Speculations on the architecture of a commons-based economy

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review

Abstract

In their text, “Network Society and Future Scenarios for a Collaborative Economy," scholars Kostakis and Bauwens argue that we are currently experiencing the tail-end of neoliberal material globalisation — made possible by an era of cheap energy — and that a transition towards a commons-oriented economy based on existing peer-to-practies is necessary, possible and desirable. Such a model would be oriented towards holistic value-creation (social as well as economic) rather than the current model of profit maximisation. A commons-based economy would engage distributed, collaborative forms of organisation, facilitated a local level, but would leverage digital networks to form a viable alternative model of social organisation on a global scale. This paper reflects on a series of speculative architectural projects which attempt to translate these abstract economic concepts into tangible commons-oriented architectural outcomes, developed by Masters of Architecture students at Monash University. Projects were tested in a former industrial suburb of Melbourne — responding to local conditions and communities — but were conceptualised as repeatable types which would harness digital infrastructure to form global networks. Through a discussion of these design approaches and outcomes, the paper addresses emergent themes and operative architectural strategies to facilitate commons-based peer production, including: the role and agency of the design professional within shifting labour relations; the implications of commons-oriented construction and fabrication processes; commons-oriented financing and procurement methods for architecture; and the physical, organisational and morphological implications of distributed economies at a variety of scales. By organising projects thematically, the paper seeks to extract and contribute both practical and speculative design lessons for ‘commoning’ architecture and the city.
Original languageEnglish
Pages64-65
Number of pages2
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventCity as a Commons - University of Pavia, Pavia, Italy
Duration: 2 Sept 20194 Sept 2019
http://cityascommons.unipv.it/researchsymposium2019/

Conference

ConferenceCity as a Commons
Country/TerritoryItaly
CityPavia
Period2/09/194/09/19
Internet address

Keywords

  • peer-to-peer networks
  • speculative design
  • global commons
  • architecture
  • sharing economy

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