / from) the complexity“) seems a contradiction in terms. It is a little less so if we consider that the behaviour rules that are designed, microbehaviours so to speak,  the rewards and micro-processes can generate an environment where participants can evolve and create coherent collective action.

In large part,  the role of the promoters of these projects is to create conditions for others to co-design, co-create, co-learn, co-lead. A convenient framework to attain the creation of these environments  is to focus on the contributions coming form the school of design known as Meta-design that, among other things, connects community design and social innovation (see, for example, the work of Ezio Mazzini or his disciple and good friend of ours Massimo Menichinelli)

The contact point between Open Source, 2.0, and Participatory Design

From our perspective, a cultural institution is at the service of a community (“with” the community not only “for” the community). This point raises the level of ambition and the type of participation needed. It also shares some characteristics with other forms of action that call for joint collective building:

  • open source with its insistence on the recognition of the merit of the participants, with their sharing power in decision-making on the basis of demonstrated merit and transparency of information
  • 2.0 seen as collaborative social technologies such as technology platforms that facilitate the aggregation of behavior: at its minimum degree this goes no further than relational marketing but can evolve beyond the old support and  knowledge  communities and can be a real breeding ground for co-creative communities
  • design variants stemming from the user-centered design, or participatory service design, and design for social innovation (see the DESIS network initiated from the Parsons School of Design and with whom we have a certain contact).

The workshops

The type of workshop we propose, due to its duration, cannot exhaust the whole toolbox that may be needed to articulate the different variants of a co-creation process. Our approach is eclectic. We take tools and methods that can be combined like a puzzle depending on the type of project one is aiming at.

MetaDesign helps decide WITH participants which type of participatory project they are willing to engage in. Then, it combines the most adequate tools available from the rich design toolbox. Thus, open design tools can be combined with some of the  classic methods of service design, or with the proven and, one would be tempted to say, “veteran” user-centric methods that once brought fame to the design consultancy IDEO. Or, why not?, create new methods and investigate new combinations, new lifecycles. Things start to become even more interesting when one tries to explore the combination of design approaches with collaborative practices coming form Open Source and 2.0. In any case, the overall cognitive approach involves a very typical sequence of cognitive operations that are typical of any design process:

  • one, create a first approximate to the solution;
  • two, test it, try it with users, reflect about what happend and
  • three, introduce modifications to the first approach according to what you have learnt.

Add that in a participatory process you have to do this “with the others”. In order to help the workshop participants to eventualy work with other participants, ”their” participants, we seek above all that they fell what is it like to the step into the shoes of the audience/participants and invite “our” participants to start thinking of “their” participants as co-designers. To this end, we resort to different dynamics, which the participants can then later test themselves in their own fields and with their participating publics. Our goal is that they also feel comfortable and  autonomous enough to embrace the creation of these type of processes. It is a difficult  task since they must play during the workshop both the role of the designer, and  the user and always maintain a  participant stance. This requires certain personal ductility, a certain attitude to adapt oneself to the vision of the other, to negotiate and integrate different views. In general, these are scarce skills.

The simplest meta-design checklist that we can think of

This year we proposed to follow practically in the workshop a few steps of a process of  participation in (Meta)design:

  • Design the process to follow: here we cheated to the participants and we proposed straightaway a simple linear scheme ais described in the following steps. We hope the participants will forgive us for sparing themselves of this first step ;-)
  • Select the “what”.  All of us had to choose from over twenty projects that participants had already uploaded to the “site” of the workshop. Eventually three of them were selected: Hybrid Identities (on how to promote the fluidity of one`s own identity as a positive value), Arts Education (on how to integrate formal and informal learning in the Arts through open source technology) and Hypermedia City (a project for a ranking of innovative cities made by the inputs of the participants).
I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

Selecting the "what". Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

  • Imagine the “who with?”: the participants have to be designers and users at the same time. We couldn’t go down to the street to recruit participant users (Or could we? What if we try it next year?). Nevertheless, it is important to specify the characteristics of would-be participants with whom our participation designers will work. These features, had to be as accurate as possible. Since we could not do proper street ethnography because of lack of time, we resorted to using  ”personas“, warning the workshop participants about of the difficulties of this approach and how it has been put into question if they do not come from actual ethonographic data. But we were ”locked  in” at CCCB!.
I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

Imagining the "with who". Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

  • Specify the initial rules: of participation, merit recognition, remuneration, exit from the community, mechanisms of change in decision-making… All criteria can be expressed in easy and understandable ways to all participants. Ideally they themselves can specify these rules.
I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

Designing the rules. Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

  • ¿”Merge” or ”Fork”?: Are the different versions of the same project complementary? Two teams who had worked separately on a version could work together and merge it into a single design? Or, conversely, each prototype has to evolve as the beginning of an essentially different project ?.
  • Repeat.

