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Design Thesis

Free University of Bolzano, Italy


Marleen Stikker (Open Design Now, 2011)


Research & documentation

Raphael V. M. Volkmer

Design Thesis
Research and documentation
Raphael Vincent Maria Volkmer
Exam Session 2014, 14.2
Free University of Bolzano, Italy
Faculty of Design and Art
Supervisor: Kris Krois
Second Supervisor: Sebastian Camerer

Thesis SS 2014 Abstract

Bolzano, 17.03.2014
Thesis Research topic: Openvalue
Der Gestalter als Mediator und MehrwertSchaffender im lokalen Kontext:
Ich werde mich im Kontext und in Zusammenarbeit mit der SozialGenossenschaft AKRAT
(Bozen, Piazza Matteotti 2) und deren Mitgliedern damit auseinandersetzen wie ich als Gestalter
mit meinen Fhigkeiten einen geteilten Mehrwert fr die lokale Geselschaft erzeugen kann.

AKRAT will als Initiative ein authentisches und nachhaltiges Zusammenspiel zwischen Wirtschaft,
Sozialem und Kultur im und durch den Arbeitsalltag in der Genossenschaft selbst und in der
Gesellschaft frdern und leben. Dabei soll vorhandenen/alten Resourcen und Materialien, wie Holz
und Textilien, durch kreatives Wiederverwerten einem unverwechselbaren Wert verliehen
werden. Darber hinaus wird versucht, Menschen mit einer sozialen Benachteiligung wieder in
Arbeits und Erwerbszusammenhnge zu integrieren und somit deren Position in der
Gesellschaft zu strken.
Das fr mich interessante an AKRAT ist die pluralistische Organisationsstruktur als Sozial
Genossenschaft und damit verbunden die Vielfalt an Persnlichkeiten die als Mitglieder in die
Initiative involviert sind. Fr die Ausarbeitung eines konkreten Projektes werde ich mich
deshalb zunchst verstrkt mit den einzelnen Mitglieder beschftigen, um deren Fhigkeiten
und Werte besser zu verstehen.
Meine Rolle und Ausgangssituation lsst sich nun am besten mit einer Reihe von Fragestellungen
umreien, die fr den weiteren Verlauf des Projekts eine Rolle spielen werden:
Wie lsst sich Produkt und Kommunikationsdesign im gemeinschaftlichen Kontext sinnschaffend nutzen?
#Design research, #Prozess design, #Kommunikationsdesign

Wie lassen sich bestimmte Werte durch Produkt und Kommunikationsdesign vermitteln?
#Kommunikationsdesign, #Produktdesign, #Mehrwert, #Design literacy, #Branding

Welchen Wert hat geteiltes Wissen in lokalen Gemeinschaften und wie lsst sich dieses besser
vermitteln und teilen? #Open design, #Sharing, #Kuration
Welche Methodiken der partizipativen Gestaltung existieren und welche knnte man im konkreten
Fall anwenden/verbinden/weiterentwickeln? #Participatory design
Wie lsst sich bestehendes Wissen und neu entstehende (digitale) Werkzeuge sinnvoll
lokal implementieren? #Open design, #Open source, #Kollektives Lernen
Wie kann man das erlange Wissen wieder einer greren Gemeinschaft zugnglich machen?
#Knowledge sharing, #Digital communities

The way I approached this design thesis is a kind of
curating and connecting of existing information to
understand and make understandable the underlying
pattern that emerges from these connections.
I rather commented to the found pieces of information
that are bound together by the higher context of the
research topic adding my personal thoughts where
appropriate to understand this context better.

I will give an introduction to the topic of Open Design,

try to carve out its moral implementations and connect
it with a subject of my personal interest and immediate
environment to have a better chance to not just comment
passively on the topic, like critical design often does in my
eyes, but to find an active implementation of my ideas.

2 6 . J u n e 2 0 14

In brief, I tried to interprete and put together the

associated ideas of Open Design with my local
situation in Bolzano by using my personal skills as a
(conceptual) communication designer.

theoretical foundation





Best open practices

what if


role models/
young initatives




Topic cloud

Open Value



how do new possibilities

change our






Transformation Design

Speculative Design

Framing the context

possibility spaces and alternative

storytelling to transform society

inventing alternative

street vendors
and value systems




Intercultural learning

'Learn to unlearn'

Open Value II

the kiosk

from pragmatism
and improvisation to

a village of
cultural symbiosis




Rolemodel Riace

Tourists & Vendors

Italy & Migration

immigration as ultimate


facts & Figures





Informal & Open

Knowledge Economy

Open Design &

Street vending

interviews with
street vendors
from Venice

learning from the

streets of Naples

how Open Design

could change the scene

final project theory




From research to
the final project

Alt. System

Locals & Vendors

by alternative players

from rejection to appreciation





Imposed Improvisation
vs. Absurd Planning

Multiple Identities

canalizing the research

original fake

switching identity for


scarcity and self-distruction

final project realisation




Brand development

Conceptual Products

Mobile Kiosks

communicating modesty and

a new approach to street vending

developing a series of adequate,

alternative and exemplary products

mobile commerce
and representation




The Web as
brand knot

Public Intervention &


Future perspectives

a platform to connect and inform

all involved players and the public

testing and observing

changing the public realm

how to continue?








Well, it
want to pass through open doors you have to
probablyIf you
respect the fact that they have a fixed frame: this principle
is simply a prerequisite of reality. But if there is a
be otherwise.
Robert Musil,
The Man Without Qualities

Uncertainty is an
uncomfortable position.
"Our ignorance of the cosmos is too vast to commit to
atheism, and is
yet we
know too much to commit to a
But certainty
particular religion. A third position, agnosticism, is often
an uninteresting stance in which a person simply
absurd one.
David Eagleman

questions whether his traditional religious story (say, a man

with a beard on a cloud) is true or not true. But with
Possibilitarianism Im hoping to define a new position
one that emphasizes the exploration of new,
unconsidered possibilities. Possibilitarianism is comfortable
holding multiple ideas in mind; it is not interested
in committing to any particular story. As Voltaire said:

sense of reality then there must also be something that

you might call a sense of possibility. Someone who possesses this sense of possibility does not say: here this or that
has happened, or it will happen or it must happen.
Rather he invents: Here this could or should happen.
And if anybody explains to him that it is as it is,
then he thinks:


Possibilitarians think in new possibilities, and get
all excited when things get messy and life becomes disorderly. In disruption, possibilitarians see new opportunities, even if they do not know where they might
lead. They believe, with Denis Gabor, that the future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented
Realitarians are operating within a given framework, according to the rules that are given, following to
the powers there are. They accept the conditions and
the institutions as given, and are fearful of disruption.

OPEN DESIGN NOW, BIS Publishers, 2011

Possibilitarians engage in open design as a

process, trusting their own abilities to guide that
process. And as possibilitarians, they pursue strategies to be inclusive, to involve others, to build bridges
between opposite positions: NorthSouth, oldyoung,
traditionalexperimental. Possibilitarians represent a
sharing culture which is at the core of open design. As
such, they trust others to make their own contributions
and to build upon what has been shared. Trust, responsibility and reciprocity are important ingredients in an
open, sharing culture. These factors have been discussed at length in relation to software development; the
debate has been revived in the context of the ongoing
informatization of society. As with open data, open design will have to address these questions. And as with
open data, open design will have to involve the actual
end users, not organizations, panels or marketers. Design will have to identify the fundamental questions,
which supersede the design assignments issued by
mass-producers or governments. And design will have
to develop a strategy of reciprocity, particularly when
objects become smart parts of an interconnected web
of things, similar to the emergence of the internet.

Whether a person is a possibilitarian or a realitarian has nothing to do with their creativity. People
representing these frames of reference can be found in
all professions: entrepreneurs, politicians, artists. In
fact, art and design are not avant-garde by definition,
Open design will have to develop its own languaand it would be overstating the matter to claim that in- ge for trust. What are its design principles, its ethics,
novation is an inherent quality in the arts or science, the responsibilities it entails? Although a clear answer
for that matter.
to these questions is currently lacking, this absence
does not prevent possibilitarians from engaging with
It would equally be wrong to think that all re- open design. They know that this trend is not about
alitarians are reactionary. There are many different a dream of the world as a better place, a dream which
kinds of realitarians. Some play with the given rules, could too easily be stigmatized as naive and utopian.
finding better ways to use them, making them more Possibilitarians also know that only by taking part in
efficient, increasing their moral justice and fairness. the process, by participating and by giving it a direcOthers want to cover all eventualities, seeking to keep tion can those answers be found.
everything under control in neatly written scenarios
that contain no surprises whatsoever.


When it comes to open design, possibilitarians are enticed and enthused by the new opportunities it could bring, even if they do not know exactly
what open design will become, or where it might lead.
Possibilitarians see the disruption that open design
brings to the design world, and respond by embracing
the potential that is inherent in that disruption.

Marleen Stikker about possibilitarians cc

John Thackara


For thirty years John Thackara has traveled the world

in the search of strories about the practical steps taken
by communities to realize a sustainable future.
He writes about these stories online, and in books;
he uses them in talks for cities, and business; he also
organizes festivals and events that bring the subject of
these stories together. He is best known for his book
In the Bubble: Designing in A Complex World (MIT Press)

Thomas Lomme
His design studio Intrastructures focuses on pragmatic
utopian ideas that generates models, tools and products
for social and environmental restoration.
He is best known for his project Openstructures which
explores the possibilities of a modular construction model
where everyone designs for everyone on the basis of one
shared geometrical grid.

" Openness is more than a

commercial and cultural iussue.
It's a matter of survival."

" Designing for the unexpected. "


" Don't judge an object

for what it is, but
imagine what it can become."

" Building on top of

existing infrastructures
Creating intrastructures."

Intrastructures is a pragmatic utopian design
studio that generates models, tools and products for
social and environmental restoration.

Super carry/


First prototype vehicle for a new logistical model.

Thomas Lomme, Brussels - 2012

Can we synchronize distribution and recollection?
Brussels - 2005 / 2008

The OS (OpenStructures) project explores the possibility of a modular construction model where everyone designs for everyone on the basis of one shared
geometrical grid. It initiates a kind of collaborative
Meccano to which everybody can contribute parts,
components and structures.

Mobilotoop /

OS Scaffolding

A visionon mobility.

by Lukas Wegwerth

Ghenk - 2013


OS Vacuum

OS Arena

by Jesse Howard

by Lukas Wegwerth

OS Sled

OS Toaster

by Artin Aharon

by Jesse Howard

and Thomas Lomme

OS Shoe soles

Sand digger

by Eugenia Morpurgo

by Ricardo Carneiro

and Juan Montero

and Tristan Kopp

OpenDesk is a global platform for local making. You
can use it to download, make and buy furniture for
your work space.
OpenDesk has a global network of makers and a
collection of furniture by a range of international designers. Because that furniture is designed for digital
fabrication, it can be downloaded as a digital file and
made locally on demand, anywhere in the world.


We call this "Open Making":

Designers get a global distribution channel.
Makers get profitable jobs and new customers.
You get designer products without the designer
price tag, a more social, eco-friendly alternative to
mass-production and an affordable way to buy custom
made products.
We're focusing first on furniture and particularly
work space furniture because it's the best fit for current digital fabrication technology. However, furniture is just the tip of the iceberg. As new technologies
develop and local making capacity increases, we want
to see great design being made locally all around the
We'd love you to join us in making this a reality. If
you know anyone who you think would be interested
in OpenDesk, especially if they're a designer, maker
or looking to fit out a work space, please do tell them
about us.

WikiHouse is an Open Source construction system.
It makes possible for anyone to design, download,
adapt, share and print high-performance, low-cost
houses that they can assemble by hand.






























Open source as a development

mode, in production and development, promotes a) universal access
via free license to a products design or blueprint, and b) universal redistribution of that design or
blueprint, including subsequent
improvements to it by anyone.1,2

Open design is the development of

physical products, machines and
systems through use of publicly
shared design information. Open
design involves the making of both
free and open-source software as
well as open-source hardware. The
process is generally facilitated by
the Internet and often performed
without monetary compensation.
The goals and philosophy are identical to that of the open-source movement, but are implemented for
the development of physical products rather than software. Open
design is a form of co-creation,
where the final product is designed
by the users, rather than an external stakeholder such as a private

In system theory, an open system

is a system which continuously interacts with its environment or
surroundings. The interaction can
take the form of information, energy, or material transfers into or out
of the system boundary, depending
on the discipline which defines the
concept. An open system is contrasted with the concept of an isolated
system which exchanges neither
energy, matter, nor information
with its system
is also known as constant volume
system and flow system. 5

Researchers view open source as a

specific case of the greater pattern
of Open Collaboration, "any system
of innovation or production that
relies on goal-oriented yet loosely
coordinated participants, who interact to create a product (or service) of economic value, which they
make available to contributors and
non-contributors alike.3

1 Lakhani, K. R., & von Hippel, E. (2003), How Open Source Software Works: Free User to User Assistance. Research Policy, 32, 923943
2 Gerber, A; Molefo O, Van der Merwe, 2010. Documenting open-source migration processes for re-use. ACM Press, p. 75
3 Levine, S. S., & Prietula, M. J. (2013), Open Collaboration for Innovation: Principles and Performance. Organization Science.
4 Open collaborative design, AdCiv, 2010-07-29. Retrieved 2013-06-16.
5 Luhmann, Niklas. Social Systems, Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1995; pp. 6-7
6 Freedom as a Value: A Critique of the Ethical Theory of Jean-Paul Sartre. Open Court Publishing. 1988. ISBN 978-0812690835.



