Greetings, we are Village One!

a somewhat utopian design + tech cooperative

What we do: Purpose­­ful digital products and infra­structure, created with joy and integrity

It takes a village: We are a multidisciplinary team of designers, developers and strategists, combining our skills to create excellent digital products and infrastructure. We marry delight with function, for ourselves and for hire! Let’s team up!

Building better online spaces: We amplify humanity through design and technology, adhering to ethical design and calm tech principles. At the same time we’re no solutionists—human problems can rarely be solved by technology alone.

Hell yeah or nope: We value people and planet over profit, so we only accept projects and clients we believe in—genuine enthusiasm leads to the best work after all (consequently we also maintain a blocklist of industries we consider harmful and exploitative).

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Actions speak louder than words! Some of our projects:

Publix

PUBLIX

Digital infrastructure to support independent thinking

PUBLIX is a new home for all those who practice journalism, shape the public debate and thereby strengthen democracy. We are developing the visual presentation and digital infrastructure of the space.

MyCountryTalks

My Country Talks

Help societies connect over the issues that divide them

The software platform My Country Talks connects people all over the world to discuss the issues that divide them, and the issues that unite them. The scientifically proven methodology can reduce polarization and builds empathy through the power of dialogue.

TypeMates

HvD Fonts + TypeMates

Empowering independent type foundries

We’re working with type foundries HvD Fonts and TypeMates on their custom web shops and websites—to present their typefaces in the best possible light, but also to establish a stable revenue channel they have full control over.

Need help with a website, webapp or digital infrastructure? Drop us an email and we’ll take it from there!

We don’t bite

How we do it: Up­grading work for the know­­ledge age

We are thinkers and tinkerers: We question established practices and put new ideas to the test. Being a fully distributed team, embracing asynchronous communication, running on a 4-day work week, continuously adapting our practices towards a more equitable work environment.

An island of sanity: Creative work needs focus and time to blossom, not fake urgency or hustle culture—therefore we enable deep work through calm workflows, combined with flexibility regarding work times and location, real autonomy and self-organization.

Keeping it non-professional: Exploratory attitude with a beginner’s mindset, humble yet daring, surprising, curious and joyful. We show up with our whole selves, forming one team across organisational boundaries.

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Digital Garden: Our wiki, manual and or­ga­ni­za­tional brain

Join our team: Digital product designer

At our cooperative Village One we design and build digital products + infrastructure: Designers, developers and researchers working together in one team on purposeful projects with nice clients. Are you a digital product designer? Apply to join us!

What’s in the name Village One?

When looking for a name for our cooperative endeavour, we wanted something democratic + non-hierarchical, where people meet as equals and form a community. In this article, we share how we found our company name, and the idea behind it.

Clients wishlist / blocklist

In the past we’ve worked on projects and with clients of all shapes and sizes—big and small, German and international, for-profit and non-profit. Whatever it is: These are the projects where you grow and deliver your best work. With Village One we want to do more of those projects, as well as being very up-front about our red lines.

What the heck is a cooperative?

A cooperative is a type of company that is collectively owned and democratically governed. There are many ways this can look in practice, but the simplest form is a worker co-op where all the employees of a company own their organization together and apply some form of workplace democracy to make decisions.

Why is Village One a cooperative?

When we got serious about founding Village One we didn’t yet know that it would become a cooperative. Rather we conceptualized what our ideal company would look like, based on the tensions we had felt in previous employments and what inspired us in other organizations.

Resources about cooperatives

Curious about co-ops, worker ownership and the solidarity economy? Good news, you’ve come to the right place! On this page we collect all the links, books and videos we find noteworthy, along with a list of other co-ops in the design/tech field!

We use our digital garden to document processes, values, organizational knowledge, newsletters and everything in between. You can delve into the ever-growing patch right here:

Visit the garden

Want to talk to the owner? Sure, which one?

Dorothée Schwartzmann
Dorothée Schwartzmann (she/her), Strategy
Harry Keller
Harry Keller (he/him), Frontend Development
Christoph Rauscher
Christoph Rauscher (he/him), Design
Zhuo-Fei Hui
Zhuo-Fei Hui (she/her), Backend Development
Designer with a focus on design systems?
Software engineer?
Digital strategist?
Copywriter?
Type designer?
Psychologist?
Product owner?
Newcomer trying to break into tech?

Over time we’re aiming to build a team of roughly 12 people, allowing us to tackle multiple projects while preserving the personal connection between members. We’re not actively hiring for all these positions right now, but it’s always good to meet new people.

Say hello?

Why we’re here: Transcending capitalism by demo­cratizing work

Cooperatively owned, democratically governed: Village One is an open-ended experiment on how to run a sustainable business for the common good—we aim to explore new economic paradigms and to empower our members, partners and network.

Everything we do is community-driven: Recognizing that we stand on the shoulders of giants, we value cooperation over competition, give back and practice radical transparency—so that others can learn from our experiences, regardless if success or mishap. We’re stronger together!

Many villages instead of a big city: We are a deliberately small and nimble organization, operating with minimal overhead and maximum character. Instead of perpetual growth our vision is to scale by replication, forming a network of aligned co-ops over time.

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We just got started: Follow our jour­ney

The Villager’s Dispatch

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Say hello!

Got a project to team up on? Want to join us? Simply have a thought? Whatever it is…

We’re all ears

Follow us!

Find us on Twitter under @VillageOneCoop for inspiration and updates!

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