Chapter 13. Mapping the Landscape of Sharing and Cooperativism for Design Research and Practice

By Özge Subaşı | Anton Fedosov | Oliver Bates

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Published: 19 Oct 2021

© 2021 Özge Subaşı | Anton Fedosov | Oliver Bates


Emerging studies of local cooperatives, their sharing practices, and the use of platforms for cooperation call for specific designs and design guidelines to support the endurance and growth of a community-oriented collaborative economy. These efforts also indicate that design has the potential to shape cooperative engagements. However, to-date, only a few design resources are tailored for exploring and further developing design insights from empirical and conceptual research on sharing and cooperativism. To bridge this gap, we report on an international workshop that included a diverse group of scholars, designers, and activists. During the workshop, we aimed to unpack the role of design regarding sharing and cooperativism. Through the synthesis of workshop outcomes, we present new insights pointing towards the development of an ecosystemic approach in design for cooperativism. We call on designers to (1) proactively adopt design goals that focus on ecosystemic design and tools; (2) be inclusive, equitable, and justice-oriented to ensure solidarity and collectivism; and (3) rethink terms such as currency and data while designing for cooperativism in their projects. In this chapter, we conceptualise and discuss the key ideas from the workshop highlighting potential implications for design research and practice.