Value theory encompasses a range of approaches to understanding

how, why and to what degree people
value things; whether the thing is
a person, idea, object, or anything
else. This investigation began in ancient philosophy, where it is called
axiology or ethics. Early philosophical investigations sought to understand good and evil and the concept
of the good. Today much of value
theory is scientifically empirical,
recording what people do value and
attempting to understand why they
value it in the context of psychology,
sociology, and economics.6

Economic value is a measure of the

benefit that an economic actor can
gain from either a good or service.
It is generally measured relative to
units of currency, and the interpretation is therefore what is the maximum amount of money a specific
actor is willing and able to pay for
the good or service?

A value system is a set of consistent

ethic values and measures used for
the purpose of ethical or ideological
integrity. A well defined value system is a moral code. It relates to the
norms of a culture, but they are more
global and abstract than norms.
Norms provide rules for behavior
in specific situations, while values
identify what should be judged as
good or evil. While norms are standards, patterns, rules and guides of
expected behavior, values are abstract concepts of what is important
and worthwhile. (Flying the national flag on a holiday is a norm, but
it reflects the value of patriotism.)

In sociology, value theory is concerned with personal values which are
popularly held by a community, and
how those values might change under particular conditions. Different
groups of people may hold or prioritize different kinds of values influencing social behavior.




Te c h n i c a l

The hybrid and ambiguous term OPEN VALUE should and technically everything could be possible? How
serve as a conceptual basement and point of depar- do we make use of our possibilities? How would our
ture to renegotiate the framework of our values to- personal relations change to things, individuals and
wards relationships, whether they are from institu- institutions? An ultimately what kind of systemic
tion to people, from person to person or from person changes do we need to introduce to create an envito object.

ronment of openess?

As roughly defined before, the term Open comes We should keep in mind that this construct of openwith a wide veriety of attributes. Open-Source, Open ess is not something we newly created. Knowledge
Design, Open Knowledge, Open access, Open society, always had been passed from generation to geOpen government etc. As diverse as these terms are, neration. Sailors brought foreign ideas over sea,
they share a common idea: the idea of universal access conquerors mixed them with and adapted to differedistribution including subsequent improvements to with the arrival of patents knowledge turned, broadly
it by anyone (interested).

speaking, from open to closed. Therefore the aspirations of the Openmovement can be seen as an at-

The Graduate students of Virginia Commonwealth tempt to break closed knowledge open again maUniversitys MFA Program in Design + Visual Com- king it accessible for everybody, anywhere.
munication illustrated in their 2014 initiative the following:

We are already beginning to understand and starting

to make use of digitally open knowledge, services and

When thinking of Open, think of

products. Think about recipes we use for cooking that

the Cabinet of Curiosities, with the doors unhin-

might have been written by a person on the other side

ged and its contents spilling outward.

of the planet. Think about the firefox browser decen-

Think of the computer, where anything and

trally coded and designed by many different indivi-

everything can be found within this

duals. Think about projects like or wiki-

device, all you have to do is open a new page, where people are able to up- and download 3d

- then another, and another.

files to produce housing structures and furniture cut

When thinking of Open, think access in

by a CNC milling machine that you can construct by

the age of unlimited information.

yourself using online tutorials.

Having this construct of (digital) openess in mind we We start to understand that openess is not only a memight further question ourself how our personal con- aningfull model for economical and technological prostruct of values changes in this context. How would gress but also for social development that might lead
we perceive an OPEN world in which hypoteticaly to a new and exciting diverse form of global prosperity materially and immaterially.


to information, knowledge, design and the universal rent cultural, social and economical systems. Only



Manouchehr Shamsrizi

Thomas Lomme

Center for Political Beauty, Berlin

Intrastructures, Brussels

Manoucher Shamsrizi tries to render how our future

can and must become more beautiful and just and how
knowledge and possibilities obligates us to increasing
our moral standards. Further he explains that knowledge undertakes different levels to become valuable:

A manifesto published in 2012 by Intrasctures, a studio

focusing on pragmatic utopian design to generates models, tools and products for social and environmental

Data > information > knowledge

Data: Every noticeable differance
Information: Data in context
Knowledge: Capacity to act


Free information


















open access
open process
natural curiosity
sharing culture

Reffering to Shamsrizi and Intrastructures helps me to describe my interest in design that tries to emphazise, visualize and render understandable topics like value perception, design processes and socio-cultural
exchange and understanding. Reffering to Shamsrizi I will further question which role design can play and how we can make use of our capacity to act. Refferning to Thomas Lomme I will try to observe which new intrastructures we could think of to create more meaninful products and services.


He further claims that with the introduction of the

Internet we saw an increasing spread of knowledge and consequently a widening of your 'capacity to act. He adds that humans in the West have
more 'capacity to act because of the circumstances
we live in compared to people living in countries
ruled by authoritarian or repressive regimes.
This fact obligates us in the West to make use of our
newly received capacity to act. Another important role
in Shamsrizis explanation has the construct of 'consciousness. Reffering to Kleist, he says that there are
two ways to reach universal beauty one way is by
reaching a state of total absence of consciousness
(puppet) and the other by reaching an universal consciousness. He defines an universal consciousness as
a preferably distinctive moral state of mind and therefore suggests the introduction of a digital peacekeeping
force under the supervision of the UN.

Free information


The crisis
of western
future visions



Transformationsdesign als Weg eine andere bessere

Zukunft zu erdenken und durch praktische Laborversuche zu erproben: Die Stiftung FUTURZWEI von
Harald Welzer versucht dies durch das erzhlen von
alternativen, nachhaltigen Projekgeschichten.

Wir schicken eine

Flaschenpost in die
Unser Kriterium ist
die Notwendigkeit.
ZEIT: Der Wissenschaftler Welzer wird praktisch und
setzt ein Projekt namens Futurzwei in die Welt. Warum so kompliziert, warum nicht einfach Futur wie
Harald Welzer: Weil diese grammatische Form das
wunderbare Kunststck vollbringt, dass man sich

Welzer: Die Akteure, von denen wir erzhlen, tun etwas Unerwartbares. Dass wir zu viel Dreck, Mobilitt,
Emissionen, Ungerechtigkeit hervorbringen, finden
wir ja alle bedenklich. Aber in der Regel erschpft sich
das Unzufriedensein darin, dass man mit anderen darber spricht. Futurzwei interessiert sich fr die Leute,
die sagen: Ich mache das jetzt anders. Und das ist ja
alles andere als leicht. Erwartbar ist, dass man tut, was
alle tun, und nicht, davon abzuweichen, wie es etwa
das Ehepaar Sladek aus Schnau gemacht hat. Da fingen ein Mediziner und eine Grundschullehrerin eines
Tages damit an, ein grnes Energieunternehmen aufzubauen.

aus einer imaginierten Zukunft als Vergangenes

betrachtet und also heute sagen kann: Wir werden
etwas getan haben. Unsere Stiftung hat die Ambition, die Zukunft anders zu gestalten, weil wir die
gegenwrtige Kultur der Verschwendung und der
Produktion von Mll und Emissionen fr nicht zu- Welzer: Mich macht eben dieser KonsumTotalitakunftsfhig halten.
rismus wahnsinnig. Den halte ich fr verhngnisvoll.
Ich sehe das Defizit eher darin, diesen kulturellen
ZEIT: Was will die Stiftung Futurzwei dieser Praktiken etwas entgegenzusetzen.
Kultur entgegensetzen?
Welzer: Aus der Sozialpsychologie weiss man, dass
Wissen und Einsicht allein nicht reichen, um unsere Lebenspraktiken und die Infrastrukturen des
Alltags zu verndern. Man wei, dass das strkste
Moment der Vernderung einer Praxis die Praxis selbst ist. In Gesellschaften wie unserer, die jede
Menge Freirume anbieten, gibt es auch jede Menge
Labore einer anderen, nachhaltigeren Wirklichkeit.
Da betreibt einer sein Unternehmen so, dass es nicht
mehr wchst, zwei junge Berliner Modedesignerinnen
schneidern aus alten Kleidern neue, oder eine Gruppe von Nachbarn kultiviert Guerilla-Grten. Bekannt
sind solche Geschichten des Gelingens nur anekdotisch. Wir wollen sie strker sichtbar machen und in
unserem "Zukunftsarchiv" online erzhlen. Uns geht
es, neudeutsch gesagt, um Portrts der "first mover",
oder auch einfach ganz altmodisch: um Vorbilder.
Man kanns ihnen nachmachen. ZEIT: Nach welchen Kriterien suchen Sie solche Geschichten aus?

Was fehlt, ist ein Ausweg zum Transfer des Wissens. Das hat bisweilen groteske Zge. Ein Wissenschaftsbetrieb, der Konferenzen veranstaltet, zu denen Hunderte von Wissenschaftlern fliegen, um sich
Gedanken zu machen, wie man Menschen vom Fliegen
abbringt, kommt mir kurios vor. Und natrlich gibt es
Wissenschaftler, die wie einst Norbert Elias ein Leben
lang stoisch an ihren Themen arbeiten, mit Ergebnissen, die Bestand haben. Auch das ist vorbildlich, ich
kriege eine Gnsehaut, wenn ich daran denke. Aber es
ist eben nicht meine Sache. Vielleicht bin ich narzisstischer und brauche die Schnellschsse.

Zeit Online Interview vom 20. Januar 2012


Wir wollen dem Universum des Objektivierten und

Komplizierten, von dem keineswegs klar ist, ob es
etwas verndert, etwas anderes hinzufgen: Wir
erzhlen Storys. Wir erzhlen sie in der klassischen Struktur, mit Anfang, Mittelteil und Schluss,
nach dem Muster: Frher dachte ich, dann passierte etwas, heute weiss und handele ich. Solche Geschichten sind stark, Menschen verstehen sich in
diesem Medium als Handelnde, nicht als Ohnmchtige. Aber letztlich funktioniert das Ganze nicht anders als ein Gourmetfhrer: Wos gut schmeckt,
gehts rein was nicht schmeckt, das lassen wir weg.


The crisis
of western
value systems

Critical Design FAQ

One way to descibe critical design:
It establishes a provocative starting point from which a design process
emerges. The result is an evolution of fluctuating iteration and reflection using
designed objects to provoke questions and stimulate discussion in academic
and research settings. The best answers to what Critical Design exactly is and
how it could be used comes from two of the most known practitioners,
Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby.

3. Who does it?

Dunne & Raby and their graduate students from the
Royal College of Art (RCA) such as James Auger, Elio
Caccavale and Noam Toran, are probably the most well
known, but there are other designers working in a similar way who would not describe what they do as critical design: Krzysztof Wodiczko, Natalie Jeremijenko,
Jurgen Bey, Marti Guixe ...

2. Where did it come from?

Design as critique has existed before under several
guises. Italian Radical Design of the 1970s was highly
critical of prevailing social values and design ideologies, critical design builds on this attitude and extends
it into today's world.

5. Why is it happening now?

The world we live in today is incredibly complex, our
social relations, desires, fantasies, hopes and fears are
very different from those at the beginning of the 20c.
Yet many key ideas informing mainstream design stem
form the early 20c.

During the 1990s there was a general move towards

conceptual design which made it easier for noncommercial forms of design like critical design to exist, this
happened mainly in the furniture world, product design is still conservative and closely linked to the mass

Society has moved on but design has not, Critical Design is one of many mutations design is undergoing in
an effort to remain relevant to the complex technological, political, economic and social changes we are experiencing at the beginning of the 21c.

4. What is it for?
Mainly to make us think. But also raising awareness,
exposing assumptions, provoking action, sparking deIts opposite is affirmative design: design that rein- bate, even entertaining in an intellectual sort of way,
forces the status quo.
like literature or film.

The term Critical Design was first used in Anthony

Dunne's book Hertzian Tales (1999) and later in Design Noir (2001). Since then many other people have
developed their own variations.


1. What is Critical Design?

Critical Design uses speculative design proposals to
challenge narrow assumptions, preconceptions and
givens about the role products play in everyday life. It
is more of an attitude than anything else, a position
rather than a method. There are many people doing
this who have never heard of the term critical design
and who have their own way of describing what they
do. Naming it Critical Design is simply a useful way of
making this activity more visible and subject to discussion and debate.

