Triggering a gift economy

University essay from Konstfack/Experience Design

Abstract:

What would happen if, the systems we deal with everyday, and the situations we find ourselves in, could trigger us to give something to someone else? This work started by exploring the theme of  money systems and social structures and the ambition to find alternatives for our current economic system, which has failed in several ways. People all over the world are already coming up with alternatives that can supplement and stabilize our money-monoculture and that give new meaning to currency.This research investigates a particular alternative economic system called the gift economy, which has great potential to build meaningful relations and re-establish a sense of  community. Since the gift economy has been mainly researched by anthropologists and ethnographers in the last century, my focus is on implementing its principles in society today. Through literature review, case studies and a series of  design projects, this thesis articulates possible ways of  triggering a gift economy. With a special coin, a concept for a bar and by linking the local bakery to Konstfack, we may start to understand what giving really means, how it can benefit us, in what way it can build more meaningful relationships and how it can offer an alternative way of  thinking than what currently drives our economic system

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