A collection space for my personal and professional works, as a portfolio, a curriculum vitae and as a personal record for myself.

CONTACT@JACKRICHARDSON.CO.UK JACKRICHARDSON.CO.UK JACKRICHARDSONARCHITECTURE

Couchsurfing Lincoln, UK

Outline

Since April 2014, I have been involved in the local Lincoln community of the popular international network of Couchsurfing. First introduced to Couchsurfing in Manchester in 2012, it was only after moving to Lincoln, UK, that I began to understand its potential benefits as a group in the local community, and volunteered my services.

For 4 years, I headed up the organisation of the local Couchsurfing Lincoln UK group and its regular weekly meeting. The meeting provides an opportunity for local residents in Lincoln, both natives and internationals, as well as visitors to the city to meet locally and informally and chat, share stories and experiences and plan weekend trips.

The organisation of the group required the design of logos and promotional material, as well as the regular maintenance of event calendars, profiles, and social media accounts.

Date

March 14, 2010

Context

Founded in 2003, Couchsurfing is an international platform which allows visitors to a city to meet and stay with locals by sending a personal request to local members or ‘hosts’ from their individual member profile. Couchsurfing is a platform with the ethos of the ‘gift economy’, and is based on the idea that people are generally kind. Unlike similar accommodation platforms such as AirBnb, hosts are not permitted to charge for their hosting. Instead guests or ‘surfers’ can offer to cook a meal, or pay a drink to return the favour of the accommodation. Sometimes a simple conversation is more than enough. The system works on a positive reference basis, in which members receive positive references as they host, stay and share with others. This creates original trust between members who have never met before.

Aside from its signature ‘hosting/ surfing’ function, Couchsurfing has expanded to include ‘events’, allowing members to organise events in the local community, and ‘hangouts’, a function that allows you to locate and meet other members in a local setting.

As such Couchsurfing has the ability to bring people together in a new way, which never formerly existed. For this reason, every large city around the world now has its own community of members. The community, aside from the obvious opportunity to meet and share with others while travelling, also works to break the isolation and loneliness felt by many in large cities, to provide greater ‘inclusion’ for all. Those who move to a new city for work can often feel isolated in a community which is not their own. The application allows anybody, regardless of nationality to meet together with local and others from outside, a make friendships without creating an isolated expat community which fights integration into the local population.

As a volunteer head of the community of Lincoln, I organised weekly socials, and weekend events for the local community. For each new event I produced the branding and promotional material, and updating social media websites to attract interest.

Gallery

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