Critical Design FAQ


6. What role does humour play?

Humour is important but often misused. Satire is the
goal. But often only parody and pastiche are achieved.
These reduce the effectiveness in a number of ways.
They are lazy and borrow existing formats, and they
signal too clearly that it is ironic and so relieve some
burden from the viewer. The viewer should experience
a dilemma, is it serious or not? Real or not? For Critical
design to be successful they need to make up their own
Also, it would be very easy to preach, a skilful use of
satire and irony can engage the audience in a more
constructive away by appealing to its imagination as
well as engaging the intellect. Good political comedians achieve this well. Deadpan and black humour work
7. Is it a movement?
No. It's not really a field that can be neatly defined. It's
more about values and an attitude, a way of looking at
design and imagining its possibilities beyond the narrow definitions of what is presented through media
and in the shops.
8. What are its main relatives?
Activism / Cautionary Tales / Conceptual Design
Contestable Futures / Design Fiction
Interrogative Design / Radical Design
Satire / Social Fiction / Speculative Design
9. What are the biggest misconceptions?
That it is negative and anti-everything.
That it is only commentary and cannot change anything
That it is jokey
That it is not concerned with aesthetics
That it is against mass-production
That it is pessimistic
That it is not real
That it is art

10. But isn't it art?

It is definitely not art. It might borrow heavily from art
in terms of methods and approaches but that's it. We
expect art to be shocking and extreme. Critical Design
needs to be closer to the everyday, that's where its power to disturb comes from. Too weird and it will be
dismissed as art, too normal and it will be effortlessly
assimilated. If it is regarded as art it is easier to deal
with, but if it remains as design it is more disturbing,
it suggests that the everyday as we know it could be
different, that things could change.
11. Isn?t it a bit dark?
Yes, but not for the sake of it. Dark, complex emotions
are ignored in design, nearly every other area of culture accepts people are complex, contradictory and even
neurotic, but not design, we view people as obedient
and predictable users and consumers.
One of critical Design's roles is to question the limited
range of emotional and psychological experiences offered through designed products. Design is assumed to
only make things nice, it's as though all designers have
taken an unspoken Hippocratic oath, this limits and
prevents us from fully engaging with and designing
for the complexities of human nature which of course
is not always nice. It is more about the positive use of
negativity, not negativity for its own sake, but to draw
attention to a scary possibility in the form of a cautionary tale.
12. And its future?
A danger for critical design is that it ends up as a form
of sophisticated design entertainment: 90% humour
10% critique. It needs to avoid this situation by identifying and engaging with complex and challenging
issues. Areas like Future Forecasting would benefit
from its more gritty view of human nature and ability to make abstract issues tangible. It could also play
a role in public debates about the social, cultural and
ethical impact on everyday life of emerging and future

Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby


Abstract from: Speculative Everything: design, fiction and social dreaming; by Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby, MIT Press 2013


Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby

Beyond Radical Design



Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby

Beyond Radical Design



Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby

Beyond Radical Design



Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby

Beyond Radical Design


Street vendors
Why are there so many African street vendors
in Italy (and the mediteranian area)?


C o n

For most african street vendors selling on the street

is their original profession learned and performed in
their home-countries. In most cases their is no illegal /
organisation in the background. Instead they start one
a small level and try to make their business grow slowly
until they eventually can affort a small kiosk or a shop.
Mamadou Gaye (Coordinator of the
Associazione porte aperte, Bolzano)

Value systems
Understanding the world by different value systems


t e x t

Observing this map of different value systems might

help us to render visible the problematics that evolve
when people with different 'mind sets' meet and are
confronted with each other.
In our case those people are Africans comming to Europe as ecoomical or political refugges on the one side
and Italians and Tourists (of the western world) on the
other side. Looking at the profession of street vendors
can give us already an idea of how different those valuesystems are.


Fountain of
to our needs

An example of
intercultural learning and transformation
in architecture
Ursprnglich war ein Kiosk ein nach mehreren
Seiten geffneter, frei stehender Pavillon in Park- und
Palastanlagen im islamischen Kulturraum. In der
Fachsprache der Architektur und Landschaftsarchitektur hat der Begriff auch heute noch diese Bedeutung.

Beispiel fr Kioskbauten gibt es auch in den Anlagen

von Stanislaus I., Herzog von Lothringen und Bar in
Lunville, und des franzsischen Knigs Ludwigs XV..
Markante Beispiele in Deutschland sind u. a. das 1755
begonnene Chinesische Haus in Potsdam wie auch die
von Ludwig II. von Bayern bei Schloss Linderhof oder
im Wintergarten der Mnchner Residenz erbauten.

1 Elisabeth Naumann, Kiosk. Vom Lustpavillon zum kleinen Konsumtempel, Marburg 2003


Im 19. Jahrhundert hielt der Kiosk Einzug als Verkaufspavillon in die groen ffentlichen Parks von Paris, spter auf die groen Boulevards. Zunchst wurden
hier nur Zeitungen und Blumen. verkauft, spter auch
Erfrischungen. Auch die Wortneuschpfung Boulevardzeitung hat hier ihren Ursprung. Einige dieser beKioskartige Gebude gibt es seit dem 13. Jahrhun- rhmten Pariser Kiosques sind noch bis heute erhalten.
dert in Persien, Indien und im Osmanischen Reich. Im In Griechenland leitet sich die Bezeichnung des Kiosks
Topkap-Saray in Istanbul sind einige Beispiele erhal- (Periptero) von der Tempel-Bauform Peripteros ab. 1
ten (inili-Kiosk von 1466, Revan- und Bagdad-Kiosk
Das Beispiel der europischen Transformation
von 1635, Kiosk des Kara Mustafa Pascha aus dem 18.
der Idee des Kiosks im Laufe der Zeit
Jahrhundert und Kiosk des Abd l-Mejid von 1840). Die
orientalischen Kioske waren wichtige Elemente der kann uns als gutes Beispiel dienen wie externe ImpulGartenarchitektur und dienten den Wohlhabenden als se und Ideen unsere eigenen Kultur verndern und beSommerhuser in ihren Privatanlagen. Mit dem Ende reichern knnen. Daher werde ich mich in der weitedes Osmanischen Reiches ging das Interesse an dieser ren Recherche diesem Thema speziell mit Blick auf die
(afrikanische) Immigration im mediterranen / italieniForm der hfischen Architektur verloren.
schen Raum widmen. Ich werde mich auf die Suche
Im Zuge der Vorliebe fr den asiatisch-orienta- machen, um dieses, von vielen als Problem angeselischen Stil im 18. Jahrhundert gelangte die Bauform hene, Phnomen zunchst wertefrei zu betrachten
meist frei auf Sulen stehend und seitlich mit Gitter- und dann mgliche Chancen und neue Wege der
werk verschlossen nach Europa als Teil der gestalte- Kollaboration zwischen Immigranten und Einheiten Parkanlagen, die viele Herrscher anlegen lieen. mischen zu erdenken und ein praktisches Projekt
zu entwickeln.
Erwhnt werden sie zum ersten Mal in England.


Value systems

Can we learn from the 'African Way'?

Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition that began in the United States around 1870. Pragmatism is a rejection of the idea that the function of thought is to describe, represent, or mirror reality.
Instead, pragmatists develop their philosophy around the idea that the function of thought is as an instrument
or tool for prediction, action, and problem solving. Pragmatists contend that most
philosophical topics - such as the nature of knowledge, language, concepts, meaning, belief, and science - are
all best viewed in terms of their practical uses and successes rather than in
terms of representative accuracy.



Learn to Unlearn
In order to think of a different 'other' future that is not embedded in the current projection of the present into
the future we might re-consider and re-think our very 'core values'. By doing this we might need to learn to
unlearn, meaning: to change our pattern of thinking and thus valuating.
We can do so by trying to temporaly forget about our existing values or by purely reflexting them in the search
for their origins. In this process we might encounter that our values are embedded into a system that most of
us never really reflexted because the system it-self made life to most people just too comfortable / 'cosy' that
we never had been very critical about the unvisible underlying processes that make our wealth possible.
One possible way in the search for new values might be the re-implementation of strong moral ideals into our
thinking which might lead us in consequence to a different kind of acting.
So the question could simply be: What is right and what is wrong, what is just and what unjust?
Looking at the production of goods and objects this thinking can lead us to a far more holistic questioning of
the processes and the distribution including not only economical and aestetical factors but also valuating the
embedded social aspects (production / distribution / social exchange).


Improvisation is a state of being and creating action without pre-planning. This can be when an individual or
group is acting, dancing, singing, problem solving,, or reacting in the moment and in response to the stimulus of ones immediate environment and inner feelings.
This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures
or symbols, and/or new ways to act.

Lina-Marie Kppen,
Design Theis,


Eindhoven, 2013

Learn to

Copyrights for images by

Lina-Marie Kppen

Lina-Marie Kppen's thesis project questions

our relationship with objects. It shows us how design can determine the relation and interaction with
(functional) objects. The objects she created might
exactly not be very functional in our usual perception. She calls her approach designin with "in-built
fallibility" and further explains: "By ridding objects
of a predetermined perfectfunction, we can be free
to discover them and rediscover ourselves in the
process." In a way those objects invite their users to
rethink their function and to start to improvise searching for a more personal relationship and value embedded in their 'oddness'. This process might make
us more aware of our possibility spaces we have in
the creation and use of the things that surround us.
In my further exploration I will hold her ideas in mind
to translate them into my specific objectives.


Man shapes his environment and the environment shapes man. I am fascinated by this mutually
evolving relationship, and as a result of my thesis, I
have sought a way for individuals to start afresh and
redefine themselves by reshaping the things around
This response is critical of society for supplying
and demanding objects designed to complement our
human limitations. Could we instead make things
that empower us through their in-built fallibility? By
ridding objects of a predetermined perfectfunction,
we can be free to discover them and rediscover ourselves in the process. Learn to Unlearn is a design ideology expressed in a series of ambiguous objects that
overthrow the unconscious learned behavior and expectations governing our perception.
The family of objects that developed from my
thesis is largely based on the redefinition of furniture archetypes. Each object is an open invitation to the
human to determine its use: The bottomless containers
demand a new strategy to be filled, while the two-legged stool encourages us to rethink the act of sitting.
The lamp challenges us with its weight and unseen
mechanism, the tall shelf can only be reached by interacting with the direct environment, and the broom
lets us not only clean but also develop a personal bodily response. Some objects are even less defined and
invite the user to imagine an entirely personal interaction. Only when objects become alive in this way are
we stimulated to explore new possibilities.



Learn to Unlearn
Open Value

Necessity is the mother of invention.

These moments of improvisation could also be described as a process of learning to unlearn.

Imagine a situation where you are sitting outside in
the evening with friends having stimulating conversations. It's getting dark and people are tending to leave. You have some candles but the wind blows them
out again and again. Still you would like to continue
the conversations with your friends. You search for a
solution. You find an empty bottle and a can. In this
situation you do not see the bottle and the can for
what they are but for what they could become you
start to improvise and cut them in half to create some
wind-safe candle holders. People stay, everybody
enjoys the night.
In this sense the process of 'learning to unlearn'
and 'improvisation' are very close related things. They
make you think about alternatives and burst your
usual thinking in a moment of mental instability in
order to create new pattern of perceiving that are
more useful in the particular situation.
This ability to see and observe alternative realities that influence our perception, behaviour and
surrounding might be described as an attitude of
seeing potentials and valuating openly.


Having gone through a conscious process where I

tried to re-valuate the relation between my actions
and the resulting feedback, I encountered a very
simple but effective technique to counter my dissatisfaction of feeling powerless (in contrast to the
overwhelming influence of factors we can not control
or that seem to determine our lives.) Since the western system of consumerism grants us almost 24/7
availability of all kinds of goods and services it transformed us in large parts into passive actors unable
to improvise in situations of material scarcity.
But I found that exactly in moments of improvisation I experienced the biggest sensation of wellbeing and satisfaction. This sensation might stem
from the fact that in those situation where money and
material things are scarce the only resource left is
our own imagination and creativity (the capacity of
making use of once imagination). In these moments
I am able to experience a special form of power that
transcends reality and results in an immediate often
very unexpected result. These actions of improvisation brings back to me (at least in these rare moments)
the feeling of eventually not being totally determined
and still having an impact on my live or at least be
able to influence the environment that surrounds me.



Von den Bergwnden blken die Schafe, vom

Strand her rauscht das Meer und irgendwo dazwischen ist Mimmos Utopie wahr geworden von einem
Ort, der fr Gastfreundschaft steht statt fr Grenzen.
Mimmo heit eigentlich Domenico Lucano, aber niemand nennt ihn so, obwohl er der Brgermeister des
Fischerdorfs Riace im kalabrischen Sdzipfel Italiens
ist. Drei Kirchen gibt es hier und knapp 1.500 Einwohner, in den Straen ein paar Dutzend Hhner und hinkende Hunde. Ein Ort, so unscheinbar, dass sich kaum
ein Tourist dorthin verirrt.