The initial deal with the authors of the selected projects was that they must accept that their project could be “hypermorphed” by the ideas of the rest of the participants/co-designers during the workshop.

Some notes on projects and how they evolved

It was very interesting to see how the same project proposal generated two completely different prototypes:

  • The group where the author of  the Art Education project took part, changed several times his initial proposal integrating different points of view, slowly bringing in new actors and moving towards a network of teachers, schools, artists and technological infrastructure where art could be not a fixed course but its learning could be triggered from the interests of teeangers.
I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

Art Education: the author's group. Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

Educación artística, grupo 1. CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna, 2011

  • The other group that worked on the same proposal, Art Education, focused on how to create educational content collaboratively by teachers, students, artists and technologists and how to exploit it in an open and economically sustainable way.
  • The group that proposed Hybrid identities, Something Good, created a first proposal which focused on the concept of ”personal history” to show how participants shared their experience of change in identity because of their professional, or geographic changes . They pointed to “social media” as their preferred platform to express these personal stories. This was the group where the author of the proposal was working in.
I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

Hybrid Identities, Something Good, author's group. Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

  • The second group working on Hybrid Identities evolved towards a concept of community media hub based on community radio and set out to clarify  how participants would contribute and manage this media hub. They went on to specify roles, functions and decision-making rules. They sketched a pattern of participants progression in terms of learning and decision making
  • I+C+i // Taller "Disseny col·laboratiu per a institucions culturals"

    "Identisound": The community media hub for hybrid identities. Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

  • The group where the person who proposed “Hypermedia City” was working, created a complex system in which participation was expressed mostly in the form of voting and contests, and it used an algorithmic component associated with the calculation of rankings.
  • The second group working on Hypermedia City gave an interesting and co-creative twist to the original proposal turning it into a project where participants could create almost any type of innovation indicator in response to some other people requests.They manage to do so by cleverly using a kind of combinatoris on Open Data: Data about  community trends and was open and available to creatin new innovation indexes. At the same time they explored how to create a sustainable business model for the whole system. Happily they changed the name of the orginal project to the “Internet of Goats”. In Spanish “to behave like a goat” is to behave crazily. Thus they used this title to stress the “madness” of the indexes of innovation that the system could generate.

From "Hypermedia City" to "Internet of Goats": creativity indexes based on Open Data. Photo CCCB (c) Miquel Taverna 2011

In the  joint reflection that ensued people saw:

  • that the two proposed ”Art Education” prototype could be merged into one
  • the same for “Hybrid Identities”
  • “Hypermedia City” seemed to be split into two different projects, but the discussion was lively when we had to finish the workshop.

Also there were interesting remarks for all projects. Interestingly enough they had to do with the role of the school, the business dimension of all projects, the ability of final participants to engage in creation, the doubt about which level of co-creation the different projects were exhibiting, etc. etc.

For now, we left the simple collaborative website ​​at the disposal of the participants. We will have to follow the evolution of their proposals!.

You can see some references to some of the issues we’ve discussed all along in the reference material we gave to the CCCB in preparation of the workshop and that it was offered on paper. They also appear at the end of the post that announced the workshops here. The CCCB was also kind enough to incorporate them into the ICI Delicious. Here you can consult them. If you are interested in learning more about these references, let us know.

For now this is our (long) summary of the workshop. We will be discussing other aspects of the accompanying conference. In particular:

  • Some aspects of the conference given by Bob Ketner, our regular collaborator at the TechMuseum. We were very happy to be able to bring him to Barcelona with the help of the CCCB. We will discuss what is really an open co-design community of people collaborating in creating those physical objects that are typical of museums (exhibits, for example). Also  the use of virtual prototyping of exhibitios and other possibilities based not on physical/virtual objects but on digital storytelling.
  • We also will talks about the presentation given by the working group “A + C + C Co-Creació,” which introduced a 0.1 version of the Working Contextopedia on Co-Creation. Also we will comment on how the CCCB presented their 2.0 guide. There will be detailed posts about it all.

