The second session in the Designing Cultural Commons lecture series will interrogate the role of design and spatial thinking within the discourse of the commons. The talks will focus on the ethics of cohabiting in the city; the role of design, making and working with ‘common materials’ in this context; and as the role of mapping as an act and tool that supports collective action.
1 — Dr Adam Kassa (RCA): Cohabitation as a Common Urban Ethic
Adam Kaasa's projects consider the cultures and politics of the city, foregrounding the role of history, architecture and design. He is a Senior Research Tutor in Architecture at the Royal College of Art leading the new MRes Programme in Architecture and Co-Founded and Directed Theatrum Mundi, an international research centre on urban culture. His latest book Uncommon Building (Spirit Duplicator, 2017) explores the capacity of speculative fiction as a method for collective thinking about past futures, and material memory. His current project theorises cohabitation as an urban ethic.
2 — John Bingham-Hall (Theatrum Mundi): Common(s) Materials
Dr John Bingham-Hall is Director of the charitable research centre Theatrum Mundi, which aims to expand the practices of city-making through projects linking built environment and artistic disciplines, and Honorary Senior Lecturer at UCL STEaPP. With TM he has led programmes on cultural infrastructure, sonic urbanism, urban commons, and choreographing urban mobility. He has held research posts at LSE Cities and UCL STEaPP and an associate lectureship at CSM. He has a multi-disciplinary academic background, holding a BMus (Music) from Goldsmiths College, and an MSc (Advanced Architectural Studies) and PhD (Architectural Space & Computation) from the UCL Bartlett School of Architecture. His ongoing research interest is in the ways urban design shapes the public sphere of cities, linking techniques and concepts from technology, performance, media, and infrastructure.
3 — Nicolas Fonty (Justmap): Civic Mapping
Nicolas Fonty is a freelance architect /urban designer, independent researcher and autodidact mapper. Through research, activism, practice teaching and volunteer support, he has been involved in many civic mapping initiatives for community-led planning in London and Paris including justMap, http://justplace-london.blogspot.co.uk/, Occupy#PublicSpaces, http://www.occupy.fr/, and cartoDebout, http://cartodebout.blogspot.fr/.
He is member of Civic Wise, https://civicwise.org/about/, an international network for civic design and worked on many urban design issues at metropolitan and local scales in Greater Paris, http://fonty.nicolas.free.fr/.
Designing Cultural Commons is a series of three lectures centred on design for cultural commons curated by academic Torange Khonsari and connected to new Cass MA Designing Cultural Commons. At each session taking place between March and May 2018, a series of speakers will explore a different aspect of the cultural Commons conversation: Civic Ecology Commons, City and Commons and finally Localism and Commons.
The Commons discourse is informed by an idea, which has been around for hundreds of years. In a contemporary context of much inequality, the Commons discourse introduces models of sharing. The Commons are about the assets that belong to everyone, forming resources that should benefit all, rather than being enclosed to just a few. The current debate revolves around how these shared assets are created, governed, used and distributed without overuse and abuse.