Collaboration as
survival strategy

Hilfe ist in Riace keine Einbahnstrae, sagt

Brgermeister Lucano. Wir versuchen, den Flchtlingen hier ein Zuhause zu bieten, und im Gegenzug
helfen sie uns, dieses Zuhause am Leben zu halten.
Flchtlinge, die andernorts aufgrund fehlender Papiere abgeschoben werden, erhalten in Riace Arbeit,
werden in den Dorfalltag integriert und helfen dabei,
einen Ort wiederaufzubauen, der vor gut 14 Jahren fast
ausgestorben war.
Das Dorf liegt inmitten einer der strukturschwchsten Regionen des Landes. In Beton gegossene
Tristesse, schlecht bezahlte Jobs und zu viel Spielraum
fr die Mafia. Seit Jahrzehnten hatte es die Menschen
weggezogen. Von einst 3.000 Einwohnern waren gerade noch etwa 800 in Riace geblieben. Die letzten Pizzerien und Eisdielen im Ort hatten dicht gemacht. Unsere geliebte Heimat, sagt Lucano, war wie ein Patient,
der im Sterben liegt und nur noch den Tod erwartet.

Lucano hat sein Heimatdorf zur Heimat der

Flchtlinge erklrt, whrend halb Europa versucht,
sich mit immer hheren Zunen und Mauern gegen illegale Zuwanderer abzuschotten . "In unserem Dorf",
sagt Lucano, "empfangen wir Flchtlinge mit offenen
Armen." Mehr als 500 Migranten leben heute in Riace.
Fast jeder dritte Bewohner ist in den letzten Jahren
zugewandert. Keiner hatte eine Aufenthaltserlaubnis
oder gltige Arbeitspapiere. Es sind junge Mnner aus
Da geschah das, was die Menschen in Riace
Tunesien, dem Senegal und Eritrea, Frauen und Kin- noch heute als ein Wunder bezeichnen: In der Nacht
der aus Syrien und Algerien, die aus ihren Heimatln- des 1. Juli 1998 trieb ein Boot an die Kste, in dem
dern vor Krieg und Armut flchteten.
218 Kurden saen. Sie wollten nach Griechenland
fliehen, waren aber vom Kurs abgekommen. UnAdama Kone, 33, kam vor zwei Jahren aus Mali, terkhlt, erschpft und halb verhungert hatten die
wo er keine Arbeit mehr fand, um seine beiden Kinder meisten von ihnen die Hoffnung bereits aufgegeben.
zu ernhren. Heute bewohnt er in Riace ein eigenes Lucano sorgte dafr, dass die Flchtlinge versorgt
Haus und betreibt in der zugehrigen Garage seine und von den Einheimischen aufgenommen wurden.
eigene kleine Autowerkstatt. In einem Textilgeschft
drei Gassen weiter arbeitet die 24-jhrige Afghanin Als mit den Jahren immer mehr Flchtlinge kamen,
Fatma, 24. Sie ist vor den Taliban aus ihrer Heimat sah er, wie sie seine Heimat belebten. Lucano nahm
geflohen und ist nun Nherin und Teppichknpferin fr die Gemeinde ein Darlehen auf, um die heruntergein Riace. Rund 600 Euro bekommt sie dafr im Monat. kommenen Huser wieder herrichten und den ZuwanDas Geld zahlt ihr die Gemeinde, die ihr auch eines der derern Lhne zahlen zu knnen. Und er beantragte bei
alten, leerstehenden Huser kostenlos zur Verfgung der kalabrischen Regierung eine Sondergenehmigung
stellt. Die Einheimischen haben Fatma geholfen, es zu fr die unbrokratische Aufnahme von Migranten.
renovieren und wieder bewohnbar zu machen. Zum
Nach Angaben des italienischen Roten Kreuzes
Dank betreut sie mehrmals in der Woche deren Kinder kostet die Unterbringung von Flchtlingen in kalabrioder pflegt die an Demenz erkrankten Angehrigen.
schen Auffanglagern etwa 55 Euro pro Person und
Tag. Riace dagegen bentigt fr jeden Migranten nur
halb so viel Geld. Weil die Neuankmmlinge schnell
Anschluss finden, sagt Lucano.

Halb Europa schottet sich vor

Einwanderern ab. Aber ein Fischerdorf
in Italien bietet Flchtlingen ein Zuhause
und sichert damit sein berleben.

Seine neueste Erfindung: der Riace-Euro. Weil

Migranten in Italien manchmal bis zu sieben Monate
lang auf ihr Geld von der Regierung warten mssen,
knnen sie mit speziellen Mnzen in lokalen Geschften bezahlen, um das Ntigste einzukaufen. Sobald
die Zahlungen der Regierung eintreffen, knnen Ladenbesitzer die Mnzen in Bargeld umtauschen. Die
Flchtlinge haben Riace in den letzten Jahren auch zu
wirtschaftlichem Aufschwung verholfen. Werksttten,
Bckereien und Friseur-Salons haben wieder ihren
Betrieb aufgenommen. Die traditionelle Tpfer- und
Textilkunst wurde neu belebt. Sogar eine Schule gibt
es mittlerweile wieder. Kinder, die mit ihren Eltern
nach Riace gekommen sind, lernen hier als Erstes Italienisch.

Dorfbewohner frchteten erst, aus ihrer Heimat

vertrieben zu werden
Auch die Einheimischen brauchten Zeit, um sich
an die vielen neuen Gesichter in ihrem Dorf zu gewhnen. Es waren vor allem die lteren Dorfbewohner,
die skeptisch waren. Einige frchteten gar, die Barmherzigkeit ihres Brgermeisters knnte dazu fhren,
dass sie am Ende selbst aus ihrer Heimat vertrieben
wrden. Doch je mehr das Dorf wieder aufblhte, sagt
Emilia, desto leiser wurden die Zweifel.
Heute schauen die alten Riacesi auf dem Marktplatz afrikanischen Buben beim Fuballspielen zu.
Aus der Bckerei, wo es nach frisch gebackener Ciabatta duftet, erklingt arabische Musik. Und in den
Handwerkslden, wo Schmuck und Keramik hergestellt werden, arbeiten Einheimische und Auslnder
Hand in Hand.

Vor zwei Jahren wurde Lucano aufgrund seines

Engagements fr den World Mayor Award nominiert.
In Riace wrden sie ihren Brgermeister auch fr den
Friedensnobelpreis vorschlagen. Er sagt: Viel wichtiger ist, dass die Geschichte von Riace Menschen in
aller Welt inspiriert. Die Nachbardrfer Stignano und
Caulonia haben sich schon ein Beispiel genommen und
nehmen nun ebenfalls Flchtlinge auf. Und auch in
Hollywood ist der Name Riace mittlerweile ein Begriff:
2010 kam der Regisseur Wim Wenders nach Kalabrien , um einen Dokumentarfilm ber die Flchtlingsproblematik zu drehen. Doch als er von dem Dorf der
Flchtlinge hrte, beschloss er, mit dem Streifen Il Volo
die Geschichte Riaces zu erzhlen.
Die wahre Utopie, sagte Wenders noch im selben Jahr anlsslich einer Jubilumsfeier zur deutschen
Wiedervereinigung, ist nicht der Fall der Berliner
Mauer, sondern das Zusammenleben der Menschen in
Riace. In diesem unscheinbaren Dorf zwischen kahlen Bergwnden und rauschendem Meer habe er eine
bessere Welt gesehen.

Claas Relotius, Zeit Online 13. November 2012


Die Jugendlichen brauchen am meisten Zeit,

um hier anzukommen, sagt Lehrerin Emilia, 51. Viele
seien in ihrer Heimat mit politischer Verfolgung und
Brgerkrieg aufgewachsen, kannten nur das Leben auf
der Flucht. Dass sie hier einen Ort gefunden htten, an
dem sie dauerhaft bleiben knnten, sagt Emilia, wrden die meisten nur sehr langsam begreifen.

Nur der gefrchteten 'Ndrangheta ist so viel Harmonie ein Dorn im Auge. Die kalabrische Mafia, die
die Armut Riaces jahrzehntelang fr ihre Zwecke zu
nutzen wusste, versucht den Wiederaufbau des Dorfes
bis heute zu sabotieren. Als Lucano 2009 kurz vor seiner Wiederwahl stand, vergifteten die Mafiosi zuerst
seinen Hund und durchsiebten dann mit einem Dutzend Kugeln die Wnde der Trattoria Donna Rosa, in
der Lucano sich gerade mit Freunden zum Abendessen
traf. Doch ein paar Tage spter lie er Plakate anbringen, auf denen bis heute in groen Buchstaben steht:
'Riace Stadt der Gastfreundschaft.'


To observe how tourists perceive the presents of

(african) street vendors in Italy, internet forums and the
comment sections of online newspapers and blogs are
a valuable source of information, as it allows people to
write almost anonymously about their experience not
mincing their words.

Screenshots from an American forum for Italian culture and traveling:




A website for Italy lovers, called: 'ItalianNotebook' wrote

a short article about street vendors in Italy's cities without
taking position to the topic in general. The comments below the article give a resonable insight into the opinions
of tourists and travellers that already experienced this
particular phenomenon.



From emigration
to immigraion

Abstracts of: Migropolis, Venice / Atlas of Global Situation Vol. II; Wolfgang Scheppe & IUAV Class on Political Representation



From emigration

to immigration



From emigration

to immigration



From emigration

to immigration



From emigration

to immigration



From emigration

to immigration







Inside Venice

Interview I



Inside Venice

Interview I



Inside Venice

Interview I



Inside Venice

Interview II



Inside Venice

Interview II



Inside Venice

Interview II



Inside Venice

Interview II



Inside Venice

Interview II



Inside Venice

Interview II



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Inside Venice

The streets



Informal Economy




How Naples' informal economy forms

a role model of a distributed network
with a high level of knowledge exchange between the different players.

While discussing Europes economic difficulties at an EU Council of Ministers meeting in June of 2005, Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi chastised
Italians for their preoccupation with unemployment by suggesting that Italy
was better off than its EU partners because 40 per cent of the countrys
economy was in the economia sommersa the underground economy and,
thus unaccounted for by statistics generated by Brussels, ISTAT
(Istituto Nazionale Statistico) and official sources of economic measurement.
Despite the peculiarity of such an impolitic remark from the head of state,
Berlusconis offhand comment reflected a reality even if the proportion he
cited exceeded the estimates of the size of the underground economy
by Italys own ISTAT (15%) and the IMF (27%). This underground economy
combines forms of irregular, illegal, and informal work with significant
under-reporting of earnings and uncollected revenue.



Abstracts of: Migrant Productivities: Street Vendors and the Informal Work in Naples, Nicholas DeMaria Harney;
Anthropology/Sociology and History, The University of Western Australia
International Journal of Economic Development Volume Six, Number 3, pp. 306-330; 2004


Informal Economy

A future
role model ?
I am particularly interested der alternative forms of work organization and sociality
in migrant workers engaged as street vendors, com- other than the maximization of his (sic) personal and
merciante ambulante, and to a degree their whole- familial needs. In effect, to survive both these macro
sale suppliers, as I will explain later, because of their and micro realities of everyday life, the transnavisibility in the Neapolitan streetscape. As such, they tional migrant entrepreneurs would function as
represent in the popular imagination and the conjec- the perfect formalist, rationalist economic actors.
tures in the media an immediate and intimate example of those involved in the underground economy.
However, in my fieldwork, even if the basic preAt best, Neapolitans, and Italians in general, describe mise that knowledge was valuable and highly sought
them as performing undeclared economic activity. after among migrants in Naples because of the numeAt worst, they are presumed to be illegal, undocu- rous ways their status might be precarious, a sociality
mented, or permit over-stayers and perceived to enga- that favoured competition, individualism, restricge in transnational criminal activity either the end ted the distribution of knowledge, and encouraproduct of the trafficking of co-ethnic subservient ged deception, seemed remarkably unfamiliar to
labour or the end of the supply chain for the impor- the group of street traders I worked with for nine
tation of counterfeit or inconceivably low-cost goods. months. In my experience with mostly Bangladeshi
If only briefly to stem the
and Pakistani street traders
It is tempting to argue that these as principle informants, such
negative discourse that permigrants represent innovative a representation flattens the
vades official and popular
discussions of these street
entrepreneurs individualistic, productive knowledge work
vendors as blights on the urcentral to their sociality and
mobile, and capable of creating glosses over alternative regiban landscape despite the licensing they can receive from wealth out of limited resources. mes of value which introduce
city hall that permits their mobile selling it is temp- either non-monetized or monetized exchange that may
ting to argue that these migrants represent innova- not strictly adhere to market models (Williams, 2002).
tive entrepreneurs individualistic, mobile, and Instead, a more innovative social reality, full of alcapable of creating wealth out of limited resources. ternative possibilities and forms of sociality might
Given the time-consuming, monotonous, and un- be viewed through the everyday practices of migcertain work each street vendor puts in everyday to sell rant street traders in Naples, Italy.
inexpensive items for scant profit in the heat of summer and the cold/rainy winter, the long circuits of travel by buses and trains to beaches and festivals to maximize sales in an intensive two or three days of work,
an observer would presume that the social among the
street traders might be fraught with misinformation,
speculation, and distrust. Ostensibly, such an entrepreneur would have little time to share knowledge, consiNicholas DeMaria Harney