As always be are grateful to the team of CCCB:

  • Juan Insua for his work on increasing the permeability and porosity of institutions
  • Maria Farrás for her organizational accuracy and insisting when appropriate
  • Eva Reixach to be permanently wiht her two-hands on Twitter
  • Eva Alonso because she turns herself into MacGyver II when it is most needed
  • Laura Moreno, for the speed with the PDFs
  • Miquel Tavern for the great pictures he always takes
  • Paco Perez for, as they say on the radio, to be at the controls
  • Lucia Calvo, to continue despite the fatigue ;-)

And certainly we always forget about someone, but please receive our gratefulness too!.

But above all things  we are very grateful to all workshop participants, who always make us learn more and look forward to continue.


Fourth workshop on 2.0 practices for cultural institutions

Last May 13th the last workshop (for now) in the series about 2.0 practices for cultural institutions, part of the Citilab-Expolab/CCCB-Lab collaboration took place in Citilab.

We went through the process of inviting participants to reflect while doing. That is, to build their own prototypes of possible participatory projects in their institutions (or outside them) and start a design iteration that included role playing, scenario building and discussion.

Global screen: 10 windows to the world
A project that is scheduled to exhibit for 2011.

It aims to put in evidence the power of screens in contemporary society. 
The screen as an interface that connects to the world. 
This is  part of an online and offline exhibition revolving around different types of screens:

  • The screen as a manifesto or the political screen.
  • The game screen  (entertainment-oriented and educational among children).
  • The social screen (the visual interface as an agora) 
and so on.

The exhibition will consist of a journey through a continuous screen. 
The pieces will be comissioned to video artists and artists in this field. 
Also, it will be open to people so that they can create materials to be integrated  in the exhibition. 
Visitors to the site or internet users will be able to add personal interventions and build their own reflections on them. 
These will be linked thematically to the type of screen that corresponds to the reflection either because they are confronting the screen created by and artist or reinforcing it, the user contribution being an example of what is meant by the artist. It will also open a dynamic web platform that will receive content before the exhibition opening. 
At the same time, the exhibition raises the possibility that the contents can continue to evolve once the offline exhibition closes.  
The main screen in the physical space  will portray images of the visitors/participants taken from different angles while they are still visiting, so that participants can reflect about privacy.

I have a show at Caixaforum

The goal is difussion, i.e., to generate public attraction and actual visits to an exhibition, and thus “build up brand” for the cultural center.
 We propose a contest that will be accompanied by traditional advertising as well as 2.0 campaigns on social networks, etc.
 It may invite uploading  pictures or  videos on YouTube,  pieces of music, etc.. It will not require to use a specific artistic format.
 Users will be able to vote for the pieces. This voting can take place through the usual online communication channels. 
A jury or a similar institution will select the works presented, which will be eventually exhibited at an exhibition center.
 Different types of awards will be established
. Also, the winners will be encouraged to participate in a workshop explaining their experience as well as the ideation and creation process of their piece.

The process would be as follows:

  • Classical unidirectional campaign in traditional media
  • Viral/Participatory Campaign  inviting to participate in the contest

Some important aspects

  • Diversity: each work is accompanied by certain personal data which will help in distributing the prizes among different user profiles.
  • Aggregation of the works: a system for sending, rating, receive and evaluate the submitted information
  • Workshop: by which users will discuss the process of creating the pieces, and help in the redefinition of the event for the following year.
Theatre 2.0

A play that starts from scratch, based on an initial survey about what matters to people as spectators. 
That survey is organized from Twitter and Facebook asking for keywords that define the theme of the theatrical work. 
Interviews and surveys at street level are also used, specially for users who do not have Internet access or do not use it. 
In social networks  questions are also posed and / or possible views with inputs such as news, photos, or other aesthetic props to stimulate response. 
It therefore seeks to cause feedback on the process while integrating new keywords. 
The seed keywords at the beginning are Twitter # hashtags used in networks close to the people that drive the initiative. 

