National Public Radio, NYC

February 19th, 2014

Listen to Alastair Parvin on ‘All Things Considered’ National Public Radio, NYC

Opendesk at the Centre national des arts plastiques, Paris

December 3rd, 2013

Thanks French National centre for visual arts, Paris, for acquiring our original Opendesk for your permanent collection! Initially designed by 00 for Mint Digital – whose London office 00 designed in 2011 – the desk has gone on to be the most popular of the range on our platform. For CNAP, the desk will be made by our friends at nouvelle fabrique in central Paris; part of our growing network of trusted makers – Opendesk’s distributed manufacturing model. Made from 4 sheets of standard 18mm plywood, the desk can be CNC cut in under an hour & put together in just a few more – with working space for 4 people, this really is lean startup territory.  Furnishing amongst many others the library at co-working space Hub Westminster, the office at young people’s place The Winch and the HQ of New York based cloud hosting site Digital Ocean – as well as over 3000 downloaders from around the world!

Get yours here


Open and Creative Citizens: System re-design #2 Spaces

October 15th, 2013

Networks of shared functioning spaces should be our inspiration for the future 

In the future communities that have built shared community spaces will thrive. Shared kitchens, gardens, workshops, make spaces, canteens, work spaces will become the success centre pieces of communities determined to be socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. And people love the idea of living in this way.

So what’s stopping us?

In the initial post on re-designing new infrastructures for Open and Creative Citizenship I mentioned changing 6 things:







This post will cover #3 — Learning, in a little more detail.

The UK is full of empty community spaces. There are some shining examples of community-led spaces – but in the larger landscape these are rare. We also need to move away from the community centre as a service delivery space – to a functioning network of spaces where citizens and professionals can co-design and co-produce initiatives that give us wider community outcomes through networked effects — such as increased health, learning, employment and safety.

#1 Create a network of funded, functional spaces

The neutral, empty shell space is no longer fit for purpose. As Open and Creative Citizens are showing us – active projects need functioning spaces and equipment. If we only have meeting rooms and event spaces – that is what we will get – meetings and events. Projects that are breathing life into communities are ones where people are growing, making, sharing, learning together – turning imaginative ideas into community projects and enterprises.

#2 Develop collective economics financial models

Room rental financial models are single-handedly killing the prospects of a vibrant local life everywhere you look. If community spaces continue to need to be economically sustainable – as single entities only – rather than being viewed as a whole-system tool, as catalysts for creating outcomes and value in the community – more and more will shut as cuts and the economic conditions work through the system.

While local governments continue to give spaces ‘to the community’ they are often just shifting the responsibility to cover overheads. What this misses is the great opportunity these spaces represent to really transform the local area. If every idea needs to be funded to cover room rental in a climate of decreasing funding we will not succeed in creating the necessary supportive infrastructure for Open and Creative Citizenship.

In Rotterdam a whole street has taken the initiative to rent a corner shop – The Living Room — each family pays €3 per month and enjoy the pleasures of sharing a space for community meals, taking care of each other’s children, having cups of tea with local police.

But we also pay taxes – and these functioning spaces could become the funded centre of generating the collaborative social outcomes between government and citizens we need.

We charge old age pensioners room rental for the smallest activity — and at the same time worry about their isolation and accompanying health effects.

#3 Facilitating projects and activities

Behind every successful innovative space are a group of social pioneers — people that help to develop the spaces as platforms for people to bring their ideas and time. Take Hackermoms in Berkley for example – a mother toddler group of the present — not the future.

Projects are powerful catalysts for drawing people together – and once people are connected spaces take on a life of their own. It’s the most natural and exciting of social phenomenon – people work together when they know and like each other. Researchers in one study showed that people who spend time together in the space have a 57% greater chance of collaborating. What could that mean for all our young people currently unemployed who need to start making up their own jobs?