[] Topics ranged from possible futures in
work opening up a international call center, a fast
food generic eastern kebab restaurant in northern
Italy, or buying an old car to make the circuit of all
the key festivals ways of tracking the renewal of
documents, or exchanging views on the most profitable upcoming festivals, the most inexpensive way of
getting there and which local Neapolitan store-keeper might help you fill out the necessary forms to get
a temporary selling permit in the local municipality.
Other street vendors would pass, of mixed origins
Senegalese, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Chinese since
this was one main route between Piazza Garibaldi,
the wholesale stores and migrant housing areas near
the train station and the main commercial street of
Via Toledo that many street vendors chanced to take
advantage of the passing consumers. Street vendors would typically exchange pleasantries, order an
Italian coffee (espresso) but often drink on the street
together to watch their stands in case of a sale, apples
or more rarely, but more prized, South Asian sweets
would be passed around from a care package sent by
a wife or mother at home. They would exchange views
on how to avoid the municipal police, and critique
the Italian economy, or speculate about the problems
street vendors faced on a particular stretch of street
from the Camorra, the police or Neapolitan teenagers.
While this kind of knowledge exchange, communication and sociality about everyday issues was
crucial for survival, it was part of a less remarked
upon but equally important, if not more so, informal
and embodied knowledge that smoothed ones business and entrepreneurial activities.

Informal Economy

"We are not following any business
model out their, and because of that
failure is not a possibility."

It is precisely through their production and distribution of informal knowledge and their social practices of work, not completely bound by their marginal
insertion into the Naples, that these migrants create
alternative ways to imagine possible entrepreneurial futures. After months of patiently responding
to my nave, perhaps arcane questioning, my Bangladeshi friend who had moved from street vending
to his own wholesale store with a Chinese partner
turned to me and seemed to speak to this new sociality when he talked not just about his new venture but
the circle of friends who either owned similar stores
or were street vendors, Nick, we are not following
any business model out their, and because of that
failure is not a possibility.

Abstracts of: Migrant Productivities: Street Vendors and the Informal Work in Naples, Nicholas DeMaria Harney;
Anthropology/Sociology and History, The University of Western Australia
International Journal of Economic Development Volume Six, Number 3, pp. 306-330; 2004


He [bangladesi street vendor] decided to invest

his savings from street vending to open a distribution store of jewelry, belts, hair clips and South Asian
fabric bags with a Chinese partner. He had tired of
street vending and wanted to move on. His business
was unusual because of its partnership and hence
social networks with Chinese migrants and his
Bangladeshi friends chided him, in a good-natured
way, for trusting the quality of Chinese products as
compared to the knownquality of products from Indian, Bangladeshi or Thai supplychains they generally used. He was admired for the risk he had taken to
establish a shop and for his access to China, which offered plenty of speculation in imaginative pathways
for the future for his former fellow street vendors.
He benefited from multiple ethnic networks to
establish his store, Neapolitans who helped him
negotiate the licensing, renting and bureaucracy
of setting up a shop, Bangladeshi knowledge of the
wholesale business, and Chinese familial networks
which would guide him in the supply chains from
Shanghai, using his partners cousins on the ground
and long-distance cellular phone calls, with imaging,
to communicate and find help with translation on his
trip to Shanghai while his Chinese partner stayed
back in Naples.

Grid system used by the openstructures project to have a
common base for the construction of modular parts

Open design and

street trading
Having this in mind we might further question
how Open Design could improve the situation. When
Open Design makes the access to knowledge regarding the development processes of physical products,
machines and systems easier, one could imagine how
this would influence the situation of street trading.
One would rather think about how to integrate
these vendors into an open system. The vendors
Therefore Open Design is a radical counter-mo- might be also able to find totally different kinf of
del to the existing Copyright system were knowledprodcuts not made industrially but locally in smalge is seen as something privately possessible. The
ler series.
existing copyright system allows only the holder of
This thinking finally led me also to my concluthe knowledge to decide weather this knowledge is
siong and idea to introduce a different kind of sysshared or not, often resulting in the delay or complete temic approach to the phenomena of street trading.
blocking of developments and inovations.
What if we can create a network or platform or
how ever you want to call it that connects Open
So how does this topic relate to the phenome- Design with street vendors, designers and local
na of immigrant street vendors?
manufacturing places?
When looking at the bigger picture of the kind
As descibed in the beginning of my thesis I
of street trading that is undertaken by the immigrants think such a network would be beneficial for all involwe can observe different patterns.
ved players:
The traded products are mainly of three kinds:
The designer could create in collaboration with
Counterfeits of high priced luxury brands such as
local manufacturers (or by him/her self) objects in
Louis Vuitton or Gucci, cheap plastic items 'made in
a small to middle sized series that could be tested
China' and small self-made items like the flour balls
quickly on 'the market' without having an unflexible
sold mainly by Bangladeshis.
and controlling company in between.
That leads us to the question of why only those
The vendor would probably benefit by getting
kind of products are sold. The answer is not totally
better integrated in the local envirnoment (contact
clear, but probably (as interviews with different vend- to manufacturers, designers) and eventually receive
ors showed) because these products are easy acces- more positiv feedback from locals (inhabitans + polisible, cheap and allow a reasonable profit margin
ticians) as he would support the local economy.
when sold.
The local manufacturer would benefit from
Another reason is that a lot of the immigrant
new orders and gets in contact with desigerns (which
street vendors have no permit of residence which
eventually leads to other collaborations). He could
makes it almost impossible for them to undertake
also provide the spacial environment linking designer
legal collaborations with manufacturers or even
and vendor to share experiences and knowledge.
start a kind of self managed production.
The clients would find unpredictable new and
local created products. Their feedback (to the vendors) could find response in the production and could
change and improve the products or lead to totally
different kinds of product ideas.

Open Design can be seen as an attempt to make

closed knowledge (about the development process
of physical products, machines and systems)
open again and to make newly generated knowledge more accessible, easier to find and to
share in short: to improve distribution, access
and use of generated knowledge.



to start
to do ?

Personal interests

Personal skills

Technical possibilities

Shared (local) needs

Accidental happenings


Immaginated benefits

Hours of conversation


Project idea


From research
to the final
project idea
In the very beginning of my research I already collaborated with the social cooperative AKRAT which
produces furniture and textile products made out of
recycled materials. They employ around five persons
that are more or less qualified to work with wood but
have problems to find a job elsewhere. Another three
women care for the activities of the tailoring workshop. I designed the cooperative's website and helped
them with their visual representation in general.
For weeks Peter Prossliner, the founder, and
I were discussing how such a socially and culturally
orientated company could navigate, making enough
money to sustain its activities and at the same time
still having enough resources to care about their cultural and social engagements.
It was at the cooperative's headquarter that I came to
know two young men from Kenia and Burkina Faso
that Peter tried to integrate somehow in the initiative's daily work. They were not really qualified to work
with wood, but somehow had a good hand and talent.
After having talked to them again and again in the
course of several weeks we became friends and Peter
told me about his idea to give these two men a more
regularly work. He wanted to send them to markets
that take place regularly to sell the cooperative's products and to get more known in the area.
At this time we were also discussing a lot
about the problematic increase of (illegal) immigration from (West)Africa to Italy with the very visible
result of a lot of African street vendors chancing
their luck in Italy's cities selling cheap products that
they buy mainly from Chinese megastors.
In the same period we also figured out that
the financial health of the business wasn't going that
well and that there was no real prospect for short
term improvements. Besides some smaller other
problems, the main issue was that the initiative was
simply lacking of visibility and recognition in the city.
Having these two very different problems in
mind I somehow put 1 and 1 together and the idea for
my thesis project was born.


On the one hand the social cooperative was lacking

of visibility and on the other hand the street vendors were very visible in the city center but mainly
negatively connoted due to the bad quality of the
products they were selling.
So what I am trying with my project is to create a collaboration between the two entities, the street vendors and the social cooperative, or in other words: the
alternative producer and the alternative distributors. This collaboration could also be described with the
words of Thomas Lomme, the founder of the Belgian
design studio Intrastructures:

"Building on top of existing

infrastructures [the street vendors]
creating intrastructures."
It was also a project, initiated by Lomme, called
Openstructures, that takes the idea of open design to
create a platform where people design and share parts
for modular objects, that gave rise to another feature
that could be implemented in the collaboration, or
rather in the collaborations. The bigger scale vision
is two create an Italian wide network of designers,
small manufacturers and street vendors that share
their knowledge, designs and experience along the
network, meaning that everyone can produce and sell
things locally that another one already thought about
and designed before by using creative commons. The
different players would not see each other as competitors but rather as collaborators all operating on
their local market(s).
To render visible my idea I am creating and introducing a brand with all necessary means of visual
communication that can be used as an ideological
container for both the vendors and the social cooperative to sell products that are united by specific
set of principles.

Values and design approach

Those principles are:

the use of locally produced or recycled materials
easy producibility (without expensive tools)
simplicity (modesty in material and form)
easy transportability (for the street vendors)

Thinking about possible products that could illustrate

my idea and could represent the brands values, two
quotes I came across in the beginning of my research,
found its way back into the actually implication of the
my design approach:

"Designing for the unexpected."

(John Thackara)

"Don't judge an object for what it is,

but imagine what it can become."
(Thomas Lomme
How these statements are exactly implemented later
can be seen in the section where all products are presented in the end of the documentation.

Regarding the street vendor's appearance (primarily

the stand) I was facing one important question: To
what extent needs the stand to be mobile?
This question can not be fully answered as it depends
much on the administrative decision of how normadic
a street vendor needs to be in order to get his permission to sell. For this reason I tried to find a middle
way, thinking about a stand that is both, mobile and
ready to get moved but also steady enough to stay
longer at one place allowing an appropriate way to
present the different products.
Here again the final result will be shown in the later
part of the documentation.
Another crucial question is how the vendors
are communicating and interacting with potential
clients on the streets. One way of improving their
communication skills would be to provide them with
free training courses within the space of local social
initiatives, like AKRAT in Bolzano. There they could
learn how to explain the products they are selling
better to clients, or even becoming kind of agents who
are able to take orders for more personalised products
to deliver them later on or even linking the client
directly to the manufacturer getting a percentage for
every mediated client.
All these question can not be answered
previously but need to be tested within a local pilot project which became my final goal to achieve in
this project. Therefore I was searching for weeks in
contact with different street vendors that would like
to collaborate with me to organise a first public intervention to test my idea and improve it.
The main obstacle in the talks with street vendors
was that they could not imagine that anybody would
like to collaborate with them. They were so blunted by
their daily tough life, a life without any prospectives
for improvement, that it was hard to convince any of
them for a collaboration.
But finally I found one interested vendor, Dan, and
we will see how far we can push the project in the last
month of the thesis.


But why exactly should the project become another

Forming a brand gives the possibility to
generate identity along all participants (designer,
manufacturer and vendor), trust and recognition between the clients and the street vendors (as the brands
'front-end') and it makes it easier to precisely communicate the brand's values and principles.

The vendor's representation


Visual communication


Regarding my approach for the visual identity of the

brand I made certain determining decisions
beforehand. All print communication means should
be as easily reproducible as possible allowing
a local reproduction at the manufacturer's place.
Therefore I made the design decision to use
only black and white, which goes also along with
the brand's core values of modesty and simplicity.
Every object comes with a small booklet describing
in more detail the use and characteristics of
each product.

Concluding, I want to manifest that I see this project as an possibilitarian attempt using a active
speculative design approach to imagine my view
on a sustainable collaboration between small local
manufacturers and autonomous street vendors.
At the same time the project is a public intervention that wants to challenge people's opinion about
street vending in general and specifically regarding
towards African street vendors.
To realize this project and to get enough information about the background of street vending I was
talking to a lot of African street vendors in Bolzano,
to the Senegalese head of the culture exchange initiative 'Associazione Porte Aperte', Mamadou Gaye,
to the administrative responsibles for the coordination of immigrants, Sabine Hofer and Karin Girotto,
and other people involved in cultural initiatives like
Giovanni Melillo Kostner (Open City museum Brixen)
and Sergio Previte (pogrom magazine).

