The City of Remote Work

— A participatory investigation of the culture & future of remote work (March-June 2020)

Spring 2020 caught us divided in our studios in Sweden and Denmark unable to work in person. The situation we found ourselves and our peers in inspired us to develop a study on the culture & future of remote work through the lenses of speculative design and optimism.

We designed the fiction of “a new city of remote work”, and invited peers from all over the world to work online and build a virtual city together for an hour a week during two months.

Instead of focusing on tools or apps for modern remote workers, we developed a scenario that corresponded to virtual needs that challenge our modern society. We played with isolation, identity, richness, nature and sustainability to invent new spaces, rituals and healthy work habits.

The optimism in our method is not seen as a means in itself (the world cannot be only optimistic), but is used as a critical tool to provoke thought about how we would like the world to be.

Each week a new neighborhood of The City of Remote Work saw its light. By May 2020, the city consists of spaces for leisure, for learning, for commuting, for governance, for inspiration and for fun. All ideas were developed collaboratively, which proved that ideation and co-creation also can happen, and thrive, remotely.

The experience is documented in the movie below, depicting the process and its outcomes (first half is PERSONA talking, second half is the builders & tourists). Furthermore, the city is always open to visitors here, and sporadic building sessions will keep happening throughout 2020 (informed via our Telegram group).

The City of Remote Work - The Movie

We would like to thank all the builders contributing to this investigation so far.

Gokul Nair
Clara Llongarriu
Lars Christian Kraemmer
Natalia Santolaria
Marcus Bader
Viktor Lysell Smålänning
Rebecka Nilsson
Jenn Leung
Patrik Karlson 
Denise Thwaites
Thomas Romlov
Åsa Ohlsson
Mary Toreld
Albert Canigueral