A design that considers nationality to be the most precious social resource

Stefania Vulpi has designed a conceptual online system that allows a network of people to share their nationality and the social benefits that come with it.

Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Stefania Vulpi has designed a conceptual project, which adequately measures the global political climate regarding the widespread migration of refugees to Europe and the sense that nationality has increasingly become the world’s most precious social resource. This social shift is occurring because citizenship in the “right” country guarantees health care, education, safety, employment, and housing among others. 

Vulpi’s graduate project, “Universal Unconditional” (UNUN), allows a network of people across the world to temporarily swap their nationality with someone in need to guarantee that person the social benefits of citizenship.  The design considers a future where citizenship is flexible, temporary and transferrable.

“Today, people move around the world more than ever,” says Vulpi. “Our citizenship defines our status and rights in a foreign country, but it often can bring struggles and limitations in exercising the universal rights we all are entitled to.”

“Universal Unconditional” is designed to curb these limitations. The design is an online platform that connects global participants willing to give up their national identities for a limited time to other people in need. Users could also ask to borrow specific citizen rights to healthcare, asylum, or employment, depending on their needs.

The site would also offer services for people in need; bringing together professional citizens that can volunteer legal aid, translation or medical assistance.

Once the application for temporary citizenship is processed, the user receives an official letter containing a document stating your temporary status as what Vulpi describes as an “un:citizen” and a new page to embed in your passport.

Vulpi describes her designs as “working at the intersection between concepts, image, systems, and society”.

The project is conceptual, but it does question today’s status quo concerning citizenship and boundaries within the current system, especially in the face of the growing migration to Europe. 

Images via Stefania Vulpi.