After collecting data on the most interesting topics and contents an script outline of a play is made. 
The theatrical work is organized with co-writing partners, and it is presented in a real theatrical venue and  broadcasted by videostreaming. 
It is open to decide if the  performance can also be “open” in real time while acting (either in person by the viewers at the theater or  via online channels). 
In order to publicize the work all the social capital generated during the creation of the outline and  the co-creation of the script will be used. The feedback after the performance, personal assessments, etc. will be also collected and shared. 
The profile of users involved in the survey, as well as writers and actors, could allow people to get into the learning process or even act as “spontaneous” or amateurs. 
It can also be a valid project to recruit new talents.

e-learning school

It proposes as a training school based on online participation. It 
comprises three zones or areas: a virtual classroom with original content, an area used for dumping or recycling, and (most important) a methodology and tools for participation.
 Users of the project are teachers, promoters, students and companies (the latter are permitted to make case studies).
 The contents of the courses change every day, thanks to the contributions and participation of users.
 The key is finding the motivation to generate content among all, especially case studies in business.
 This virtual education is based on network profiles and thematic interests and portfolios and content generated by each user / participant.
 We propose also a section for trainers to post their content, but could also be students who do it
Another key issue related to the project is to locate the information that should be categorized hierarchically and / or folksonomies. 
The repository should help sort reviews, teaching materials, examples, etc..
 The challenge is that the contents are based on real case studies, to enable meaningful learning.

Hiker Association

An open platform that serves to promote and relaunch an mountain hiking association  which currently has a low activity.
 Reasons? Generation gap and a lack of  knowledge sharing with new people who approach the association with the intention of joining as a member.
 The project tries to transcend the limitations of face to face meetups for outdoor hikes.
 It should have a bank of resources and tools as well as tutorials on hiking for beginners.
 It would also show how to take advantage of content based on the knowledge of the territory.
 The possibility  of geolocating itineraries and, thus, enhance the sharing of routes, ideas and favorite locations is also envisaged

If you want to see more photos from this event, you will find them in Flickr!


Third workshop on Practices 2.0 within cultural institutions

On May 6th we made the third workshop on “Project 2.0. Practices for cultural institutions”, organized by the Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB) and the Citilab. This time it was Citilab, in Cornellà. Again, some thirty participants shared their knowledge and their desire to finish defining six groups of two to eight people. These groups worked on the creation of prototypes with cardboard, Lego, Plasticine … to finish defining a participatory project. Throughout the day, these prototypes were the seed that sparked great debate, which raised conflict, which led to consider some steps to take or to propose a reflection on the motivations for introducing citizen participation in the practices of cultural institutions our environment.

The structure was participatory, had the cooperation of all attendees, led to the co-design and strategies used … We could say that the workshop itself was itself an act 2.0 which also wanted to go beyond the 6 hours collective work, creating a working group on-line for further discussion and analysis of the hows, whys, whys who and participation.

The projects proposed by this group were the following:

Art at Home
  • Bringing art home to democratize art and promote new artists.
  • Self-managed platform for young artists, NGOs or Cooperative collectives, where you pay a registration fee. It is also contemplated that the artist can pay a service contracted out for the alternative to the fixed, or that the whole project can work as a cooperative or bank time.
  • It will request for proposals for home interventions or artistic events.
  • Platform acts as an intermediary and facilitator / channel of supply and demand for such services.
  • Suitable for all types of art (music, theater, dance, performance, painting, video, etc).
  • Can obtain feedback on the service request posted with a structure similar to Digg, in order  to encourage word of mouth spreading.
  • If offers the possibility of being able to involve the “public” actions / works, depending on the artist.
What are you doing?
  • Project to encourage socialization. Open space to offer / propose cultural activities by citizens.
  • It is also an inspiration Center that aims at causing the reaction or mood change for users.
  • Presence of music, painting, dance, facilities, computers, internet …
  • It allows to work individually or with more people, “encouraged” by the theater.
  • People come close to it, out of curiosity, making an artistic journey that leads them to a change of mind.
  • It seeks a transformation of people into the spirit / creative way.
  • It has an urban location, around a particular school or center of activities.
  • It is proposed that it can be managed by a public-private consortium, or sponsored by a company as part of a code of corporate social responsibility.
  • After interacting with the contents, citizens may propose new contents, which would led to activating new contacts.
  • Eligibility to register / sign in person or via the web.

