Architecture for the Commons
Participatory Systems in the Age of Platforms
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 reformulation of our current economic practices and alternative value systems that challenge the current market monopolies.
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 1. Architectural Progress 2. The Coalescence of Parts 3. In Defense of Parts 4. Immaterial Architectures 5. Reconstruction through Self-Provision Index
Jose Sanchez is an Architect, Game Designer, and Theorist based in Detroit, Michigan. He is the director of the Plethora Project (www.plethora-project.com ), a research studio investing in the future of the propagation of architectural design knowledge. He is the creator of the video games Block’hood and Common’hood, digital social platforms that aid the authoring of architectural and ecological thinking to non-expert audiences. He is the author of the book "Architecture for the Commons: Participatory Systems in the Age of Platforms" published by Routledge in 2020 and the co-creator of Bloom, a crowdsourced 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 United States and in Europe, including the Architectural Association in London, The Bartlett School of Architecture at University College London, at the University of Southern California. He is currently at the University of Michigan, where he is an Associate Professor at the Taubman College School of Architecture. His research "Architecture for the Commons" designs and interrogates social media platforms as tools with the potential to author architectural content in the public domain.