- TB

All photos by Tessy Britton

Wikihouse at NYC Maker Faire

October 2nd, 2013

A couple of weeks ago Nick, Alastair, Sarah and Joni from 00 flew across to Queens in New York to build a WikiHouse for World Maker Faire 2013.  It was a project cut by Shop Bot and sponsored and co-built with SketchUp and friends. With one of the best amateur construction teams we’ve ever worked with, we put 1150 pieces together to construct the chassis of a double house in 16 hours.

See a timelapse of our Wikihouse Maker Faire build here.

There were 175 CNC sheets, which took Shop Bot two weeks to cut. There were some crazy times towards the end of the pre-build when Alastair was altering the SketchUp model in the UK, whilst Nick simultaneously updated files in Greece, whilst Bill in Shop Bot loaded the plywood onto the CNC table.

This project was the biggest WikiHouse we have made so far. It was a great opportunity for us to test our newest WikiHouse system. There was a lot of learning during the build itself, and we have already been making changes to the system to “Design for mistakes. Try to design components which either make it impossible for the assembler to get it wrong or are designed in such a way that it doesn’t matter if they do” (WikiHouse’s design principle number 10).

See a timelapse of our Wikihouse Maker Faire build here.

- SG

Do our local systems need a complete overhaul to enable Open and Creative Citizenship?

September 25th, 2013

Over time, and despite our collective best intentions, the patchwork design of small procedures and systems have created a tightly bound mass of regulation, methods, myths and expectations which is frustrating creative citizenship. We have lost all sense of what continually making small changes might have on the system as a whole and how it influences human behaviour. We keep making small changes, when in fact we need to go back to the drawing board and start again.

When you talk to citizens about system change they understand straight away what you are talking about – and so do many professionals. It’s not a high level concept to anyone who has tried to work through existing systems to do anything creative or interesting at local level.

But it seems like a huge challenge, almost impossible, to overhaul the whole thing at once. It calls for a careful, iterative, prototyping and learning process of re-design. A civic change process that will only happen through a great deal of political determination — and even more difficult — collaboration.

We have talked to thousands of people around the UK: citizens, local government, professionals and businesses, and from these conversations we believe that 6 things need to be re-designed – together – in order to create a new type of ecosystem where the systemic interactions enable citizens and government to work together much more effectively to achieve social outcomes.


Citizens and government staff need to change the working relationship from consumer/supplier to co-builders.

Redesign: The processes to bring people together to design strategically, new formats to blend knowledge and co-produce/facilitate outcomes.


Local, funded spaces need to become functional for collaborative activities, working & projects — not just for meetings & functions.

Re-design: How slack space is re-used. Develop network of function-specific spaces — workshops, kitchens, gardens. Design and test new economic models to replace room rental.


Social and organisational networks need to be re-shaped to increase effective, strategic collaboration and to reduce fragmentation and competition — a result of long-term top-down granting initiatives to stimulate activity.

Re-design: Methods to surface and connect ideas, skills, knowledge and time. Co-design the mechanisms to support the new emerging social infrastructures.


New collaborative practices need to be learned — with both citizens and council testing how new structures need to work together. ‘Collaborative capacity building’ should be across the board — for both citizens and professionsals — directed at learning creative processes, social design and civic entrepreneurship— rather than to navigate existing bureaucratic processes.

Re-design: Structures, methods and measured outcomes that switches to a culture of collaborative action research, co-analysis, learning and sharing.


The pathways that money gets invested needs to adapt and incorporate new ways to achieve impact — including investing in understanding network effects using causal inference models.

Re-design: Aim to create whole community investment readiness – rather than single-entity grant readiness. Design new accountability processes and impact measurements. Fund infrastructures that create the conditions for stimulating impactful and constructive activity.


Government processes need to be re-designed individually to facilitate citizens and council staff collaborating, making use of new technologies and data.

Re-design: Single elements of procedures and how they work in combination through working with them on project mini-labs.


We are working on a number of projects which look are how these different elements can be re-designed – Are you working on changing any of these elements in your work – and would you like to join this conversation about what is working – and what isn’t?

