About the exhibition

'Commoning' actions and practices are increasingly taking place in towns and cities all around the world. They usually unfold via self-constituted groups or communities which act through a variety of means including temporary events, spontaneous interventions, un-solicited actions and the kind. At various stages of their unfolding these may be negotiated with local authorities/governments to allow occupations or temporary uses to happen within an agreement or a legal framework.

Urban Commons & Commoning Practices was co-curated by Ioanni Delsante and Tabassum Ahmed. The exhibition aimed to showcase relevant precedents in terms of urban commons and related commoning practices, mostly small scale and low-cost interventions, built on a temporary basis, which 'tactically' aim to have a positive impact on cities over longer periods of time.

However, the significance of these initiatives stands beyond their physical artefacts. We have tagged each project in relation to the aspirations of those who promoted, and in relation to the aims which we recognise unfolding through their activities. It also includes various teaching and research activities being developed across various disciplines, over a non-hierarchical summer school and research symposium. As such, the range of selected projects speak about active citizenship and stewarding of local initiatives, environmental concerns and agencies, pedagogical practices, sharing knowledge and peer to peer learning. The exhibition aims to provide a platform for open discussion among several actors including individuals and grass roots groups.


About the researchers

Dr Ioanni Delsante is Reader in Urban Design at the University of Huddersfield, and Research Fellow in Architectural and Urban Design at the University of Pavia. Course Leader for MA Urban Design at the University of Huddersfield, he has taught at University of Pavia, Politecnico di Milano and Tongji University of Shanghai. He is Chair of the Urban Futures and Design Lab at the University of Huddersfield. Co-Editor of the Journal of Architecture, he acts as peer reviewer for various journals and research councils. He has been member of the British Council Science Research Reviewer Panel (2015-17). His current research interests deal with forms of alter-urbanisation and alternative urban transformations through the lens of commons. He has co-curated a number of international exhibitions on architecture and urban design, including at La Triennale of milan (2012) and the East-West China exhibition at Huddersfield Art Gallery (2016) as part of the ROTOŠÆ programme.

After completing a MA in Urban Design in 2019, Tabassum Ahmed is continuing her research in urban commoning practices by pursuing a PhD at the University of Huddersfield. Her current research investigates how urban communities can better manage their resources in the context of climate change through commoning practices. She is an architect from Bangladesh and takes an active interest in cities, communities and environmental activism. She previously worked as part of the team that curated the show Temporary Tactical Urbansim in the first year of the Temporary Contemporary exhibition programme.