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date: 23/9 – 7/10, 2015

location: Beijing

Launch of

The beta version of the online platform was launched during the Next City Living Lab at the Beijing Design Week (BJDW, 23/9 – 7/10, 2015) in China.

The platform was in preparation for the larger Social City project at Shenzhen Urbanism/Architecture Bi-City Biennale (UABB, 1/12/205 – 1/3/2016), which itself is part of the Design+Desires program. The goal of this project at UABB was to present and explain the unique research-and-do-program of Design+Desires that is used to shape the city of the future based on the diversity of peoples’ passions and needs. For this Design+Desires uses three techniques: data mapping, active participatory citizen research and innovative design solutions. At UABB 2015 this method was used to both conduct research on passions of city dwellers all over the world, as well as to compare the cities of Shenzhen and Hong Kong with each other, with respect to their inhabitants’ needs and desires.

At BJDW the platform was launched to digitally capture for the first time the dreams and desires of Chinese citizens, as well as that of people from over the whole world. Digital technology and social networks have drastically changed city life, which makes it hard to conduct research on an increased fragmented society with standard statistical methods. In order to cope with this, Design+Desires not only taps the social media, but also developed

The visitors of BJDW were invited via tablets in the exhibition space to play a quiz in which they can answer questions about their ideal city life. This generates a unique avatar that will have its virtual home in Social City, which is built according to the given answers in the quiz. Multiple choices are possible. People can check out what other Social Citizens are dreaming of doing and being. If they become inspired by them and want to revise their city, they could simply create a new avatar and play the game again. The more people participate, the more Social City will grow. The results of the quiz are visualized on As next step, Design+Desires invites experts in the field of architecture, urban planning, sociology and economy to reflect on the content generated by citizens and to start a dialogue with them. The online platform is a unique online combination of shared dreams and desires of citizens, hard data and discourse by professionals.

Socialcities,org is curated by Renny Ramakers in collaboration with Mark van der Net (OSCity).
Technical implementation: OSCity.
Graphics: Thonik.

Exhibited September 23, - October 7, 2015 at The Nurturing House, Sanjing Hutong No. 21, Dashilar, Xicheng District, Beijing, 100051

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