Introducing the architectural values of the Common

The recent development of the “Common” as an interdisciplinary field of reflection seems to show some restraint with respect to the architectural culture that precedes it. This proposal invites to explore the intensities and the reasons for such a resistance. Over the last decades, the Common is not only brandished by a growing number of intellectuals engaged in the exploration, the observation and the possible recognition of sustainable alternatives to current economic models. It is also more and more recurrent in scientific circles, particularly in the social sciences, but also in political language. Becoming unavoidable in the contemporary public debate, the Common asserts today as a reality to study, embodying breaks and continuities. In parallel with this dynamic, several disciplines have already produced remarkable contributions defining a certain number of theoretical positions on the subject. Although architecture field, like most humanities, has expressed a growing interest for the notion of “Common(s)”, even more in recent years, it still struggles to identify its own entries. Stakes are often limited to the "areas of influence" of the discipline, related to the architectural culture in a very distant way. No without legitimacy, the debate focuses on governance, resources and popular appropriation, and generally relates to limited design issues. As contagious it is, the “spread” of the common seems to had contoured the central question of the form. Where economics, politics, philosophy or sociology tend to give it a favorable place to enrich their own fields of discipline, architecture seems less inclined to seize the stake of the Common with its own constructions theoretical and its own analytical tools. It is particularly striking to observe how the architectural culture and its semantic heritage are kept at a certain distance from a reflection on the Common(s). Such a disconnection is even more crucial when considering history as accumulated experiences and gradually amended principles. The optimization of resources, organization of communities of life or spatialization of political decisions have always been an integral part of the discipline. Despite this, the long tradition of architectural theory, as well as the figure of the architect are very often absent in the recent literature, or directly pointed as contrary forces to the principles lead by the Common. The proposal thus intends to evaluate the controversial gap between architectural values and the renewed paradigm of the Commons, considered as a bundle of alternatives, but also as a source of fundamental continuities. By crossing the values of the common to those of the architecture, the proposal aims a double will. First, such a correspondence could bring to a hypothetical semantic renewal in architectural language, by confronting concepts and words. It also could constitute a useful stage to develop critical looks about the Common and lucid readings of its propagation in humanities, by clarifying several appropriations. Faced with the vitality of the theme, identifying attitudes of research within the current architectural debate appears as a prerequisite for the development of an architectural thought about the Common, by taking into account its multidirectional nature, sometimes ambiguous or even contradictory.


Editor(s):
Delsante, Ioanni
Published in:
The City as a Commons - Research Symposium
Presented at:
The City as a Commons, University of Pavia, September 2-4, 2019
Year:
Sep 02 2019
Publisher:
Huddersfield, University of Huddersfield
ISBN:
978-186218166-3
Additional link:
Laboratories:




 Record created 2019-09-26, last modified 2019-09-27

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