Commons Governance in Design

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Marco Bevolo:

"There are a number of examples where new design practices have expressed the logics of commons governance, and where commons oriented design is being done:

• the proposed introduction of “green connectors” in city infrastructure rethought as interface to activate next dialogs and enable contacts, by FoRM Associates (concept: “Green (Old) Bridge”) and by GUTGUT (concept: “Green Line” for tram tracks), with designed space refocused on social interaction purposes (Vallo, Sandovsky, 2011, p.98, p.103)

  • the adoption of a platforming approach for the 2009 City Move project,

designed and executed with the purpose to address the monocultural industrial tensions in the mining town of Malmberget, Lapland, as commissioned by the Swedish Industrial Design Association (Fry, 2011, p.67)

• the adoption by the city of Reggio Emilia, Italy, of the formal position of “Neighborhood Architect”, to engage in a deep dialog with citizens and propose micro-interventions within a reframing view of the city as commons

• the adoption of an “open source” approach to bottom up innovation design by the City of Turin, recently awarded 2nd European Capital of Innovation, under the flagship InnovaTo (Source:

• as token of recognition by the fine arts sector, the prestigious 2015 Turner Prize was awarded outside of the perimeter of museum and art market signature names, recognizing the social contribution in Liverpool neighborhoods by Assemble, a young architectural collective (Source: "


More information

  • This contribution is an extract from the PhD thesis: “The role of design for

generating urban futures”, by Marco Bevolo, Tilburg University, 2016