During a three-day gathering in the Italian Alps in 2019, we wanted to explore how practices of community economies are being activated by people coming from an art and design background in a variety of local contexts. This practice exchange was an occasion to bring together practitioners and theorists to work together on concrete case studies of artist and designers activating community economies in diverse places across Europe. Another objective was to support several local projects in developing or strengthening their community economies approach.
social and ecological design
How to create the social and material conditions that make critical, transformative design practice possible? This question continues to drive us in our work, especially because we are convinced that if we want design skills to be used for the creation of a world into which many worlds fit, then lots of people interested in doing such transformative work need to be enabled to do it repeatedly and in the long-run.
This practice-based doctorate sets out to investigate and intervene in the tense relation between the production of socially as well as politically relevant design work and the socio-economic precariousness many designers experience. Starting from an engagement with the precarious working conditions of designers, their genealogy over the last 30+ years and the role precarisation plays in forming docile creative subjects, the research moves on to a wider critique of the political economy and of its precarising value practices.
In 2012, I was involved in the experimental study program, Campus in Camps, which is located in the West Bank and which brought together 15 third-generation refugees to study the contemporary condition of Palestinian refugee camps and to speculate about their potential futures. In this article, I draw on my experience at Campus in Camps in order to reflect on how design and speculation can be activated by designers and non-designers to speculate with care about the matters of their own lives.
In this paper we present a method for valuing the multidimensional aspects of urban commons. This method draws from and contributes to a broader conception of social or community returns on investment, using the case and data of a vibrant project, strategy, and model of ecological resilience, R-Urban, on the outskirts of Paris. R-Urban is based on networks of urban commons and collective hubs supporting civic resilience practices.