The business cards can be used by both, manufacturers and street vendors, and are similar to the
brand patches that are fixed to each textile products.
The business card should raises the client's trust and
acceptance towards the street vendor.
Beside the business cards an booklets each vendor
should be equipped with a flag presenting the brand
logo as a sign of autonomy and to make people curious about the new approach to street-vending.

From research to the final project

Nostalgic reflexions and prospectives

I am aware of the reasons and mechanisms fueling

this phenomena and process and I know that one can't
turn the clock back, but a city's administration has a
couple of means to adjust things
So finally this romantic turnback was
probably also part of my motivation for this project.
Imagine what Italo Calvino would have seen in,
thought and written about a city where foreign
street vendors are well respected and tolerated
being a significant positive phenomena on the
streets? It seams like an utopic scenario, but I
guess it is not too far from being possible.


I still remember the long past times I spent as a child

with my parents and friends on Italian street markets and local shopping streets where everything was
perfectly prepared for tourists. I am not speaking
ironically, to me it really seemed perfect. There were
plenty of little charming items, books, lovely designed postcards, etc. Of course there was as well a lot of
kitsch, but still they somehow managed to generate a
fair balance to create a charming athmosphere. Thinking about it, I guess, what I really liked about this
place in Elba was its imperfection, its incompletness
and yet it was much more real, because people improvised to make it look attractive with the means they
had by hand which created a culture of mindfulness.
Today I wonder if my memory got swapped
over time by a romantical idealization of the past or
if shop owner and artist in this particular town were
simply carring much more about what they sold. Or
different: Eventually there still exist artists running
a shop without being slopped out by more profitable
If I think about most town centres today I
could, to put it briefly, vomit. Take 90% of the shops in
a particular city, exchange them with 90% of a differnt
city's shops and in 90% of all cases you would not even
recognise any changes. the unification of city centre
is for quite some time making a clean sweep.




( Street Vendors )

Local social cooperatives

( Alternative Production )

client contact
( communicator )
street trading
( distributor )
( advertiser )

local materials
( manufacturer )
good working places
( entrepreneur )
communication coaching
( mentoring )
exchange between all involved players
( Knotenpunkt )



client analysis
( research )
material research
( research )
( design )

interested in local products

( consumer )
personal contact
( customer intimacy )
( evaluation )

Young Designer
( Creative precariat )

( Tourists / Locals )


Reach without a
proper idea is
w o r t h l e s s

w o r t h l e s s

The collaborative system


Designer / artists
creative / technical input
Street vendors
a wide distribution system



Social Coops

Street vendors

Local manufactures

The collaborative system


Designer / artists
creative / technical input
Social Cooperatives /
Local manufactures
provide space and facilities
= knot for exchange / learning / teaching
Street vendors
a wide distribution system

Connecting local
social manufactures to
the city center


The (long) distance from

the city center to the social
manufacturer AKRAT

Small local business, like the social cooperative

AKRAT, I am working with, have the problem of
being fully disconnected from the bussy city centre
where most 'business interactions' happen.
The rents are simply too high to be afforded by an
initiative that would actually not care about money.
Money is seen just as a mean to keep working and
progressing and not as a goal.
So how to solve part of the problem?
On the one hand the manufacturer is lacking of visibility, one the other hand the street vendors do have a
lot of visibility, even if mostly negatively conotated.
So why not connecting both to create synergies?
Looking on the map on the right, where the route of
street vendor is marked, it seem quite a idea which
might work, as street vendors are covering almost
every part of the city's centre.

The main daily route of

street vendors in Bolzano



Often African vendors are confronted with racism.

One reason for that is the fact that still a lot of people,
especially Italians, believe that they would collaborate
or be part of some kind of mafiosi organisation that
makes them sell cheap products on the streets.
In fact that is absolutely wrong. The vendors are
mostly just used to perform this kind of activity as in
countries like Senegal still 20% of the GDP is made up
by informal street vending. Arriving in Italy, often no
other possibility is opening up for them.
Another crucial setting triggering racism have always
been an still are periods of economic recession putting huge numbers of people into unemployment. In
these periods foreigners are often seen as danger stealing jobs, because they work for less money with less
securities causing price dumping on the job market.
In fact foreign (often illegal) workers are more vulnerable with regard to working conditions and payment
and at the same time even account for a higher share
of the GDP than native nationals do.

/ Countering

The third reason for native Italian's reservedness and

racist attitude towards strangers is the collision of different cultural value system as shown in the introduction to the project (p.41)
Concluding, my approach is to bring these two parties
together making them collaborate and showing that
a problem can also be turned into a new possibility.
Besides that neuroscientist have also shown that complex problems can only be solved by complex solution
systems that emerge more easily from diverse societies with diverse cultures.



All those street vendors belong to some

kind of mafia organisation.

Proper Information
/ Communication


new forms of
collaborative work

Different value system

advantages of

Foreigners take away our jobs, because

they work for less money.

Those street vendors dress in a strange way.

The way they sell is inappropriate.



Lack of consciousness





Original Fake



Original Fake



Abstracts of: Migropolis, Venice / Atlas of Global Situation Vol. II; Wolfgang Scheppe & IUAV Class on Political Representation

Original Fake



Abstracts of: Migropolis, Venice / Atlas of Global Situation Vol. II; Wolfgang Scheppe & IUAV Class on Political Representation

Original Fake

When looking on the kind of products that are
sold at the moment by (illegal) immigrant street vendors we can observe that the main part of those products are them-selve illegal to the national law of
copyright. Meaning that most of those products are illegaly imported counterfeits produced mainly in China.


This led me to the conclusion that in order to introduce this new approach to street trading, which we
might call 'OPEN street trading' we would also need to
make changes in the political framework of how street
trading is perceived and reacted to on the administrative and executive levels of regional governments.
Instead of illegalizing street trading (which does
not lead to its disappearance and thus is not a solution)
we need to demonstrate new possibilities that might be
part of a more 'sustainable' solution.
We need to make clear that such a systemic
improvement would be also beneficial for the local administrative and executive organs, meaning the related public offices and the police which is often overchallenged by the number of street vendors.
Therefore we first have to question why street
trading is such a problem to the local authorities. The
answer might be multifaceted:
The main factor is of course that a part of the
street vendors are illegal immirgrant without a permit
of stay and thus also without a permit of work.
This leads to the problem that the government
does not has any monetary benefit from the economic
transactions as (most) street vendors can not and do
not pay taxes on their sales. This leads to the phenomena of a informal shadow economy which is hard to
trace and to put in numbers but which is estimated to
a number of 1517% of the national GDP of which the
main part is created by immigrants.
And finally the authorities often consider street
vendors, harshly saying, as 'visual pollution' to the local streets.





Imposed improvisation




Arriving and staying in Italy isn't an

easy undertaking for most African
street vendors. The material and financial scarcity, the often uncertain
legal situation and strict regional rules for street vending enforces them
to continually improvise in everything
they do is it vending, housing or simple things of everyday life.
Consequently this lack of security gets
also reflected in their choices of
which products to acquire and sell.
Even though they seem like
masters of improvisation it sets
them an almost uncrossable limit to
further possibilities and activities.


This leads me to the concluding question if small or

middle sized businesses
aren't much more balanced
between a certain kind of
improvisation and planning
making them in their specific
way much more likeable.
And, further, could street vending become again part of
those small sized business?
I think the answer is already
visible when looking at the
regular street markets that
always played a strong role
in most countries (especially
Italy's) economy.

Absurd planning



On the other side, we see, if we want

so, globally operating cooperations
that seem to have almost no limits to
their activities allowing them to
partly even ignore national rules
or to find a way around those by
outsourcing activities in countries
with lower social and environmental
standarts. Often they pay less taxes
or evade paying them. Those companies
seem to have planned every single
step of their activities to the
smallest detail be it design, production, distribution, sales, etc
This makes them appear, at least to
me, like large immoral monsters
selling predictable and only trend
orientated (boring) products.
Consequently, one could say,
that their gigantic size enforces them
to a kind of totalitarian planning of
every single aspect of their business.


The only problem those markets are facing is that often

they are not able to compete
with the prices 'multinationals'
are setting.
In the doom loop of competition and resulting outsourcing
of production they also lost
the strong selling-argument
of locally produced products.
In the very end this leads
to an empowerment of the
customer's decision and a
need for moral reflection of
which kind of business one
wants to support.



Abstracts of: Migropolis, Venice / Atlas of Global Situation Vol. II; Wolfgang Scheppe & IUAV Class on Political Representation

Multiple Identities



Multiple Identities


I d e nt i t ie s
e l p i t l u M
s e i t i tn ed I


I d e nt i t ie s
M u l t i p l e
M u l t i p l e
I d e nt i t ie s
e l p i t l u M
s e i t i tn ed I
I d e nt i t ie s
M u l t i p l e

Abstract of
Street Vendors in the Global City:
Exploring Genoas Informal Economy
Joseph S. DeLucaLooking

at the bigger picture, it seems

more likely that people may be developing multiple
identities, including their roots rather than multiple identities, whilst forgetting their roots. Building
on a different interpretation of Georg Simmels idea
of the global supermarket, perhaps it is just that the
global city enhances peoples ability to shift among
multiple identities (Abrahamson 2004, 127). In other
words, this shift allows the immigrant street vendor to pick and choose identities, depending on the
role needed or situation at hand.

Journal for Undergraduate Ethnography, Volume 2 Issue 1, 2012

John Jay College of Criminal Justice


Another example would be of the vendor,

Issifi, who has a wife back home in Nigeria, but a
girlfriend in New York. Psychologically, this other
identity may serve a purpose, because it is as if this
dissociation lets him reaffirm to himself that what he
is doing is acceptable (and to an extent, his cultural
background also allows itIssifi does note that men
have more freedom in Africa, in terms of marriage)
(Stoller 2002, 3). With such little overlap of networks
and connections between the identities, Issifiand
street vendors in generalmay confidently switch
among identities, without threatening any other perIn Money Has No Smell, for example, Stoller sonas too much.
talks to an older man who claims to be a devout Muslim, and who criticizes the immorality of Americans,
Regarding the connection between the vendtheir use of foul language, and lack of respect for
or's identity and the products he tries to sell we might
elders. This man speaks of his faithfulness to his wife find a more adequate way to combine both rather then
(who he has not seen for four years), his pious nature separating them. In other words the
in giving to the poor when he can, and his dedication
question is:
to religion. When Paul Stoller points out the ironic hat
'Could we develop products that are not
he is selling that says Fuck Off on it, and explains
only functionally useful but also take the vendor's
its meaning, the vendorseeing no dissonance
own identity and ideas into account?'
between his views on Islamic morality and his
Or: 'Could the products themselves have
business practicesswitches to his street vendor
multiple identities, meaning different functions or
identity, and claims that, We are here in Ameriswitch in their aesthetically appearance?'
ca, trying to make a living Money has no smell.
(2002, XI). The discord among all of these identities
is added evidence of several identitiesthe virtuous
Muslim when not at work, and the Americanized,
globalized salesman when vending.


Multiple Identities
















The idea of a
'street brand'
of vendors
and local


What is Nu_Volante?

NU_VOLANTE is an open creative network and

brand creating collaborations between designers,
local (social) manufactures and street vendors
using the traditional and direct distribution system
of street vending.
Unestablished designers can experiment with
new products and reach the local market in a highly
direct way through street distribution.


Small locally operating manufacturers and

social production initiatives usually lacking of visibility can reach a wider public without renting a space
in the mostly expensive city center or spending a lot
of money on advertisment. Furthermore their physical
(production) spaces can function as a knot connecting
all involved players to learn from each other.
(Immigrant) street vendors get connected to
local manufacturers and sell more valuable products.
At the same time they become self-deployed agents
taking the role of vendors, communicators, advertiser
and finally 'brand ambassadors' as the brands direct

Open Network

It is an open network for creative personalitites and

initiatives that love the process of making things and
want to distribute through a network of professional
street vendors. The network offers a platform which
encourages a culture of sharing knowledge and designs among the stakeholders to foster the community
and speed up its development.
The involved collaborators can use the
developed communication means including corporate
identity and web appearance and the developed
open designs for their own local production.










Since we want to encourage the sharing of knowledge

and designs among the network of involved designers,
producers and the 'following'
public, transparancy and documentation in the production process is highly important to the brand
due to two facts:
uncomplicated exchange of knowledge
and designs via creative commons between designers
and producers
makingofs as part of the online marketing
supporting the network's credibility and raising awareness for the production process among the clients.

Fair profit

Every stakeholder in the process, from the designer

to the producer to the street vendor gets his/her fair
share by signing the network's agreement of 'fair collaboration' before starting a business relation.

DIY Participation

Created designs and further production information

is also availabe to DIY activists that want to create
things just for themselves or want to use the distribution system of participating street vendors.

street vending

Finally it makes people re-evaluate and appreciate

the profession of street vendors as an enrichment of
local street life.


At the same time street vendors get better connected

(integrated) to the local society as they sell more useful products and collaborate with local manufactures
resulting in more taxes payed and more employment
created locally.


