RADICALZZ
PROJECTS



In our short history, we have started a couple of business projects and social initiatives. Some of them we do independently, some in a cooperation with other parties. 


As we want to show you how  our approach works in practice, below you can find a portfolio containing an overview of those activities.






RADICALZZ.STUDIO’S PORTFOLIO





                                   


How it all started



’Making the change for the future’ is a phrase that often causes strong emotions, such as curiosity and anticipation. But it is also frequent that people get confused: they do not understand the concept. 


Moreover, some would not even treat it serious, as to many the idea might sound like some sort of a trick, a charlatanry. After all, nobody can predict the future.






Background


To be honest, we agree with that last statement. However, we believe that future can be designed.



To do it properly, one has to go through a very complex process. The first stage is historical analysis: before we design the future, we need to know the past, be able to comb through various periods looking for reasons that triggered certain social and technological phenomena to appear. It is important at this stage to maintain critical thinking in order to take into account contextual differences.


The next task is to find patterns that govern the behaviour of societies and development of technology. For example, knowing that automatization of work caused by the Second Industrial Revolution caused a massive increase to the general speed of life we could expect something similar to happen in times of Industry 4.0, when robots, self-driving cars, and Artificial Intelligence take over many human activities.

It is also crucial to take a look into contemporary, to get a proper understanding of the current stage of technological development in a given area. This lets us assess the resources we could use to create solutions of present issues.


The last part is acquiring the knowledge of current social, technological, economical, and political trends. It allows us to identify certain points of friction between those areas and decide which of the ideas emerging from these interrelations seem to be the most plausible and beneficial.


The whole process corresponds to the principles of accelerationism: an idea that either the prevailing system of capitalism, or certain technosocial processes that have historically characterised it, should be expanded, repurposed, or accelerated in order to generate radical social change.




We want to convince the others to our point of view.


Challenge


Designing the future is a very responsible process as it applies not only to lives of several billion people but also different species, climate - in general, the whole natural system. Therefore, we need a proper, systemic and collective approach to problem solving. If we want to overcome the challenges posed by the 21st century, all of us need to take action. In order for this to happen, the awareness of dangers and their possible solutions must be spread.


Our mission is to share the knowledge about sustainable development, technologies and trends that could influence the times ahead in a positive way. We believe that this can be done through the popularization of certain tools, especially those that allow anybody to define problems, design solutions and create prototypes.


Therefore we created Futuro, a deck of cards allowing people to collectively design the future based on the principles of sustainable development.



Outcome








Futuro Cards are developed along with the methodology that allows creating solutions using resources provided by new technologies and responding to changing behaviors and trends.


The deck is divided into three segments:


Technology consists of state-of-the-art innovations that have already been applied practically along with a set of particularly promising prototypes.

Trends contain information about tendencies that govern contemporary time and those that will most likely shape the future of a given industry or community.

Sustainable Development Goals is a special set of 17 cards that describe all of Global Goals for Sustainable Development set by the United Nations in 2015. Those will help decision makers to set up a framework of sustainability and provide a set of ethical rules that every future maker should adhere to. 

The idea that involves playing cards in raising awareness about Sustainable Development Goals is already popular in Japan. 2030 SDGs Game is played by thousands during special events and the community increases rapidly, proving that when given tools, people will participate in shaping the future.


The cards are also our idea for an annual report. They are perfect for both small enterprises and big companies, designers, and enthusiasts that seek to understand the sustainable future better. All of the previous decks will be archived and made available to download and print for free once a new issue appears. 





How it all started


In April 2018, Radicalzz.studio joined a debate organized by one of the leading Polish newspapers - Rzeczpospolita, called ‘City - a Collective Responsibility’.


The discussion concerned the issue of participation of city inhabitants in urban development. The meeting involved representatives of city councils, architects, urban movements, and developers.
A month later, we were invited by the debate’s hosts to give a keynote about the future of education in urban areas during the Real Estate Impactor conference.


During the talk, we were convincing the audience that proper schooling, based on collectiveness, empathy, participation, and making, is crucial to building better cities. As a follow up to the speech, we have decided to conduct an experiment proving our point.

Background






When we think of the cities of future we might imagine a Sci-Fi environment, with flying, driverless cars, houses made of glass, convenient transport solutions and wide scope planning.


However, it seems that the data is not consistent with such visions. Cities are bothered by air and noise pollution, issues of waste management, uncontrolled gentrification, and a decline in social interaction.



That last fact is crucial to the process of shaping the future of urban areas.

