The Embassy of Sustensistan

For the 2009 COP15 World Conference on sustainability and global warming, Cultura21 Nordic designed The Embassy of Sustensistan.

It was a simple concept, directed by a few questions we had in mind: what did the citizens on the outskirts of the city know about the global warming and sustainability? How did they imagine a sustainable world to be like and how would they create it?

With those questions The Embassy of Sustensistan was born A tool for research, urban planning, citizens empowerment and more.

Screenshot 2013-11-05 13.57.17This is how we did it:
We redesigned an old camper from the 1980s. It now had a four people cinema in the back. (See the poster for movies and artists from EU and US) and two active spaces. One for discussions and one for drawing and idea development.

The embassy also had a collection of the municipality’s information on procedures and contact information for citizens who was interested in contributing to change, and everyone who applied for citizenship in Sustensistanreceived an ID documenting their membership of the world’s first virtual sustainable country.

The result was a priceless amount of material documenting citizens’ dreams, ideas, visions, needs, suggestions and understanding of their local community, neighborhood and the present culture, architecture and functionality of it. The knowledge gained benefitted both local urban planners and social workers, the municipality of Copenhagen, local businesses and others.

The vision now
To develop The Embassy of Sustensistan into a proper tool for the above mentioned groups to benefit from it in their design process. However, change doesn’t come from implementation only, it comes from an understanding of how to use the implemented and seeing the need for it. Therefor it is a wish to useThe Embassy of Sustensistan as a mutually favorable narrative tool for both designers and people.

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Kajsa Li Paludan

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