To be con’td…


- TB


00 celebrates with a 00 cake

September 24th, 2013

With all the excitement this past month from new members joining 00, including long time partners Social Spaces and James Arthur, new babies on the way, and a surprise wedding to top it off – it’s been a busy over here!

The only way to properly celebrate was with a cake with all our faces on it. Delicious.

- DS

Detail photos of Global Platform Denmark

September 20th, 2013

Update: detail photos of the interior and exterior fit out of the new Global Platform at Action Aid.

00 developed the designs, as well as supporting ActionAid in the co-build refurbishment of their Global Platform in Copenhagen. Within a tight budget of £30k and 6-week timeframe, the building was refurbished by young people (16-30 years) with previously limited construction skills.

Greenhouse style meeting room with OpenDesk furniture (cafe table) and writable glass walls.

Bespoke project desks for private working or Skype calls.

Platform seating made from recycled milk crates.

Top floor cafe and community area.

One of the classroom / learning / presentation spaces with moveable whiteboard, a pallet stage and alphabet chairs.

Outdoor greenspace and greenhouse meeting room.

Pallet garden for flexible outdoor seating and presentation space.

Global Platform Denmark is a community of 13 organisations, academics and social entrepreneurs, who collaborate on creating activities, which engender global sustainability and democratic participation, and fight poverty and injustice.

All photos by Lynton Pepper.

- DS

Invitation to the Public Service Launchpad

September 16th, 2013

Hub Launchpad has teamed up with FutureGov to deliver the Public Service Launchpad, a new programme to help passionate people who work in all kinds of public services (whether local government, housing associations, charities or other) to develop ideas to fix the problems that matter.

We would like to invite you to our launch event at 6pm on Thursday 19th September to get inspired, meet the team and find out more. Sign up for your place here:

The Public Service Launchpad is an exciting programme to supercharge innovation in public services. The Launchpad will help turn early stage ideas into successful change initiatives and maybe even businesses that can change lives, by giving public service innovators access to the support they need to get their ideas off the ground. The programme is hosted at  Hub Westminster, a collaborative workplace for social and ethical start-ups. Participants will also get to work together with the other people on the programme from across the UK to share ideas and collaborate.

The first part of the programme is the Scholarship and it is now open for for applications. To find out more please visit:

Hub Launchpad is an initiative of Impact Hub Westminster together with The Long Run Venture, the Birmingham-based Accord Housing Association, and 00:/. We are proud to have raised £4 million pound in social investment for Hub Launchpad, including nearly £1.5 million from the Cabinet Office’s Social Incubator Fund.

With Hub Launchpad we’re building an accelerator for open ventures: open-source in ethos, radically transparent in behavior and openly inviting active participation from across society. Read more about our approach to Open here.

Follow Hub Launchpad on twitter @hublaunchpad


OpenDesk download #5,000!

September 10th, 2013

OpenDesk download #5000 today! Over 150k visitors & 1,000,000 page views now since we launched last month.

Beautifully designed open source furniture — download and print it yourself or have it made for you by a local maker.



Global Platform Denmark launch

September 4th, 2013

From London to Denmark, 00 has teamed up with former team member Tim Ahrensbach (now at Action Aid) to design and build Global Platform Denmark – Denmark’s new centre for global citizenship and education.

Global Platforms is a worldwide network of training hubs for empowerment and activism, providing innovative trainings and capacity building for organisations and young individuals who wish to take positive action in their societies. 00 developed the designs, as well as supporting ActionAid in the co-build refurbishment of their Global Platform in Copenhagen. Within a tight budget of £30k and 6-week timeframe, the building was refurbished by young people (16-30 years) with previously limited construction skills.

If anyone is in Copenhagen this September, we invite them to come to the launch of Global Platform Denmark on September 6th at 15:00, where you will get the opportunity to see the space and get an insight into the activities and organistions that are housed here. The day will offer a plethora of workshops, drinks, good music, networking and light refreshments.

Global Platform Denmark is a community of 13 organisations, academics and social entrepreneurs, who collaborate on creating activities, which engender global sustainability and democratic participation, and fight poverty and injustice.


- SH & DS