Who else, if not the city inhabitants are more responsible for its development?
Still, a political scientist J. Eric Oliver’s suggested in his 2001 paper that political participation declines with the increase of urban area size.


Sociologist Richard Sennett believes it is caused by two main factors:


Broken geography:

creating structural divisions without obvious borders and distinctive places;

Creation of a system,

in which large companies occupy spaces and destroy communities;

Sociologist and philosopher Zygmunt Bauman believed that healthy cities need to embrace the diversity.

Gentrification often leads to the destruction of meaningful communities, instead offering a sterile environment without identity.

This causes people to get passive, inert and unwilling to cooperate and often even to interact with their neighbors.



Nevertheless, there is hope. Through the observation of current sociopolitical trends, we have noticed that in more and more cities the agency is passed from city officials to local communities. 


In Barcelona, a project called Fab City, revolving around the ideas of local, small scope and collective production of goods, is researched and tested in practice. Other example, El Alto, Bolivia is an 842,000 city in which the political power is divided into small neighbor communities called ‘vecinos’ that decide on local matters and participate in construction works.



Challenge







As we were trying to come up with the solutions for potential problems of future cities we decided that the best way we can instill responsibility in people is through proper education, starting from a very early period of life.


We decided to work with children because we believe that the current generation of kids, as the future decision-makers, should be taught to engage in collective work, to think critically and be able to look at problems from many perspectives.


We divided children into several teams and provided them with sets of tools asking them to come up with models depicting cities of the future which are either utopian or dystopian.



By that, we tried to prove that by providing children with means, agency and proper environment based on collectiveness, we will make them share their awareness of potential issues, define them and work on solutions together.



Outcome




The utopian models were focused on people and their well-being. Colors used by children were the ones commonly associated with nature - green and brown. The technology was designed to aid humans in everyday life. Kids came up with both far-reaching ideas, such as an anti-gravity sports pitch and those more plausible like depending city transport on renewable energy sources,‘becauseeverything here is ecological’, as Zosia, one of the participants, said.



Dystopian models, on the other hand, were covered in the smog and put in a shade of huge skyscrapers with logotypes of global companies. Although machines took many human responsibilities, they have also enslaved the people. Nature was destroyed, there were no parks or any other places dedicated to recreation.


The experiment showed that children are able to define the issues bothering the urban areas. They also know the direction in which the future should develop, proved by the implementation of renewable energy sources and general sustainable approach.


Moreover, the kids turned out to be optimistic about the future. Although they are aware of problems of waste management and air pollution, they also identify them as ‘temporary’.
They notice a surge of institutions dedicated to sustainability and expect more of them to appear. They also seem to prefer bikes over cars, as the latter ‘cause air pollution and destroy nature’, as Ola says.





It seems that, provided with proper tools and opportunities to make, kids could become our partners in the creation of urban spaces as they are both very imaginative and directly concerned with the future in which they will live.


This leads to a conclusion, that the education should be based on a paradigm that not only revolves around passing the knowledge but also gives agency and opportunities to solve problems through creativity.



Collaborators in this projects


Kaja Baszkiewicz 
Tomasz Żuchowski
Sylwia Ziemacka 
Akademia Retoryki
Rzeczpospolita
Skanska

How it all started 




It all started when our partner Cogito, invited us to start the project together. Our main goal was to raise awareness about the Maker Movement among kids.


We designed a series of extras for their magazines. It’s success overwhelmed us. We wanted to keep this interest, the only way to do it was by expanding the idea and create the ecosystem for it to prosper.



Background


Makers’ Movement is a contemporary subculture focused on making things and using open source to share ideas for new inventions and tinker with existing objects. 


Makers ask questions and think about how things are made. They take matters into their own hands, they are observers, explorers, creators, and inventors.




Principles of the movement are listed in the Makers’ Manifesto:



Make: Making is fundamental to what it means to be human. We must make, create, and express ourselves to feel whole. There is something unique about making physical things. These things are like little pieces of us and seem to embody portions of our souls.

Share: Sharing what you have made and what you know about making with others is the method by which a maker’s feeling of wholeness is achieved. You cannot make and not share.

Give: The act of making puts a small piece of you in the object. Giving that to someone else is like giving someone a small piece of yourself.

Learn: You must learn to make. You must always seek to learn more about your making. You may become a journeyman or master craftsman, but you will still learn, want to learn, and push yourself to learn new techniques, materials, and processes.

