Gentrify or Die. Skvoreshnik [The Birdhouse] is Veronika and Constantine, who are a family, young parents and a team of Ukrainian urban daredevils. Having launched Skvo in 2015 together with a crowd of volunteer associates in Trukhaniv Island — Kyiv’s (much wilder) version of the Central Park, they survived hundreds of awesome raves and gigs, as well as the criminal prosecution of Constantine for “illegal squatting” of the land, which was previously just a sandy damp. Now Skvo operates on a new land parcel officially assigned by the municipal council in Hydropark, Kyiv’s “recreational area” that comes “with its population included” according to Tripadvisor.
By a coincidence, this year Skvo opens on June 1 — Service Design Day 2019. Not by a coincidence SDN Chapter Ukraine decided to visit Skvo on May 25, a week before the opening and help the team to reinvent the space and its customer journey. The joint ideation will last for several hours and we hope to create practical recommendations, which Skvo team will have time to implement in a (little bit of) brick, mortar and (a lot of) recycled lumber before the grand opening.
The case of Skvoreshnik is important for Ukraine and for the service design consulting industry because it features grassroots public space co-created by its customers. It also illustrates an ongoing conflict of generations that currently consumes Ukraine, namely: post-Soviet vodka-banya-shashlyk lifestyle v. more conscious and wholesome options. And in Ukraine, no other place demonstrates this conflict better than Hydropark.