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DTW21: Reviving empty spaces


Hello! We are Antonina, Giulia, Oriol and Rosana!


SCOPE

When we were asked on “How might we help companies and organizations improve their strategies, products or services to achieve economic recovery from the impact of Covid-19?", we decided to focus on the field of tourism, one of the most affected by this pandemic.

IDEATION PHASE

Within this broad field, we focused on young recent tourism graduates. How could we help these people to easily find new job opportunities during or after the pandemic? We began by analyzing the situation of John, a recent graduate in the Tourism degree whose personal and professional objective is to work on what he has studied and to start creating working connections.

Observing the stakeholders around John we realized that the only way to find a solution that worked was to focus on the general situation and improve the tourism market. We created other personal profiles for a better understanding of the field, such as Marc, a hotel owner unable to continue his activity and struggling to find new ways to fill his hotel.

IDEA

Evaluating different ideas, we decided to create “Reviving Empty Spaces”, a platform that contributes to the local economic recovery creating connections with entrepreneurs and owners of spaces in disuse so they can keep on performing their activities while being limited by the restrictions of the pandemic.

Three user profiles will benefit from this platform: the owner of an empty space, the professional looking for a new workspace and the person who supervises and controls each space and collaboration according with the pandemic restrictions, or provides help when needed.

The working principle is very simple, when a user accesses the platform for the first time, they have to register as a space owner or space seeker. Accepting the restrictions of Covid-19 is mandatory, as well as following the established rules on insurance and security. Once registered, the details provided by both parts will help creating good matches and optimizing the connections. When there’s an interest on one of the parts, either the owner or the space seeker can contact each other to start a collaboration.

REFERENCES

We have several references on the market. Companies like Airbnb or Booking offer hotels and restaurants where customers can go to sleep or eat. Unlike them, this platform allows local clients to rent these spaces to carry out day-to-day tasks for a very affordable price that the owner of the space accepts before having the space empty, since the restrictions of the pandemic do not allow them to offer their usual services.

Peerspace is a company that rents all kind of spaces especially designed to carry out specific activities such as: photo studios, meeting rooms or gardens for parties. These activities can be the aim one of our users but unlike Peerspace, Reviving Empty Spaces puts a focus on spaces that were originally designed to be used for other purposes. This will serve as a survival method for restaurants or hotels that due to the Covid-19 crisis have no other source of income or are underusing their spaces due to the schedule restrictions. But also, to create a new network with people they hadn’t thought of, and find an opportunity to be creative about the way they project their business onto the changing market of the ‘New normal’.

LAUNCH VERSION

This first version of the platform, which will be used in web format or mobile application, will only allow the registration of privately owned spaces such as hotels or restaurants. Public spaces such as museums, theaters or airports are not included, since the legislation to use this type of space is more complicated and requires study time, time that people who depend on the tourism sector cannot wait.

In the beginning, the platform advisor (based on John’s persona) will definitely be needed more as users start to understand the system and need more trust and control from a platform they don’t know. But this might change in the future.

The focus should be on a local base. Small business owners are the ones struggling the most and also the ones with less visibility, especially to the eyes of people from other fields or areas.

To check our prototype on Figma


CONCLUSION AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE

It was an intense week and we had ups and downs. We specially struggled ideating with such a complicated topic in mind, also choosing one of the ideas to continue prototyping and staying on the initial challenge and initial persona we defined. We made mistakes and realized after the testing and the talks with the jury, so things had to be adapted and change a few times.

We know the final result is not perfect but we also wouldn’t have expected so, with such short time and in our first week. But we had the chance to meet each other better and to ‘wake up’ before diving into a longer and more specific challenge this semester.

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