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Operational Design
Visual Design
Strategic Design

Value Collective is a collective support structure for intrinsically motivated people to develop non-financial economic projects and ideas.

Value Collective first emerged from The Office of Rules and Norms’s 2020 seminar on the housing crisis, where it was brought to life through a fictional news article. In the summer of 2021 a collective came together to host a 5-day event series at la Cité-des-Hospitalières, the former convent located at the foot of Mount Royal. The intention was to test the concept, invite a wider audience into the process, and kick off a new phase of iterative and collaborative development with friends and interested community members from around the city. Following a successful week of events at a repurposed convent, Value Collective was brought on by research institute, The Next-Generation Cities Institute (NGCI), and was awarded incubation funding through an innovation challenge, the Canada MOrtgage and Housing Corporation’s Housing Supply Challenge. While round 1 of the Housing supply challenge funded us, the development crew had just six months to develop a robust proposal for round 2. Our final proposal involved establishing a living lab for new economic knowledge and practice. In August, our team learned that our proposal was not selected for round 2. Past this point, Value Collective moved away from the institutional language of a living lab with programs, and instead assumed a more informal character as a network of value-driven workers, each operating autonomously and engaging in mutual aid.

VC established a workspace as an occupant of la Cité-des-Hospitalières (CdH) in Montreal’s Milton-Parc neighbourhood. VC entered the Novitiate Room at CdH in March 2022, alongside the civic innovation group Montréal en commun (MeC). Together, we furnished the room and adjacent spaces, creating a common work environment equipped with furniture, books, tools, printers, monitors, projectors, art-making materials, food and kitchenware. VC residents have used the Novitiate for meetings and individual work, workshops and classes, presentations and press conferences, celebrations and moments of relaxation.

The Residency Program aims to support and promote value-driven work as an essential economic practice by providing value-driven workers with the resources they need. These shared resources, referred to as the VC Commons, are provided for free and include tangible assets such as space and equipment, as well as intangible assets like community and legitimacy. Instead of simply finding funds for these initiatives (which we consider a short-term solution that perpetuates the precarity of non-market work), the Residency Program proposes to reduce the need for funding by commoning resources and reinforcing gift economies. Throughout 2023, VC brought in members of multidisciplinary arts projects, NGOs providing direct support to the local unhoused community, Pan-canadian movements mobilizing in solidarity with indigenous led resistance, dance and therapy sessions, and more!

Creative Currencies
The Creative Currencies Program aims to encourage creative experimentation with alter-economic thinking and practice. Our first foray into this interdisciplinary field of design and economics involved ample research into timebanking and the production of prototypes to stimulate discussion and draw the interest of potential collaborators. VC aspires to use creative currencies as an intervention that can both tangibly benefit people and expose them to different ways of thinking about money and economy.

The aim of VC Research is to simultaneously support the development of alter-economic models and promote systems that decenter money. Incorporating both source-based and participatory research, VCDC aspires to base its designs on formal knowledge and lived experience. A growing body within academia is challenging fundamental economic principles and proposing regenerative ways of coordinating in their place.VCDC hopes to support this movement.

The aim of VC Outreach and Education is to provoke culture change by empowering a collective response to current economic conditions. After several years of research and reflections on the connection between financial systems, urbanism, motivational psychology and design, members of VCDC began receiving requests to publish essays, present at public events, give workshops and collaborate with like-minded groups. The following speaks to our efforts to meet this community-brought need for conversation, reflection and pedagogical experimentation.

Impacts : Throughout the last years
- Brought in 10 residents, representing approximately 17 individuals as well as their networks
- Established a growing network of over 30 interconnected initiatives
- Saved residents over $9,000 in rental costs
- Facilitated 13 events including public workshops, art shows, community gatherings, meetings, seminars, a press conference and dance events
- Hosted over 450 guests in our spaces at CdH and 2105 Sainte-Catherine
- Designed and hosted 4 workshops inviting discussion around alter-economies and the development of Value Collective
- Gathered 140 subscribers to VC’s newsletter