Lithograph by P. Hyman and David Bigelow, 1848, Wikimedia Commons

Res Communis:

Common-Pool Resources in Architecture and Urban Design


Lecture Tom Avermaete | 05.12.2016

The notion of ‘the commons’ allows us to think about the role of architecture and urban design in relation to the common-pool resources. These common pool resources are generally defined as a set of natural or man-made goods from which the individual can profit but that are controlled trough collective strategies and operations.  In the history of rural and urban landscapes we can find such as common-pool resources, such as the agricultural ‘meent’ in the lowlands or even the figures of the ‘the green’ and ‘the close’ in 19th and early 20th century city.

This lecture will explore some examples of how the common pool resources of the city have been defined and understood historically and how they might be conceived of today. Especially the role that architecture plays in articulating, unlocking, maintaining and even protecting these common pool resources will be explored.

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Res Communis:

Common-Pool Resources in Architecture and Urban Design

Tom Avermaete | Lecture Series 2016|17

Common pool resources can have the character of leisurely green and water spaces, but also relate to more productive qualities of the urban landscape or to the transport of people and goods in the city. They can be qualified and protected through rules and laws; but is there also be a role for the built environment in not only offering access to these resources but also in maintaining and even reproducing them?

Constructing the Commons: Another Approach to Architecture and the City
 | Winterterm 2016|17
Tom Avermaete | Endowed Professorship for Research in Visionary Cities

The endowed professorship (Endowed chair “City Culture and Open Space“) financed by the City of Vienna, was installed in 2015 within the study programs of the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna. It has the objective to artistically, radically and poetically bring forward the debate on the city and architecture. The object of study is the city. The teaching and research beholden with the endowed professorship focuses on the formulation of radical and visionary concepts regarding urban space. A further goal is to intensify the exchange of ideas and knowledge transfer between the city of Vienna and the Institute for Art and Architecture.

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Constructing the Commons:

Another Approach to Architecture and the City

Tom Avermaete | Endowed Professorship for Research in Visionary Cities | Lecture Series Winterterm 2016|17

This series is composed of five complementary lectures that together aim to outline an architectural understanding of the character, role and operations of the commons:

1. The Commons and its Tragedy: Introducing a Notion
2. Lex Communis: The Commonality of the Discipline and the Discipline of the Common Place
3. Praxis Communis: The Rituals, Pleasures and Politics of Cooperation
4. Res Communis: Common-Pool Resources in Architecture and Urban Design
5. The Architecture of the Commons: A New Path of Contemporary Logos and Praxis