People all over the world are invited to express their desires via a virtual platform and quiz at
People can create an avatar and see the city grow. Socialcities.org is also a think tank. Quizzes on a
variety of topics generate visual data maps, research, reflection and discussion.
The project is part of a broader research-and-do-program developed by Renny Ramakers
(Co-founder of Droog). The program examines the world’s city life starting from small scale to the
larger whole by acknowledging the passions and needs of people. Social City is the first exercise.
The average person intimately knows 50 people. These people probably met through a predestined
network – a network of people limited by nationality, income, school and work.
Next to this, the world is changing fast and it’s splintering. Mohammed in Africa probably has more
in common with David in the UK than he does with Ibrahim in his same-city friendship circle. Bringing
Mo and David together not only nurtures shared interests, but also individual diversity due to their
Everything has changed around us. We embrace internet, technology, social media, globalization.
Yet, the way cities are designed is surprisingly similar to 50 years ago. Cities do not keep up with this
fast-paced status quo and its fragmenting diversity of lifestyles.
Imagine cities built like matchmaking sites, connecting like-minded people with shared dreams and
desires. Imagine our social circles not being designed by top-down decision making, but by our
mutual passions. Imagine desires designing our cities.
The online platform Socialcities.org addresses all of this by using play and techno culture to capture
the dreams and desires of ordinary citizens. This makes for a city that understands changing global
culture, a city without borders, or rules or top-down planning.
Socialcities.org is an exercise in individuality and explores how countless identities can make up a
diverse whole. It is a think tank based on the desires and dreams of citizens. The world has changed,
now it’s time for the city.
Socialcities.org is created by Renny Ramakers (Droog / Design+Desires) and Mark van der Net
(OSCity) in collaboration with Thonik (design). It is part of the broader Social City project at Shenzhen
Urbanism/Architecture Bi-City Biennale (UABB, 1/12/2015 – 1/3/2016), curated by Renny Ramakers.
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