November 2020

Hi there!

Thanks for visiting On the Grid. Whether you’re a first-time browser, an aspiring city ambassador, or one of our original contributors, your interest in On the Grid means the world to us. From Aberdeen to Zurich, this is a challenging time for the businesses that fuel creativity and community in neighborhoods worldwide. If you can, please support your local favorites as we weather this storm together.

Over this last year we’ve been, well… off the grid. During this time of separation, we wanted to take the opportunity to check in with the incredible OTG community.

On the Grid was born at a design studio in Brooklyn called Hyperakt. In 2015, our love for the creativity in our community sparked what became a global collaborative project to map the world’s most creative neighborhoods. Over the years, On the Grid has acquired somewhat of a cult following in design circles, which has been very humbling to us. We could not have grown On the Grid to the resource it is today without partnering with an enormous global community of creative thinkers, curious citizens, and culture enthusiasts. Your collective generosity, enthusiasm, and knowledge over the past five years has deeply moved us.

On the Grid has always been a passion project. It’s been entirely self-funded, with design, development, and marketing run by the Hyperakt team alongside our client work — and of course with absolutely phenomenal contributions from volunteers around the world. Today, the site hosts over five hundred neighborhood guides across 100+ cities from Aberdeen to Zurich.

We learned a ton from this experience. We grew On the Grid quickly to respond to and scale with the excitement surrounding it, but we did so without a long-term, sustainable plan for managing the community and for keeping our content consistently updated. This year, the painful effects of COVID-19 have forced us to come to terms with these issues. COVID-19 has already — and will continue to — cause irreparable damage to so many places, from restaurants to retailers, that celebrate shared in-person experiences. The pandemic has also forced us to shift our priorities as a studio and get back to the basics. We just haven’t had the headspace or the bandwidth to give On the Grid the love it deserves.

As a result, we have decided that the best course of action is to freeze On The Grid content where it is now and cease further updates to the site.

Most of our neighborhoods are not as up-to-date as we’d like them to be, and many contributors have, understandably, moved on to focus their time elsewhere. Updating content for hundreds of neighborhood guides is just not an undertaking we can tackle right now. But we will keep the site up to celebrate the vibrant creativity of neighborhoods around the world as a reminder for when we get past this crisis. If you are an On the Grid contributor and have submitted a guide that hasn’t been published, please reach out by November 30, 2020 and we’ll make sure that it does. We deeply appreciate the time and care you’ve invested in helping make On the Grid better — more robust, more inclusive, more helpful — to intrepid travelers and curious locals alike.

To each and every On the Grid contributor and avid reader, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for taking this journey with us. We couldn’t have done it without you. We are still amazed by the breadth and quality of the neighborhood guides we were able to build together because of our common sense of local pride and wanderlust. We take comfort in knowing that we have seen ample proof of our initial intuition when began this journey — creativity lives everywhere.

If you have any ideas or interest in imagining a future for On the Grid, please feel free to reach out.

Warmly,

Deroy Peraza

Partner & Creative Director

Hyperakt & On the Grid

Written by

Hyperakt crafts transformative brands and digital storytelling experiences for clear-eyed champions of social justice and creativity.

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