Symposium: Designing for a Commons Transition

Friday, September 20, 2019 - 9:00am

The School of Design's Kristin Hughes will be a featured speaker at the Atlas of Commoning symposium, "Designing for a Commons Transition." This event is made possible through the generous support the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry and the Sylvia and David Steiner Lecture Series, the Carnegie Mellon University and ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen).

Against the backdrop of the escalating climate crisis, social inequity and political polarization, the growing realization that neither the government nor the market can enable even access to resources and opportunities is leading citizens the world over to take matters into their own hands, self-organizing by pooling resources and claiming their collective right to the city. The creative insights emerging from these practices of commoning offer an entry point for refuting the neoliberal mantra "there is no alternative," and spurring the imagination of another possible world. What impact can commoning have on the bottom-up transformation of cities? And what agency do designers have in contributing to such commons transition?

The symposium at Carnegie Mellon University brings together diverse perspectives exploring the role and responsibility of architecture and urban design in the struggle for more pluralistic, radically democratic and just cities. At a time of Pittsburgh's renewed growth, the commons perspective urges us to revisit the city's community design legacy, and explore how it might be reinvigorated in the face of rising inequity. The event accompanies the international premier of the ifa-exhibition An Atlas of Commoning in collaboration with ARCH+ and the CMU School of Architecture on display at the Miller ICA.