The philosophy of the project is to influence the citizen to make him/her think and change his/her roles.

People’s maps
  • Geolocation platform to promote awareness among local people and to break  distances between neighbours whether they are artists or not.
  • Easy interface  that allows users to submit video and geolocate it in the city.
  • Sewlfpromotion would help cultural and artistic offers but also social or business initiatives in the neighbourhodd.
  • It also would have a synchronous communication layer via Skype or similar.
    It would include voting systems to help assess content.
  • It allows the creation of routes to meet and get people togehter and relate them to  upcoming initiatives.
  • Mashup tool: Google maps API, content rating, Skype or similar.
  • Would create a documentary archive of the city that would help in  finding content of institutions or entities.
  • It could also be extended in person or by means adhesives to QR codes that link the physical locations with digital map.
“Macba” 2.0
  • Participatory refoundation of an existing museum to reflect the participation as of interest to contemporary society.
  • It also tries to generate knowledge in a participatory manner and to reafirm its public nature and therefore  this knowledge should be shared.
  • Allows the aggregation of opinions, ideas, proposals about the institution and its activities.
  • Promotes evolvving  from an static to an emerging institution based on creative chaos.
  • The user raises or “meddles” in the processes that  defines the internal and external operation of the center.

Example proposals of initiatives and processes:

  • Bonding with companies
  • More user feedback> institution> artists
  • Possibility of accommodating snacks and drinking in the exhibit spaces
  • Allow the redesign of the exhibition spaces
  • Possibility to use copyleft licenses on works
  • Space for self-managed exhibitions
  • Guided tours with the artists themselves
  • Score on shows or complete works
  • Database with keywords on each work
  • Support to new artists and partnerships
  • Playing  space for adults and children
  • It is open to gamers as a group with creative potential
  • It generates financial resources to gain independence
  • Open online presence to promote comment
  • The essence is to turn the museum into an art center
“Who is an artist and who is not?”
  • Virtual classroom project to generate debate on copyright.
  • It starts from the distinction between “prosumers” and artists to compare their type of work and interventions.
  • It puts into crisis the notion of authorship of artistic works.

• Generated / captured copyleft licensed works of artists
• It also on works created  by the citizens themselves
• Many allowed formats:  painting, sculpture, photography, video, etc.
• Works are exchanged bewteeen the “plain citizens” and the “artist” groups and  each group  works are given to the other group so that they can modify each other’s work in turns
• The results presented are virtual
• It also promotes reflection on the very concept of authorship.
• It raises the possibility that a third party could sell even with  copyleft.
• The DJ as a metaphor for remixing and remaking content.
• The works can be changed both in person and online.
• It also promotes works that can go through different formats.
• It integrates the idea of holding regular meetings of intensive modification of the work.

The work is alive and in that sense never “completed”.

Technological Atheists
  • It is a project that aims to promote active participation and critical debate around the fact of  people being deciding whtehter to be always connected, or not.
  • A has a platform that allows to locate, view and connect with the “digital disconnected” people and their motivations for staying so.
  • I will be done in both the most developed countries and in the less developed countries.
  • It involves a trip around the world to detect cases in different places in terms of their  cultural, political and economic diversity.
  • A reporter with GPS information of Internet users keeps on locating people without Internet, cell phones or access to other Information Techologies.
  • It uses a blog to report on steps taken to locate and interview the “disconnected person”.
  • Each interviewee expresses what it means to be disconnected.
  • The “public” on the other side (via internet) gives its opinion on whether that person should be connected or not.
  • It aims to open the discussion to exchange opinions on the interest and / or need to “connect” to certain people.
  • The project may end in a story or audiovisual product design.
  • It could be sponsored by mobile phone companies or similar given that there would be extensive  qualitative studies on the field.

If you want to see more photos from this event, you will find them in Flickr!


3rd Cultural Institutions 2.0 workshop Citilab-Expolab & CCCB

Due to the great interest amongst cultural institutions in the two previous workshops on participatory 2.0 strategies held at the CCCB (22nd & 28th April), Citilab hosted on May 6th the first of two more sessions. The second was on Thursday, May 13th.

