What is FIKA?

FIKA is a local web server that allows the sharing of information in a public or private setting. FIKA was named after the Swedish social gathering of sitting down to have a hot drink and eat biscuits together with friends. The concept for this project takes inspiration from this word and also from some of the ideas that relate to the slow design movement.

With the digital world having such a big focus that having results now and fast is better, this project proposes the creation of an infrastructure to share and organise information while allowing people to slow down and be more present in the moment of using it. This idea was developed by taking the principles of slow design as a starting point:

FIKA invites everyone to participate in the entire process, from the setup and installation to the creation and curation of content. With this close relation from the start, it is possible for people to fully understand where this platform comes from, how it works and how it’s made. The goal is to grab the attention of the person fully and give them time to contemplate on this new object that will be part of their life and in the end give them the satisfaction of completing such task.

This project intends to put people in the position and with the power of the designer. It offers the opportunity to customise the platform to their own needs. All can be achieved through collaborative work. This is a platform that provides the potential to be much more than what can be perceive on a first look. It can have many applications and it all depends on how one chooses to use it. Exploration is encourage.

how it works

FIKA is composed by an open-source web application that can be installed on a Raspberry Pi, so that it can be moved and installed practically anywhere. The small device can then be connected to any kind of display and a local wi-fi network is created and open to everyone. The system does not require a connection to the internet and any smartphone or computer can be used to connect to it.

This web application is composed by an editor mode – where one creates and organises all the content – and a preview mode – where all the changes on the editor can be seen. The platform offers a choice of different types of content – known as blocks – that can be previewed on the display. How they are displayed depends completely on how one chooses to organise them. Anyone can be the curator of the platform.

community engagement

By taking aspects from the DIY community as inspiration, FIKA hopes to engage a community into contributing to its growth. Similarly to how the content on it is a result of collaborative work, the platform itself can also be. Examples of the community’s involvement can be: