Block by Block
Vu Bui and Pontus Westerberg
Block by Block
Partnership between Mojang and UN-Habitat
Block by Block is a charity set up in 2012 by Mojang to support the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)’s work with public space and Minecraft. The purpose of Block by Block is to raise funds for the improvement of public spaces worldwide, with a focus on poor communities in developing countries.
|James Delaney||Chairman (London, United Kingdom)|
|Vu Bui||President (Stockholm, Sweden)||@vubui|
|Celine d’Cruz||Vice President (Beijing, China)||@celine_dcruz|
|Josefina Axelsson||Treasurer (Stockholm, Sweden)||@vitasparven|
|Kyle Ferrell||Director (Cambridge, Massachusetts)|
|Thomas Melin||Director (Stockholm, Sweden)||@Thomas4Melin|
|Gustaf Asplund||Director (Gothenburg, Sweden / Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)|
|Deirdre Quarnstrom||Director (Seattle, Washington)||@Deirdre206|
|Kendra Goodenough||Secretary (Redmond, Washington)|
|Anne Morgan||Director of development (Seattle, Washington)|
|Pontus Westerberg||Special Advisor (Barcelona, Spain)||@pontusw|
|Cecilia Andersson||Special Advisor (Nairobi, Kenya)|
|Lydia Winters||Special Advisor (Stockholm, Sweden)||@LydiaWinters|
|Carl Brandt||Special Advisor (Redmond, Washington)|
The Block by Block non-profit was created in 2012, initially with the help of Byggtjanst, a Swedish company which had tested the use of Minecraft for youth participation in the redesign of low-cost housing areas with good results. After initial tests in Kenya and Nepal, Block by Block is now used all over the world. Currently the program is working in 35 countries across Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe. Mojang and Microsoft are key supporters of the program through Block by Block.
- Based on images, plans, Google Maps and other available materials, a base Minecraft model of the public space is produced by UN-Habitat.
- UN-Habitat arranges for a Minecraft expert to provide Minecraft training and support.
- Community participation workshops are held with youth, project staff and partners in order to:
- Train participants in the basics of Minecraft modeling
- Facilitate a dialogue on issues regarding the public space
- Produce Minecraft models incorporating the proposed design ideas
- Collate the ideas that are included in the models
- The participants are briefed and divided into groups of 2-4 people, with one computer provided for each group.
- The participants are given sufficient time to develop their ideas in Minecraft. Depending on the level of prior IT and Minecraft knowledge, two to four days is recommended.
- The participants present their Minecraft models to stakeholders – including urban professionals, policy makers, government officials and UN-Habitat staff. The designs are discussed through a deliberation process and final designs agreed among stakeholders.
- The Minecraft proposals are used to feed into professional design work and budget processes.
|Mojang Studios sites||
|Xbox Game Studios sites|
|4J Studios sites|
|SkyBox Labs sites|
|Double Eleven sites|
|Play Mechanix sites|
|Block by Block sites|