You can follow the corresponding tweets here:

3 taller instituciones culturales 2.0


Second worshop on cultural institutions 2.0

The second workshop, “2.0 Projects and practices in cultural institutions” organized by the Centre for Contemporary Culture (CCCB) and Citilab was held on April 28th in the Sala del Mirador at the CCCB. Again, a large number of participants got together to work and define six projects involving the participation of users.

Here are their proposals:

  • An area but also a conceptual map for revising the concept of a library.
  • The user may access the production of the “official” cultural industry in multiple formats.
  • Additionally,  the user can produce and consume all users’ production.
  • It is a structure on the net, where everybody can have access to its content
  • The role of the library is to offer tools and facilitate more active roles.
  • For example, materials are stored related to personal memory (personal testimonies).
  • Seeking to construct a community where the library has an active role in improving its materials.
  • As a physical space it has ana are for cataloguing and accessing content and another one for production of content.
  • The cataloguing (also participative) would be organized by using an open subject list and keywords.
  • A model of copyleft licences for users’ works with different options would be used.
I-lab (laboratory of Ideas)
  • A virtual Project open to institutions and individuals for spreading ideas.
  • Any institution can take their “needs” to link them and work on them.
  • A facilitating area based on tagging ideas.
  • It pursues the goal of “democratizing” culture and to collaborate with its environment.
  • It would enable ideas and people who are currently disconnected to be grouped together.
  • Uusers can bring in projects in which they wish to work.
  • Despite being virtual it could also have a physical space or reference.
  • It is devised mainly to act only as a connector, with no subsequent follow up of what comes out of it.
“Be the expo”
  • Project to make scientific learning more participative, where the user feels part of the process. It offers two possibilities for participation:
  • A dynamic process for choosing collectively the subject-areas for the exhibition.
  • Concrete Identification of aspects to exhbit in the chosen subject-area.
  • In both cases we take a look at what is filtered through the criteria of experts.
  • The users are consulted about how the exhibition should be articulated.
  • People are invited during the process to learn and be more active in the subject-area under consideration.
  • One can interact on-line by modyfing from home the objects and elements exhibited.
  • The exhibition can be modified during the participation process.
  • Not only do we promote opinion, but we actively modify  what happens in terms of personal presence.
  • The exhibition is strengthened because it has an online discussion and reflection area outside the reach of the museum or institution that hosts the physicial exhibitions.
  • Dynamic processes are promoted to “protagonize” elements of the exhibition (in virical simulations for example).

Project to be located in low transing areas:  waiting areas, hubs, the global “non-places”.

It developds in  three phases:

  • Communication with a diverse audience using these “non places”: open questions about what use to give this space are posed there.
  • Design of a concrete installation in the space that responds to the requests.
  • Celebration of events, actions, exhibitions, concerts, based on the inputs received from users.

Example: the waiting-hall and passageway in Terminal 1 at Barcelona airport

  • it is a place where users can decide what is going on in terms of cultural experience.
  • The area would be filled with content promoted and generated online or in person.
  • The user can add content and suggestions or be just a mere spectator.
  • It could, for example, be a platform for emerging creators, who base their ideas around proposals given by users.
  • A virtual idea board would be set up to participate from distance or in person, in advance or in situ.
  • At an economic level it could be opened to commercial sponsors, or promoted as an opportunity to give added value to the space for the manager of that transit space.
Open door
  • Online project facilitating connections between youn creators and promoting them, acting as a  launching pad for young creators.

It proposes three lines of action:

  • Training: access to knowledge for artistic and cultural creation based on transversal dynamics of sharing between users, on the one hand, and, on the other, by experts in specific aspects that act as consultants for creators.
  • Promoting actively the motivation and facilitation of productions. The platform here serves as a channel for networking and distribution of expert advice.
  • Publicising the works created via a web presence and networks of contacts that grow around the platform.
  • There is also a plan for an functional area for those professionals in charge of  run galleries as well as  experts so that they can detect talent via access to the platform.
  • it will also work as a motivational element with  emphasis on learning, on the one hand, and on the other recognition for contributions.
The first kiss
  • Project based on the possibilities of participation around personal stories about the first kiss
  • This is used as an example proposal, but it aims in general to the goal of  achieving cultural ressonance from projects built around vital experiencies
  • It aims to provoke and promote things to happen public areas
  • In this case, it could start at the well known “Carrer dels Petons” (Street of Kisses)  in the gothic quarter of Barcelona
  • It would use a video-photo-booth where people could explain their first love by telling  anecdotes about the experience of their first kiss
  • People can invited or be invited to enact this first kiss. Also, famous first kisses on history of cinema can be used.
  • Street sings would be set up to identify and locate the initiative.
  • A webpage would publish the content, and would also be visible from the place where people sign up.
  • The project aims to detonate experiences, spark significant action.
  • It is open to all ages, as well as in its use to connect with personal stories.
  • Project and platform should be designed so that they can be used for other similar experiences.