Every involved player (be it a designer, producer or

vendor) should retain the maximum of selfautonomy, meaning that the brand does not enforce one to
operate to strict rules rather it allows to use the built
structure and branding and apply it to the local and
personal needs.





Logo /
Local branches

Name finding

The new flying ones

New (engl. slang)
In music: NuJazz, NuDisco, NuMetal,
Refering to the new approach to street trading.

Street vendor (ital.)

Flying (ital.)
Police (ital. slang)
Refering to vendor's mobile character.

Wolke (ital.)
1. Refering to vendor's mobile character.
2. Refering to the brand's cloudlike network structure

ruffle / valance (dt.)
In sewing and dressmaking, a ruffle, frill, or furbelow
is a strip of fabric, lace or ribbon tightly gathered or
pleated on one edge and applied to a garment, bedding, or other textile as a form of trimming.



Sich dnne machen (to make oneself
scarce ) is used in German to express
that someone has to disappear quickly,
because he/she is in trouble.

Dynamic and in movement, inpired
by the vendor's mobile character.

The low dash

Abstract referance to the streets
where the business is happening.

Branding creates a visible entity (of people and ideas) that operates
according to specific values in order to generate public trust and awareness
for the brand and the values and ideas it stands for.

Co-branding, also called brand partnership, is when

two companies form an alliance to work together,
creating marketing synergy. In the example's case together with the social manufacturer of recycled wood
and textile, AKRAT, located in Bolzano.


The print communication (Logo, business card,

booklets, brand patch, etc.) is designed in a way to be
easyly understandable and locally reproducable at the
manufacturers place, meaning: Printable on every
kind of paper, standart formats, black on white, only
one brand typeface.


Why brandning?

A landmark font in typemaking.
Simple, modest, functional
nevertheless elegant and applicable
in various media.

Business card
Qualit dalla strada




Collaborazione ed Improvvisazione

Bolzano Italia


Booklets for
each product
I nostri valori
Our values
Unsere Werte

Wir suchen unser Glck

in der Einfachheit der
Dinge vor Ort produziert
mit lokalen oder wiederverwertbaren Materialien.
Im Netzwerk der Straenhndler findest Du einfache schne Dinge mit
einem gewissen Eigenleben, die zum improvisieren
und einem spielerischen
Umgang einladen.

Cerchiamo la nostra
felicit nella semplicit
delle cose prodotti
locali con materiali zero
km o riciclabili. Nella rete
di ambulanti si possono
trovare cose semplici e
interessanti con una vita
propria, che invitano ad
improvvisare con approccio giocoso.
We seek our happiness
in the simplicity of things
produced locally with
zero km or recycled materials.
Within the network of street
vendors you can find simple,
beautiful things with a
certain life of their own, that
invite you to improvise in
a playful approach.




N o t f a l l t a s c h e


Brand patch
Bolzano Italia




Collaborazione ed improvvisazione


Brand Flags

The first flags were used to assist military co-ordination on battlefields, and flags have since evolved into a
general tool for rudimentary signalling and identification, especially in environments where communication
is similarly challenging. (wikipedia)
For the Nu_volante branding the flag should serve as a
sign of autonomy (claiming: I am my own lord), offer
a strong symbol for public brand identification and
means to trigger curiosity when just passing by.


Five simple products

representing the
brand philosophy


Core values


Local cultivated or recycled

> Good quality (durable)


Simple standard tools

> Time saving (reducing costs)

Production work

Local social workshops

Home work
> Good working conditions (social)

Product attributes

Simple, playful, multifunctional

(invitation to improvise)

Meta communication

Modesty (material)
Playfulness (improvisational use)
Connceted to the street vendors value/
life style (normadic, modest, good humoured)

From research
to implimentation:
The synthesis

The series of products I designed should serve to

illustrate what kind of products could be sold directly
from the streets.
These products all share one basic philosophy as
described before.
I choose fabric as the material to work with, because it is light enough to be easily carried around the
whole day. At the same time it has a great versatility.

The second series of items, the fabric games,

represent the brand's playfull approach while not
loosing the haptic qualities of fabric. The three games (Chess, Nine men's morris and Backgammon)
I choose are played internationally and in almost
all cultures around the globe. In a certain way also
games invite to improvise and, more importantly, are
the centre and departure for a social activity.

The third series of products are representing

more strongly an aesthetical approach to the topic:
There are various ways for a local production, it can
Collaborating with the textile workshop of the faculty
be recycled, cut and newly assembled.
of textile design at the University of Hof (Germany) I
created a multicoloured series of fabrics all sharing a
common idea: the representation and translation of
travelling and globality.
Once the basic material is collected (recycling) or
Therefore I used open satellite pictures from the
produced (locally) it can be transformed in various
Sahara desert provided by the NASA Earthexplorer
ways without the need of expensive tools to create
program ( to translate
diverse series of products all fitting to one embedded them into fabric. The results are organic landscape
pattern that are by them-sleves already beautiful
and appealing (I could have sold already all of them
to close friends) and additionally get a special value
when one knows about the embedded story of the
The first inspirations for possible products arrived
design: meaning the long distance travel through the
directly from the individuals of my interest, the
Sahara every immigrant from West-Africa needed to
street vendors. Something that makes them parundertake to arrive at the Mediterranean Sea to than
ticularly interesting for me is their attitude to impro- take the boat to Europe. This story gets communicavise, as described in various chapters of my previous ted by a small booklet that is attached to each fabric.
research (Pragmatism > Improvisation > Learn to
For the other version of fabics I created a
Unlearn > Open Value).
pattern made of windroses, stars and NorthSouth
symbols representing as well the idea of travelling
Therefore I created two very simple multiand navigating ones way through life.
functional blankets that reflect the vendor's attitude by inviting the user to improvise with the fabric
All in all, I hope, I was able to communicate in an
by using it in various ways. While discovering the
understandable yet interesting and appealing way
different functions of the blankets he/she comes to
the values I wanted to express through the choices
know better the characteristics of the used materifor material and the means of design.
als creating a certain awareness for the material's
embedded qualities.
Fabric as resource


The simple but multifunctional blanket comes in two versions,

one out of recycled pieces of textile and the other out of locally
grown and manufactured hemp (which for 50 years wasn't
allowed to be cultivated any more).
Its' owner has the maximal freedom to use the textil in the way he
or she wants. Infact the blanket wants to invite people to improvise and encourages the its' owner to use it rather as a good friend
you can play and tinker with than a 'passiv' consumer product that
you just posess and show.






Coperta Decke blanket

Crea ombra Sonnentuch


Zaino Rucksack backpack

Borsa Tasche bag

Simple products for the streets

Therefore no images were yet available.


Product was still in development when printing the thesis documentation.



The round, so called, Emergency Blanket has a diameter of

120150cm and is made out of recycled cotton and linen fabric.
The border of the blanket is equipped with 1216 brass eyelets.
The rope comes in black and white (cotton) and various other
colours using simple climbing-rope (synthetic).
Used as a bag it can be filled and closed within seconds,
by simply pulling the robe on two opposite sides.
Alternatively the blanket can also be 'missused' as sun shelter,
picnic blanket or what ever comes to the users mind.

Simple products for the streets


Fabric Sahara

To illustrate how a designer could also implement his very own

design caring as well for the production, I produced a fabric
with a pattern fitting to the context of the street vendors.
The pattern is generated by using Open NASA satellite pictures
( of the Sahara region to implement
the context of the vendors' long journey from West-Africa to
Europe where they need to cross as well the large desert region
before arriving to the Mediterranean Sea.


Satellite picture from Nasa Open Earthexplorer program (taken July 10, 2011)
Sahara, Tassili nAjjer National Park, 2510N 810E / 25.166667N 8.166667E

University of Hof (Germany), Faculty of Textil Design where

the translation into fabric was done

Simple products for the streets



Fabric Sahara

Simple products for the streets


Fabric Navigator

The other selfproduced fabric uses as pattern the compass

rose a navigation star in the same style and the letters N and S
for 'North' and 'South'. It reffers to the classical pattern
often used in the fashion and accessories industry by brands
like Louis Vuitton or Gucci. At the same time the pattern
narrates a different story the one of travelling and navigating,
in the case of the street vendors from South to North.
Personally I think this approach is very adequate for fabric
as it is also travelling with you all the time.

The used pattern


Louis Vuitton


Simple products for the streets



games on fabric

The fabric games, represent the brand's playfull approach while not
loosing the haptic qualities of fabric. The three games (Chess, Nine
men's morris and Backgammon) I choose are played internationally
and in almost all cultures around the globe. In a certain way also
games invite to improvise and, more importantly, are the centre and
departure for a social activity.

Simple products for the streets


Cotton and linen from recycled fabric




Simple products for the streets





Simple products for the streets




Nine men's morris (Mhle)

Simple products for the streets




A short overview and valuation of existing

kiosk/exhibition stands that might be
more or less adequate for street vendors.


Mobility Q Q Q Q Q





Cost saving $ $ $ $ $


The most used and less expensive exhibition mean mostly

used in Venice to escape quickly from the arriving police.
Often used with the feature of four strings connected to the
corners to wrap the blanket more quickly.

Mobile kiosks


Mobility Q Q Q Q Q


Vendor's tray



Cost saving $ $ $ $


The vendor's tray is a very mobile and low-cost solution for

small items. Especially for selling in bars and cafs it might
be adequate. The branding (Nu_Volante) could be attached
to the front side of the tray.

Mobile kiosks


Mobility Q Q Q



Haystack (eng)
Heureiter (ger)
Heinzen (pre-alpine region)
Stiffla (south tirol)


Cost saving $ $ $ $


Heureiter (auch Reuter genannt) sind verschiedene Arten von

Holzgestellen, auf denen vor dem Aufkommen von maschinenuntersttzter Landwirtschaft frisch geschnittenes, abgetrocknetes
Gras zum vollstndigen Trocknen aufgehngt wurde.
Sie kamen vor allem bei lang anhaltender feuchter Witterung
zum Einsatz, bei der eine Heutrocknung am Boden nicht
oder nur schwer mglich war.
Fr den Straenverkauf eignet er sich jedoch nur in Form
eines relativ fixen Standes, der jedoch mit wenigen Griffen
auf und abgebaut werden kann.

Mobile kiosks


Mobility Q Q





Cost saving $ $ $


A structure made from 3-D printed plastic joints and wooden poles
would probably be the perfect solution for a fixed stand on a
weekend market, but not at all usefull for a mobile version.

Mobile kiosks


Mobility Q Q Q Q Q


The Bike



Cost saving $


The classical bike kiosk is a very appealing version of a stand giving

the vendor a maximum of mobility, even for far distances but it requires a special license to be used.
This version would be an interesting solution for the long run when
the project's sucess was already proven alowing a bigger investment. The permit of the 'Commune' is inevitable.

Mobile kiosks


Mobility Q Q Q Q


Cost saving $ $ $


The burden bearer in combination with a suitcase could be a solution for rather big and eventually delicate object. But it requires again
the possibility of having at least some time to remain at the same
location. Again the permit of the 'Commune' would be needed.


Burden bearer /


Mobile kiosks



Testing four
mobile stands

Considering the place

(Bolzano) and circumstances



The advanced
vendor blanket

Testing four mobile stands


The classical blanket in its advanced version can be
seen as the smart 'status quo' stand option in case the
'Commune' is not changing any regulations in favor
of the street vendors.
The emergency blanket is stand, product and portable item-bag at the same time.
It allows to exhibit the items to potential clients in
a slightly more attractive way than the normal blanket
does and at the same time gives the vendor the possibility of escaping quickly from the approaching police.

b. The simple pole


Testing the simplest version of a mobile
stand and talking about it with the
street vendor I am collaborating with, we
figured out that the stand in general
would be quite useful, but considering
the narrov streets in Bolzano's center
it is just not very practical.
During a break the vendor can flip
the pole upside down (vertical) on the
metal base and lean it against a wall.

Bottom base from metal: for vertical use

Left and right wing: gouges to attache items

Testing four mobile stands


Foam tube in the middle for more comfort

Gouges to attach the lanyard

Whole to attach the brand flag

c. vertical


The vertical pole might be a good compromise for a
pilot project and the time before the 'Commune'
eventually gives more fixed location to the vendors
realising that street vending can actually make
the streets more vivid and bring interesting locally
produced items to the city's center.
I allows the vendor to exhibit around 69 items
at the same time. During a break he can lean the stand
against a wall or on the ground.

Testing four mobile stands






Missing in the picture:

Small screws at the side of each pole to fix
different items. or:
37 wholes drilled into each pole to put the rope
through in a horizontal way to than attach the
iteam to the rope.

The three leg was inspired by the

'Heureiter' making a (romantic)
reference to the traditional picture
of agriculture in the alpine area.