Tool Up: You must have access to the right tools for the project at hand. Invest in and develop local access to the tools you need to do the making you want to do.
Play: Be playful with what you are making, and you will be sur- prised, excited, and proud of what you discover.

Participate: Reach out to those around you who are discovering the joy of making.

Support:This is a movement, and it requires emotional, intellectual, financial, political, and institutional support. The best hope for improving the world is us, and we are responsible for making a better future.

Change: Embrace the change that will naturally occur as you go through your maker journey. Since making is fundamental to what it means to be human, you will become a more complete version of you as you make.


Until 2040, many of today’s jobs will be automated.


Moreover, according to the World Economic Forum estimations, 65% of today’s children will have jobs that don’t even exist at the moment. However, the public education systems in many countries did not significantly change since the times of the Second Industrial Revolution.

Contemporary schooling does not take into account the key abilities that would let children make their way into adulthood in a dynamically changing, tech-filled world.




What are those key abilities?



We should start with teaching children to think critically. This is especially crucial in times of information overload and fake news. Future adults should be able to distinguish between what can benefit them and what could cause harm.



Next, it is important that children know how to adapt quickly. We live in times of rapid social, environmental, economic, and technological changes that are already confusing many of us. If that process stays at the current pace, the world that today’s kids will live in will be completely different than the one they experience now.


Empathy and cooperation are intertwined with each other. Being open to different voices and working collectively to solve problems not only prevents us from leaving others out but also helps to brainstorm ideas that would otherwise never appear because of the constrictions that every human mind has.



This leads to another essential skill: problem solving. The core of today’s education focuses on passing knowledge in theory. Of course, schools organize practical workshops and similar activities although they are usually treated as supplementary activities. We believe they should be equal.




We should also nurture natural curiosity and imagination, so the kids can be allowed to explore new ideas and create real change in the future. To do that, they also need to become entrepreneurs, able to independently put their ideas into reality and sustain them. 



Challenge



We are all inhabiting one global village - the Earth. Therefore, issues that affect people in the other part of the world should be of our concern. We are ought to collectively solve growing issues, such as climate change, food waste, plastic pollution in the oceans, shortage of drinking water in developing countries. To do that, we must educate the youth properly, so they are both aware of these problems and have tools and skills that allow them to come up with solutions.


That is why we want to create awareness of the Makers’ Movement and encourage young people to create things by engaging them in the activity of collective making. In order to achieve that, we would like to create an environment, community, and tools that allow them to turn their ideas into physical objects.



However, those inventions should not be mere gadgets or toys. We need to focus children’s imagination to explore ideas that will be beneficial for them and general society. By spreading the knowledge of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals we provide them with a framework that allows to direct their output into the right direction.


Outcome













To achieve these goal we created Young Makers. We have taken a holistic approach to the project by independently doing research, building community through the use of social media and YouTube, providing tools, organizing workshops, initiating challenges, thus developing a whole environment for planting the seed of Makers’ approach. We have also designed and implemented the branding ourselves.



Before we started, we went through a stage of desk research that allowed us to get a grasp of knowledge about the Generation Z. We also thoroughly worked through different prognoses and reports about the future of job market. Afterwards, we have conducted a qualitative research by asking children themselves about their perception of education and ideas on how the future of schooling should look like.



We have designed a strategy to build a community around the Young Makers project. It includes a YouTube channel consisting of walkthrough videos, showing how you can possibly built devices with simple, easily available tools. In the near future, the children will also be able to upload photos, videos and descriptions of their inventions to the website, thus sharing their output.


For those, who feel rather preoccupied and would not be able to collect those instruments themselves, we developed simple sets of tools that allow beginning makers to build their first invention, thus opening the way for further development of their adventure with making. They will soon be available to order through Young Makers website which is in development.



Young Makers also includes semestral workshops that are divided into two age groups: 7-9 and 10-13. Groups have up to 15 participants in order to create a friendly, inclusive atmosphere. Workshops include practical activities (making) and mindfulness classes that teach children to concentrate and notice emotions. Errors are not stigmatized, we rather encourage kids to make them and draw conclusions. Students are provided with tools and learn basic rules of physics, architecture, electronics through practice. Overall mood of the workshops is inspired by the manner in which adult designer teams work, namely Design Thinking and Design Sprint methodologies. We also incidentally organize single workshop meetings in different cities.


Last but not least, we cooperate with companies in a subproject called Challenges. The idea is inspired by Designathons and lies in children coming up with solutions for challenges set up by a given company.  



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