If you want to see more photos from this event, you will find them in Flickr!


First workshop on cultural institutions 2.0

On April 22nd, Irene Lapuente, Ramon Sangüesa from the Expolab team at Citilab and Enric Senabre (coordinator of Urbalanbs at Citilab) facilitate the first of a series of  four workshops on practices 2.0 in cultural institutions. This first workshop took place at CCCB, Barcelona Center for Contemporary Culture.

In six very intense hours, communication, media, and museum professionals, got a hint of what it takes to develop a full-fledged 2.0 participatory project. First, they were asked to imagine and prototype projects in a very short time. All of them had to include a greater or lesser degree of participation.

In general, the prototypes showed concern about participatory relationships with users. Most of these users were “artists”, although some participants in the workshop also opened participation to plain citizens.

Once the project prototypes were built using cardboard, plasticine, sticks and stickers, participants were divided into groups taking the roles of users or, alternatively, presenters of their projects.  That gave people a taste of what it takes to be on the user’s shoes and to understand what they really want and what is their view when they are invited to participate.

The afternoon brought in more reflections about the projects: What was the best thing that could happen to a project? And what was the worst? How the worst scenario could be avoided and what other steps should be followed?

Finally a strong point was made by asking directly why  people wanted to include participation in their projects? Which were their objectives as an institution and how it was going to get any benefit from a participatory approach? All these questions led to a  strongdebate … that had to end  for the time being at CCCB. However, it will continue online at the working group formed by all  the people that took part in  the four workshops of the series aobut 2.0 practices in cultural institutions.

Here are the project proposals that emerged during the first workshop:

  • An exhibition centre for emotions aimed at every type of public.
  • Focussing around the channeling of emotions, with entry devices such as videoanimation to record users.
  • Importance of the “hook” and how to get people into the centre.
  • Containing both a virtual part or “cloud” in order to generate content and the level of committment from the participants in the project.
  • It would evoke through experiences, regardless of classic artistic classifications (theatre, dance, painting, etc).
  • Online socializing would be strengthened thanks to “digitalization” of the examples of emotions.
  • Possibility to trnsfer it to other areas and spaces, peripatehtically, strengthening the experience of attendance.
Public project for consuming and co-creating art
  • A physical space for creators to launch their own works to the public.
  • Conceived as a public space, not just an installation.
  • However, it would be a physical reference and workspace.
  • Importance of the stewardship: the proposal would include a cultural administrator acting as a facilitator.
  • Criteria for selecting works: committees would also integrate the users, the public.
  • The programmer/director should act more as a mediator than as a director.
  • It would reposition the institution, which as an added value would seek to involve the user.
  • It would strengthen collective art projects, making them known to a wider public from the same single platform.
  • Thanks to activating a critical mass of users / decision-makers the quality and interest of the projet and works wil be made credible.
  • It is a type of cultural centre operating “à la carte”, which has presence on the streets and adjacent spaces.
The voice from the square
  • Peripathetic project of cultural heritage aimed at different audiences and ages.
  • Starting with a type of empty bucket into which  participants can add content.
  • A series of “mailboxes” will collect and digitalize experiencies around the public space of the participants.
  • Examples are compiled around local heritage and identity (photos, voice, video, text).
  • It even integrates conflict showing it as a living-dialogue between the exhibition and  the public.
  • The content is accessible via specific digital tables, from where it can be remixed.
  • As the exhibition travels around it accumulates material and invites a reaction to it.
  • It incorporates a physical outside meeting-space for participants.
  • The exhibition should reach local collectives before it “disembarks”.
  • Later on it promotes and reflects everything on-line, including an ethnographic study about the information compiled.
Community of social projects
  • An area for dropping in and exchange for experts and all those interested in different environments.
  • It can range from rural museums, to photo exhibitions, from NGO’s to journalist groups (professionals and citizens).
  • A metacommunity for projects, to share motivation, resources, common aims, etc.
  • It fosters voluntary applications around the projects under development.
  • It create a working social network of people and ideas, for remixing (for example journalism and catalan literature).
  • It would integrate initially content from experts in other networks and prestigious places, as motors for each group.
Cultural Laboratory online
  • An online network of users who mutually help themselves to create  works.
  • Moderated and fllowed closely by a curator.
  • it is a platform for artists, and users are able to contribute or act as observers.
  • It is a living organism regardless of time-limitations that are typical for exhibitions.
  • The virtual platform would incorporate tools for decision making.
Hybrid Platform for artistic production
  • A physical space serving as a node for centres of artistic production.
  • A virtual space as an idea factory for different agents.
  • It aims at strengthening dynamics and interaction of different profiles.
  • Dilemma on whether to create a brand new online platform vs. appropiating  already existing ones
  • Aiming to put the final user in contact with the creatives.

