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Within the context of questioning many artistic structures, Improbable Connections wants to revindicate the essential role of the structures of art training, dissemination and production. Without them, it would be difficult for artists and thinkers, who contribute great value to society in general and a project such as Improbable Connections in particular, to continue researching and experiencing other ways of conceiving and constructing the world.
Final results
Video-summary, January 2012
[3 minutes]
Poster-summary you can expand here.
Project Progress
September 2011, second methodology session
Fagor Electrodomésticos
Legal status: cooperative
Year founded: 1956 (Fagor Electrical Appliances) and 2011 (Bizinet)
Workers: 3,000 in Cooperative / 8,500 in Group
Turnover: 1400 milioi €

Ownership of results of the improbable project: Option D (the exploitation rights fall to Fagor, without added remuneration for the artist/social scientist in the event that the result is marketed; however, the medium- to long-term plan is that the device generated is disseminated under a Creative Commons license, but currently the option is to maintain it as the property of the Cooperative without any added compensation for the artist/thinker until the final design is consistent with the original aim of the promoters and can be implemented with sufficient guarantees).
Project co-financed by the Compite programme (SPRI | Basque Government)

Fagor Electrodomésticos + PKMN

Key words

Identity / Community / Experience / Communication / Action

Developped project: Cooper[activistas]

First action: Lo mejor de cada casa (The Best of Each House)

A community is a group of people sharing common interests and communicating with each other. (Melvin Webber, “Urban Place and the Non-Place Urban Realm”, 1964)

The company group Fagor Electrical Appliances has two communities with marked identities, one comprising its cooperative members and the other formed by its users. Cooper[activistas] aims to create communication platforms between both groups based on the common interest that unites them: domestic experiences. In this way, both will become consolidated in a single community that shares, develops and supports experiences about constructing a collective identity of the domestic.

The “Best of Each House” constitutes an initial prototype action to create this community. Users have written 500 stories linked to 46 identifying objects found in the homes of cooperative members through Fagor’s Facebook social network page, thus attracting 3,800 new users to the page.

[january 2012] Results: tangible and intangible consequences of the process

_ Development of theoretical basis for a new attitude to the current static situation of the cooperative: LA COOPER[ACTIVA].
_ Experimenting with ideas by action and attaining real conclusions, evaluation based on actual experience rather than theory.
_ Detecting communication and revitalisation strategies of the internal community (cooperative member), such as, for example, the “Missionary Effect”.
_ Some 50 new members joined the Cooper[activa].
_ The capacity for growth of the community of followers on social networks was tested.
_ Almost 4,000 new followers were attracted.
_ Fagor is starting to become a unique communicated community that shares experiences around a collective identity of the domestic.

[may 2011] Draft project presented by PKMN

PKMN proposes the creation of Domestic Commons, a community that shares, develops and supports experiences on constructing a collective identity of the domestic. Therefore, a platform linked to Creative Commons will be created in an attempt to activate the flow of information, tools and data to instil life to new cycles of domestic research into open access.

[january 2011] Research requested by Fagor

To develop channels/devices to help involve users of the products or services of the Fagor Cooperative Group at an international level in order to convert them into active agents and be a part of the Cooperative. 

The aim is to investigate how to bring out the essence of cooperative values (generating a return in local environments through the creation of employment) from an industrial area (local) to a commercial area (global). In other words, how to transfer cooperative values to a network of international sales points within a globalised world, implementing the participation of communities in the creation and development of cooperatives. It is about extending the philosophy of people as strategic focus, now present in the field of production, towards the area of consumption.

The aim is also that the interactions between individual/Cooperative workers (within the local area) and individual users of the Cooperative’s products/services (at a global level) are no longer one-way (local -> global) and become bidirectional (local <-> global).

Fagor Electrodomésticos

Fagor Electrical Appliances is part of the Mondragón Corporation, a group of cooperatives and companies originating in the Basque Country and currently extended throughout Spain and over five continents. The Mondragón Corporation is the first business group in the Basque Country and the seventh in Spain, as well as being the largest cooperative group in the world. In late 2009 it had 85,066 workers. Its headquarters are located in the city of Mondragón.

It was created in 1941 with the aim of working hard for the coexistence and development of formulas that would enable the creation of additional employment possibilities. The network was formed on the basis of a common culture deriving from the 10 Basic Cooperative Principles: Voluntary Membership, Democratic Organisation, Sovereignty of Work, Practical and Subordinate Nature of Capital, Participatory Management, Wage Solidarity, Intercooperation, Social Transformation, Universal Nature and Education.

This inspiring philosophy is complemented by the definition of four Corporate Values: cooperation, acting as owners and protagonists; participation, resulting in management commitment; social responsibility, through a fair distribution of wealth, and innovation, aimed at ongoing modernisation in all areas. 

Fagor Electrical Appliances is the consolidation of the first nascent cooperative founded in 1956 as part of the Mondragón cooperative experience.

Today, Fagor Electrodomésticos is Europe's fifth largest manufacturer, with a global market share of 5.2% (data from December 2009), and has 19 production plants in six countries on three continents.

The research is part of a series of recently created Living Labs (Bizinet) about people in the home. Its team includes employees of several companies from the Mondragón Corporation: Fagor Electrical Appliances, Fagor Hometek, Fagor Group Electrical Appliances' innovation centre, Ikerlan Research Centre and University of Mondragon (both the School of Engineering and Faculty of Business).

Year founded: 1956 (Fagor Electrical Appliances) and 2011 (Bizinet)
Workers: 3,000 in Cooperative / 8,500 in Group
Turnover: 1400 milioi €

PKMN [pacman]

Work areas: architecture, urban action, urban marketing, domestic environments

Rocío Pina and Carmelo Rodríguez (creator of the blog: are members and co-founders of the group PKMN [pac-man] and ETSAM architects. PKMN [pac-man] is an office and group of architects trained in Madrid in 2006 as an open group for the production and application of architectural and multidisciplinary thought, tools and projects, working on concepts such as the city, body, identity, marketing, communication and memory. They also develop urban action projects as part of the “City Creates City” initiative, with which they were pre-finalists at the X Biennial of Spanish Architecture and Urbanism (2009).

Rocío is 27 years old and Carmelo is 29 years old. They both reside mainly in Madrid.