Architecture for the Commons: Participatory Systems in the Age of Platforms, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Architecture for the Commons

Participatory Systems in the Age of Platforms, 1st Edition

By Jose Sanchez


168 pages | 57 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9781138362369
pub: 2020-08-10
SAVE ~$7.79
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 10th August 2020
Hardback: 9781138362352
pub: 2020-08-10
SAVE ~$31.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 10th August 2020

FREE Standard Shipping!


Architecture for the Commons dives into an analysis of how the tectonics of a building is fundamentally linked to the economic organizations that allow them to exist. By tracing the origins and promises of current technological practices in design, the book provides an alternative path, one that reconsiders the means of achieving complexity through combinatorial strategies. This move requires reconsidering serial production with crowdsourcing and user content in mind. The ideas presented will be explored through the design research developed within Plethora Project, a design practice that explores the use of video game interfaces as a mechanism for participation and user design.

The research work presented throughout the book seeks to align with a larger project that is currently taking place in many different fields: The Construction of the Commons. By developing both the ideological and physical infrastructure, the project of the Commons has become an antidote to current economic practices that perpetuate inequality. The mechanisms of the production and governance of the Commons are discussed, inviting the reader to get involved and participate in the discussion. The current political and economic landscape calls for a re-formulation of our current economic practices and alternative value systems that challenge the current market monopoly.

This book will be of great interest not only to architects and designers studying the impact of digital technologies in the field of design but also to researchers studying novel techniques for social participation and cooperating of communities through digital networks. The book connects principles of architecture, economics, and social sciences to provide alternatives to the current production trends.

Table of Contents

Introduction - A Call for a Post-2008 Architecture

Chapter 1 - Architectural Progress

Chapter 2 – The Coalescence of Parts

Chapter 3 – In Defense of Parts

Chapter 4 – Immaterial Architectures

Chapter 5 – Reconstruction through Self-Provision

About the Author

Jose Sanchez is an Architect, Game Designer, and Theorist based in Los Angeles, California. He is the director of the Plethora Project (, a research studio investing in the future of the propagation of architectural design knowledge. He is the creator of the award-winning video game Block’hood, a city simulator exploring notions of ecology, entropy, and interdependence, and the creator of Common’hood, a video game social platform that enables the authoring of architectural design within creative commons. He is also the co-creator of Bloom, a crowd sourced interactive installation which was the winner of the Wonder Series hosted by the City of London for the 2012 Olympics.

He has taught in renowned institutions in the US and Europe, including the Architectural Association in London, The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London, and is currently at the University of Southern California where he is an Assistant Professor in the School of Architecture. His research ‘Gamescapes’, explores generative interfaces in the form of video games, speculating on modes of intelligence augmentation, combinatorics, and open systems as design mediums.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
ARCHITECTURE / Professional Practice
ARCHITECTURE / Project Management