Experiments

To consciously yet radically transform the society, we need to engage with two sides of any conscious change: imagination and experimentation. Click the arrows below to read about our Experiment Attractor programme and some of our members’ experiment projects and ideas in progress.

Four-day Work Week

Autonomy, an Untitled member, is co-running the world’s biggest four-day work week trial to date. In June 2022 more than 3,300 workers at 70 UK companies began a trial of a four-day week with no loss of pay, including businesses ranging from a local fish and chip shop, to large financial firms, telecomms companies and a brewery. Running for 6 months, Autonomy will be co-ordinating the trial, along with 4 Day Week Global, the 4 Day Week campaign, and researchers researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

The trial is based on the 100:80:100 model – 100% of pay for 80% of the time, in exchange for a commitment to maintain 100% productivity. Researchers will be analysing how employees respond to having an extra day off, in terms of stress and burnout, job and life satisfaction, health, sleep, energy use, travel and many other aspects of life.

Photo: Kai Bossom

Trees as Infrastructure

Trees As Infrastructure (TreesAI) is a financial platform to value and invest in nature beyond carbon. Developed by Dark Matter Laboratories, it establishes trees and nature as a critical part of urban infrastructure, alongside bridges, roads and rail. TreesAI technology is open source. Glasgow City Council has partnered with TreesAI to launch its first pilot, helping to meet the city’s climate targets. Trees as Infrastructure joined the first cohort of Untitled Experiment Attractor in 2021 and has received funding for example from EIT Climate-KIC and Google.org

Biodiversity Building

Biodiversity Building

The Biodiversity Building is a brand new concept for a wooden apartment building. The building, which promotes biodiversity and absorbs carbon, is being developed by the Y-Foundation and Planetary Architects. The Biodiversity Building project strives to investigate how the technical, spatial and social solutions of a wooden apartment building could be used to protect biodiversity and reduce the carbon footprint from housing. Once completed, the purpose of the Biodiversity Building is to promote biodiversity through its structures, use of the ground and use of the roof level. For the tenants, the building will provide the opportunity to lead a low-carbon lifestyle and grow their own food as part of apartment living. The Biodiversity Building participated in the first Untitled Experiment Attractor in 2021. The first building is aimed to be built by 2025. Y-Foundation is now looking for plots in Helsinki, Finland as well as funding. If interested, please contact Inari Virkkala, Y-Säätiö / Y-Foundation.

Civic Spaces

civic spaces

We need infrastructures of imagination on an urban scale. The long political crisis we are living through makes a good case for the need to reimagine and expand opportunities for participation in collective life. Yet this crisis can hardly be solved by adding more top-down-participation or by only trying to renew electoral systems, unless the very infrastructures of democracy and imagination are rebuilt. The answer might lie in moulding public spaces into civic spaces: spaces that help create a sense of agency, empower people, explore how to release civic capital and also add a spirit of experimentation and play into the urban experience. Civic Spaces is an experiment led by Gabriella Gómez-Mont of Experimentalista. The concept has been validated in Mexico City over several years and applications, and is looking for places to further experiment and implement learnings through planning and operations of urban space.

Climate Democracy

The Climate Democracy Model is Democratic Society’s holistic view of what we need to mitigate climate change and build climate resilience in cities and regions in a democratic way. It consists of practical, interconnected tools for a city or region to assess and analyse its progress towards climate resilience through democratic means.

The Model makes us think about and commit to steps we can take towards climate resilience, democratically. Focusing only on expert-led, technical ‘solutions’ towards climate action that lack deep democratic support inevitably fail to build popular consent, and open the way for those who for whatever reason oppose necessary action. Access the model and the tools >>

The Free House

The Free House project by Dark Matter Labs is a speculative, experimental idea for a new tenure model for housing; combining the concepts of stewardship, perpetual bond finance and zero-carbon construction. The project is aimed to build a single prototype house as a demonstrator of this new reality, with the home itself being represented as a digital autonomous organisation and held by a civic trust.

The overall aim is to create a new housing market for high quality, zero carbon homes that become cheaper over time. If successful, this housing model could create a new template for public housing provision – one that’s both genuinely affordable, materially circular, and civically governed.

Dark Matter Labs is looking for partners, funders, policy makers, legal experts and designers to help make this prototype house a reality; building a real world example within the next 2-3 years.

Cab Shelters 2.0

Untitled member Autonomy, an independent research organisation focused on the future of work, is experimenting with cab shelters 2.0: For 150 years, cab shelters have provided a place of rest for London’s cab drivers. The streets are seeing new roaming workers like delivery drivers. Cab shelters 2.0 aim to bring comfort and services to these new users.

Photo: Traditional Cabmen Shelter in London, Diamond Geezer, Creative Commons

Experiment Attractor

Experiment Attractor, led by Emergence Room and Untitled, is a programme to support transformative ideas through movement building, experimentation and development of their narrative. It is for organisations, teams and intrapreneurs who have new concepts that aim to transform institutions as we know them. For such ideas “concept development” or finding “a product-market fit” is not enough. We have run an Attractor in 2021 and 2022. Contact us if you are interested in joining, contributing to or funding the Experiment Attractor.

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