Testing four mobile stands

The three leg can be opened and closed by a single person in less than two minutes. The rope is used to holed
together the stand after its closure.

The three leg construction would be
a simple, low cost solution. but only
in case that the 'Commune' grants the
vendor a rather fix location to sell.
Talking to the vendor we figured out
that this solution would be also practical to extend his business for different
weekend markets, e.g. the artisan market at the 'Rathausplatz'.

The website
as connecting
An adequate website needs to serve two major functions:


One is to inform potential and actual clients that

somehow came to know a vendor and want to know more
about the whole brand concept.
In this case the website needs to create trust and awareness
for the brand and its street vendors.
This will be done by providing the attractively designed
manifesto, the brand philosophy, a documentation of the
production processes and the different ways a vendor can
be found within the city the client wants to travel to or is
living in.
The other function is to connect all potentially involved players needed for the brand: the vendors, the designers, the manufacturers and the local places (probably a
social initiatives or a social workshops) where meetings can
be organised and where the vendors can pick up the produced items.
Therefore a database of the involved individuals and initiatives visible to everyone online would be needed.
In this way even clients can inform themselve where the
products are actually coming from and who is collaborating
within the network.


Brand Manifsto






eng ita dt

NuVolante is
connecting stre
with local man
We seek our ha
simplicity of th
produced loc
km or recycled
Within our netw
vendors you ca
beautiful things
certain life of t
Check out if yo
already in your
a place you wa

NuVolante DIY Blog


Find us

Work with us


a brand
eet vendors
appiness in the
cally with zero
d materials.
work of street
an find simple,
s with a
their own.
ou can find us
r hometown or in
ant to travel to!




facebook twit


tter instagram



and feedback
For the actually testing of the communication means and
the created series of products I planned a public intervention one or two days of selling in the centre of Bolzano.
Therefore I collaborated with a local street vendor
(Dane, see photograph on the left).
Unfortunatelly the vendor was too uncertain and afraid of
the legal situation and a possible interaction with the local
police when using a stand that triggers to much attention
that we needed to find a differnt way.
So we finally agreed that he will first only try to sell the
little fabric games in bars and cafs using the created business cards and booklets to explain better the brand concept
and to gain more attentiveness and acceptance from posible
The other possibility for a public intervention and testing
was organised with a friend of Dane, called Omar, who is
already selling bags. At the time the documentation was
handed in both public invention were still in progress so
that there are no photographs yet to show.



After four month of wide and deep research, a lot of
conversations with topic-related persons and various
collaborations that made this thesis project possible,
I finally can make a conclusion and give a future perspective for the project around the brand NuVolante.
The meetings and talk with the collaborating street
vendors, Dane, Jimmy and Omar showed me that my
idea to create a brand for street vendors would still
need a lot of afford to get actually realised. Probably
it would need a team of two or three engaged young
designers next to me to organise various collaborations with interested small manufactures and social
workshops all over Italy to bring up a real sustainable
business model for a street brand based on the distribution system of street vendors.
Why all over Italy? Since the vendors are not
just based in Bolzano, but have a rather normadic
life-style in order to make seasonal depending business, also the brand would need to adapt to this
attitude and create collaborations along the vendors'
travelling routes.

What gave me confidence for an undertaking

like I tried it with my socio-economical crossover experiment was the positive reactions of people hearing
about the idea and seeing my personal designed interpretation of the topic. Also the vendors I had been in
contact with were very interested, especially after the
first phase of natural scepticism was overcome.
Surely the most important factor for a continuation of the project would be a intensive dialogue with
local politicians and administrative decision makers.
They are in the end the persons who are able to simplify or even enable an undertaking like I have it in
mind with a real brand for street vendors. They can
give permits for more fixed locations to make business on the streets and de-criminalize the situation
which evolved around street trading as we can see it
in Venice, but also in Bolzano. When vendors do not
have to be concerned half of their time to look for
the next arriving police officer, they could use their
time to better communicate with possible clients or
settle a more sustainable business which in the long
term would probably also be more accepted or even
appreciated by tourists and local inhabitants.

My project showed also that collaborations with

local manufactures, like in my case the up-cycling
workshop AKRAT, are absolutely possible and even
appreciated to solve a part of their own problem, the
one of lacking visibility in the city centre. It gives
them an additional possibility of exhibiting and selling small items of their creation and at the same time
raises their social recognition for being engaged in a
integration project.

"Enabling people to make

autonomously business is the best
way of generating emancipation and
well being within a society."
I think, he was absolutely right and it is only now that
I fully understand what he could have had in mind.
Most of the immigrants coming to Italy are on their
search for work. Now one could say that their is not
enough work for everyone, which of course is totally
absurd as there is always something to do. It is just
that we, in the western world, are more and more
lacking of classical wagework, which has a lot of different reasons In this aspect the street vendor is in
my eyes a special case. He is searching for work, and
when not able to find something fitting to his skills, he
just creates work by him-self. It is rather a primitive
work, one could say, but at least they are improvising
and trying which is something I absolutely respect
them for.

Another interesting improvement, at least for

Hats off, and let's keep up improvising!
the political and administrative side, would be the fact
that those traders could probably also pay more taxes
and support the local economy by creating local jobs,
which most of the traditional companies can not say
about their future potentials.


A point that I hardly wrote about, but that I

thought about a lot, is the question of what kind of
customers such a street brand would attract. Probably
it would not be the same clients than before, but
rather persons with more awareness for their way of
consumption. These group of clients could be found,
for example, in young travelling tourists that are searching for a little present or souvenir to take home to
their beloved ones. They often, as my research in tourist forums showed, appreciate the contact or presents
of street vendors as an enrichment of the street life.
If now the vendors could better communicate through
a brand identity and means of visual communication
and at the same time offer products of higher (personal) value, they would probably have a good chance to
emerge as really respected and well seen autonomous
personalities of business.

The last and for me personally most interesting

aspect of my work is the approach to the question
of how the integration of foreigners is performed in
these days. Here I remember a sentence of my dear
friend and architect, Niket Dalal from India, who said:


Einer der wichtigsten theoretischemotionalen

Ausgangspunkte meiner Recherche und Arbeit.

Die ExpertInnen des Wandels leben

und arbeiten in Wissenschaft und Kunst.
Ihre Beitrge htten wir bitter ntig
in einer Zeit, in der sich die Umrisse der
Wissensgesellschaft erst herauszuschlen beginnen, in der unser Land vor
vielfltigen Problemen des Wandels,
etwa auf dem Arbeitsmarkt, steht. Doch
die Grenzen zwischen Politik und
Goehler fordert: Verflssigen wir sie,
damit mehr Bewegung in den
Wandel kommt!

Adrienne Goehler.
Verflssigungen. Wege und Umwege vom Sozialstaat zur Kulturgesellschaft.
Frankfurt: Campus, 2006.


Kultur sind wie eingefroren. Adrienne





Design Thesis
Free University of Bolzano
Faculty of Design and Art

All contents (if not noted Raphael V.M. Volkmer

Supervision Kris Krois
Sebastian Camerer

Typfaces Lino Letter

AkzidenzGrotesk BQ
Printing Printpool Free University of Bolzano
Binding Binding workshop Free University of Bolzano


Paper Munken Pure 150/m


Abel, Bas Van. Open Design Now: Why Design Cannot Remain Exclusive. Amsterdam: BIS, 2011.
Burckhardt, Lucius. Warum ist Landschaft schn?: Die Spaziergangswissenschaft:
Schmitz, Martin, 2006.
Burckhardt, Lucius. Wer plant die Planung?: Architektur, Politik und Mensch:
Schmitz, Martin, 2004.


Burckhardt, Lucius. Der kleinstmgliche Eingriff: Schmitz, Martin, 2013.

Dunne, Anthony, and Fiona Raby. Speculative Everything: Design, Fiction, and
Social Dreaming. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT, 2013.
Goehler, Adrienne. Verflssigungen. Wege und Umwege vom Sozialstaat zur Kulturgesellschaft. Frankfurt: Campus, 2006.
Melville, Herman. Bartleby, the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street. CreateSpace
Independent Publishing Platform, 2013.
Musil, Robert. The Man without Qualities. N.p.: Panther, 1968.
Scheppe, Wolfgang, and Angela Vettese. Migropolis: Venice, Atlas of a Global Situation. Vol. 2. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2009.
Thackara, John. Clean Growth: From Mindless Development to Design Mindfulness, Innovation. Aberdeen: The Robert Gordon University, 2009.
Warnier, C., D. Verbruggen/ Unfold, S. Ehmann, and R. Klanten.
Dinge Drucken Wie 3D-Drucken Das Design Verndert. Berlin: Die Gestalten
Verlag, 2014.
Comune Bozen, Provinz Sdtirol, Eurak: Immigration in Sdtirol Handbuch


John Tackara: Into the Open; Article for Open Design Now:
(date of visit: 24.05.2014)
Viola Caon: Europe's lost generation: how it feels to be young and struggling in the
EU; The Guardian, 29.01.2012:
(date of visit: 3.06.2014)
Nicholas DeMaria Harney: Migrant Productivities: Street vendors and the informal knowledge work in Naples; Anthropology/Sociology and History,
The University of Western Australia

Tamar Shafrir Thesis Looking at Objects, Masters in Contextual Design

Design Academy Eindhoven, 23 March 2012


Joseph S. DeLuca: Street Vendors in the Global City: Exploring Genoas Informal Economy; John Jay College of Criminal Justice, The Journal of Undergratuate
Ethnography, Volume 2, Issue 1


Manouchehr Shamsrizi: Wissen.Macht.Moral:
(date of visite: 12.06.2014)
Open Structures: Thomas Lommee at TEDxEutropolis:
(date of visite: 22.06.2014)
CM 2013: John Thackara Where Social & Living Systems Meet:
(date of visite: 2.05.2014)
John Thackara: Growing the Bio-City (Ljubljana, 28. May 2013):
(date of visite: 7.06.2014)
Utopie von Harald Welzer: Eine Welt ohne Wachstum:
(date of visite: 12.04.2014)
Harald Welzer: Stiftung Futur Zwei, Wir sind nicht nett:
(date of visite: 9.04.2014)
Das Wunder von Riace:
(date of visite: 28.04.2014)




If not otherwise indicated the used images where availabe under the creative commons licens
for non-commercial use or under the public domain and therefore free of known copyright restrictions.
Images under the wiki commons:
Page 40:
Images with indication of author:
Page 143:
Cameron Spencer (Getty Images)
Images without indication of author or licence holder:
Page 12:
Page 16:
Page: 38
Page 52109, 138, 139, 148, 149, 152, 184, 185
Scans taken from the book:
Scheppe, Wolfgang, and Angela Vettese. Migropolis: Venice, Atlas of a Global Situation. Vol. 2.
Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2009.
Page 132:
Page 133:
Page 142:
Page 143:
Page 172
Page 189:



First of all some thankful words to my supervisors and friends, Kris Krois and
Sebastian Camerer. Kris, thank you for mentoring me somehow silently
over the last years or at least showing me what design can also be when cleaning
it from selfishness and narcissism. Sebastian, thank you for all the long
critical talks concerning my Thesis and the trip to Hamburg. It was a honor for
me to have been taught by you two.
After four years of studying in Bolzano I met a lot of remarkable persons that
enriched my everday life and made me become more mature, but still allowed
me to be the person I am (not making me loose my enthusiasm and naivet).
To some of them I would like to devote some special thanks coming straight
from the heart.

Special acknowledgements to the supporters and collaborators from AKRAT:

Peter Prossliner, for showing me what entrepreneurial and personal courage can
look like and for all the deep discussions we had while working together.
Gerda and Marlen, for supporting me to realize the textil products
of my thesis project.


Thank you:
Afra Hackl, for always being 'BigMama' in the last four years.
Erik Ritzl, for all the late night philosophy and an open ear for my weird toughts.
Raphael Walser, Julius Stauber, Max Edelberg and Tim Illner for the best
company I could imagine.
Dirk and Irmgard, for being my parents and covering my back and supporting
me in everything I did, no matter how absurd it might seemed to you.


This thesis deals with the emerging field of Open Design

and traces the value framework associated with its underlying
ideas. It questions how Open Design might contribute to
change our crisis-torn western value system by pushing us
to set out for the destination Open Society.
Thereby the term 'Open Value' functions as an empty container that
gets filled with meanings to describe the leitmotif of my research.
To illustrate how one mosaic in this emerging world could look
like I finally created an open collaborative brand, called NuVolante.
Its aim is to connect the local economy (AKRAT) with the
distribution network of foreign (mainly Senegalese) street vendors,
to generate synergies, raising both social recognition and
visibility for locally produced objects of value.
The result is an active speculation in how such an alternative brand
could look like and how it could communicate. It is organized in
a way that every participant can engage with his skills, while obtaining
the maximum of selfautonomy.
The main partners in this project were the local social cooperative,
AKRAT, and two Senegalese street vendors, Dane and Omar.