An Architektur: On the Commons

It’s always great to see in which diverse fields the idea of the Commons is applied. One wonderful example is the summer issue of »An Architektur — Produktion und Gebrauch gebauter Umwelt«. Despite its German title — which means »production and usage of built environment« — An Architektur is an English-language magazine.

Main part of the summer issue entitled »On the Commons« is an interview with Massimo de Angelis and Stavros Stavrides: »Beyond Markets or States: Commoning as Collective Practice«. The interview was made together with e-flux journal and can be read online on e-flux webpage. The text of the interview is marked with footnote-numbers, but instead of footnotes there are complete articles referenced explaining some backgrounds of aspects being discussed in the interview.

One of the accompanying articles is a translation of my German article »Commons in einer Gütersystematik« written for the Commons-issue of CONTRASTE magazine. However, the editors did not now, that translation of this article was already on the way, so that they did it twice. The translations are slightly different, online you can find »Commons in a Taxonomy of Goods«. Please check this version for the illustration of the taxonomy, because in the An-Architektur article this respective illustration is not correct (»commodity« and »private property« were interchanged). Shit happens.

Other explaining text excerpts are: Karl Marx on »Primitive Accumulation and Enclosures«, Garrett Hardin on the »Tragedy of the Commons« (yes, this most misunderstood article on, in fact, open access goods), Elinor Ostrom et al. on »Local Lessons and Global Challenges of the Commons«, Massimo de Angelis on »Post-Operaismo, today’s Class Composition and a Non-Messianic Notion of the Multitude«, and Stavros Stavrides on »Collective Action and Urban Porosity«.

Furthermore, the issue has three folded supplements, which—when unfolded—display three concrete examples of commons including their spatial representations and additional texts:

  • The Oaxaca Rebellion, Mexico 2006, including a map of Oaxaca showing the main spots of the rebellion and an article by Gustavo Esteva (»Enclosing the Enclosers«)
  • Navarinou Park, Athens 2009, including maps and sketches of the park and an interview with Katerina Chryssanthopoulou (»Structures of Engagement«)
  • The Charters of English Liberties, Medieval England, including a timeline of the historical process of enclosure and dis-enclosure and an interview with Peter Linebaugh (»The Magna Charta Manifesto«).

Altogether a very interesting release of a magazine on architecture worth reading not only by architects!

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