DRS Workshop – 27 June 2022

Come join us at out DRS WorkshopCommoning Design and Design Commoning on the 27th June (09:00 – 18:00) in Bilbao!

Enroll in the workshop via this link!

Despite the ever-growing interest in commoning, the design research community still lacks a shared agenda to support the designing for and through relational commons. The one-day workshop offers a space to reflect on and explore connections between design(ing) and common(ing) while sharing practical or theoretical examples and experiences questioning:

  1. What perspectives and actions need to be foregrounded for new design research agendas that consider commoning and commons as a context and goal?
  2. What could be considered good strategies and practices for sustainable and enduring commoning and designing for commoning?
  3. What can design researchers, activists, and practitioners contribute to the common/commons, and how?
  4. How does commoning/designing changes when resources and assets are in common ”ownership”.

Context and Aim

The fair and sustainable use, as well as the governance of common available resources is highly complex. To foreground these complexities and portray the active nature of commons, the term “commoning” – a verb – was coined (Linebaugh 2009). Commoning has been explained as creating and sustaining a ‘commons culture’ between stakeholders working in (and developing) partnerships (see e.g, Pór 2012; Marttila 2018). Hence, the concept of commoning
highlights the idea that commons exist only through active social relationships (Poderi 2020, Poderi 2021, see also Bollier 2014, Bollier and Helfrich 2012). Bollier and Helfrich (2015) even stipulate that to understand or build any theoretical frameworks about commons, one has to “enter into a deep and ongoing engagement with the everyday practices and experiences of commoning” (p. 20).
In contemporary design research, and especially in the field of Participatory Design, the concept of commoning has been used as an invitation to rethink the roles of actors in commons arrangements (Marttila et al. 2014, Poderi 2019); as a frame to discuss intertwined practices (Marttila 2016, Teli et al. 201); and as a tool for strategizing and locating socio-material practices as a part of city-making and urban commons (Marttila and Botero 2016, Seravalli 2014, Seravalli et al. 2015, Parker and Schmidt 2017), the strengthening of local democracy (Hillgren et al. 2016), and online collaboration and documentation practices of commons-oriented groups (Botero and Saad-Sulonen 2019; Kohtala and Walls 2019, Van Amstel 2020). Moreover, the political dimensions of working for and with commons have been highlighted in Participatory Design (e.g., Teli et al. 2016, Teli et al. 2017, Hakken et al. 2016).

Despite the ever-growing interest in commons and commoning, the design research community still lacks a shared agenda to support the designing for and through relational commons. This proposed workshop, “Commoning Design – Designing Commoning”, is in dialogue with and builds on earlier conference sessions and workshops on commoning within the field of design research at DRS 2014 (Marttila et al. 2014), Nordes 2015 (Botero et al. 2015), PDC 2016 (Eriksen et al. 2016), and PDC 2020 (Botero et al. 2020). In this workshop, we will further
explore some of the dilemmas and dynamics of ‘Commoning Design – Designing Commoning’ and what are the political and power implications to common/commons.

Organized by: Sanna-Maria Marttila, Giacomo Poderi, Joanna Saad-Sulonen, Andrea Botero