The process of developing Duved, a small village in the North-West of Sweden, is based on generating a new relevance for the aesthetic and for design. This is done in many ways. The development is based on a participatory and inclusive process, starting in local and global needs and letting ideas from locals be processed by top creatives to generate prototypes to be tested in Duved - with a possibility to be implemented elsewhere.
The process has started through what is called "village meetings", where around 20-30% of the citizens have been participating in meetings where they have been able to come up with ideas of how the village should be developed, i.e. participating in creating a vision for the future of the village. These ideas have thereafter been given to high-end creatives in order to achieve results that no one could have foreseen. The process will continue using the Democracy Tool - a digital solution that will be integrated into the innovation process to enhance the citizen's possibility to have an increased influence on the development of their local community. Through the Democracy Tool, the workshops – Village Meetings – will be transformed into a continuous and constantly ongoing village meeting, where ideas are connected to coordinates on the map and shown as actual possibilities in the village. Both ideas and needs are placed on the map, but they are also tagged with a time stamp, with both time of day and time of year, as different geographical positions need very different things depending on whether there are two meters of snow outside or if it is blazing hot summer. The tool will provide an overview and aggregation of what ideas this society wants to implement in different areas, such as energy, housing, food production, transportation, etc. We will be able to see what groups in society need and how the space of Duved can be used differently and efficiently, not the least, by adding the aspect of time and the aspect of the season.
In today’s society, it is no longer cities that have the potential to be the innovation engine for societal development, as back in the industrial era. On the contrary, today, the village – with its tradition of sharing and cooperation – can generate solutions to address the challenges that the world so badly needs. This is a need on both a local and a global scale – and addresses a new possibility: the fusion between a return to handicraft through digital efficiency as well as that of an updated democratic model. With the current world situation, it is apparent that the world needs to update democracy and strengthen local production.