If you want to see more photos from this event, you will find them in Flickr!

All photos copyright CCCB / Carlos Cazurro


Active participation in the 2.0 for cultural institutions workshop

As a first example of the collaboration between Expolab/Citilab and CCCB-Lab yesterday we facilitated the first workshop in a series about 2.0 methods for innvoation and participation in cultural institucions.

Irene Lapuente, Ramon Sangüesa and Enric  Senabre facilitated the workshop. On twitter, if you search for the hashtag #cult20 you can find the corresponding tweets. Carolina Gaona managed to keep a live blogging record of the event (In Spanish). You also have info on I+C+i blog.

And also the I+C+i team that Juan Insua leads at CCCLab, did an excellent job of preparation and documentation online. Maria Farràs and Eva  Alonso were at the right place all the time and Juan did the  specific interventions but very precise in providing some crucial points to debate.

You can find some photos ofit all in Flickr, all thanks to the photographer Carlos Cazurra. We al soon wiil be able to post video material coordinated  by Jordi Carrasco and Alex, our camera.

In an upcoming post we will discuss the “in extenso” what happened and what was learned in the workshop. In fact, we have three more workshops , one month and two more at the CCCB to the meet, given the avalanche of requests for participation (the hashtag # cult20 yesterday was the third to twitter all over Spain). Yesterday we began to move the technological support to create a good discussion group where, in addition, can articulate joint participants, leading to collaborative practice methodologies with users who only yesterday we tasted.

Here’s the initial outline of the presentation is only a skeleton to locate the points of discussion and put into practice.


Expolab's team shares with other professionals its workshop

Expolab team shares with other professionals its workshop “2.0 Projects. Practices for cultural institutions”. Social networks are a wonderful communication tool. This also applies for museums and other cultural institutions. The 2.0 spirit can progressively impregnate all the institutional body, transforming internal processes and its relationship with the public. Are we ready to incorporate collective intelligence judgement? Where are the limits? The Centro de Cultura Contemporánea de Barcelona (CCCB), Citilab and the Mandarina de Newton organize conferences addressed to cultural institutions to promote the debate among them regarding 2.0 philosophy with its promises and dilemmas and as an engine that can change the cultural dynamics in general.

Irene Lapuente, Ramon Sangüesa and Enric Senabre will guide some workshops in order to explore the possibilities of rethinking and promoting the communication with the public as well as the participation in the cultural institution own strategy. The first once will be held on the 22th of april from 10 to 6 pm while the followings will be held the 28th of april at the CCCB and the 6th of may at Citilab Cornellà.

Is useful to analyze other possibilities, ramifications and solutions coming from the processes, the methodology and the formats suggested by the interaction styles, shared creation. collaboration and spreading derivated from practices associated to 2.0 technologies.

The conference will be practical following a workshop programme and covering the following subjects:
1. Organizing structures from 2.0
2. Constructive experiences
3. Balance between participation-curation process: participation techniques
4. Hybrid Format
5. Checking experiences
6. Adaptation
7. Building in situ new projects

The workshop is addressed to students and professionals working on the cultural field, both freelancers or institutions employees.


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