Why Commons?

Commons’ is a means of critiquing the wider systems of land ownership, and the false binary of public and private that dictates the way that architecture is created today. We see the intersecting issues of the housing crisis, homelessness, economic inequality and climate breakdown as symptoms of who owns land and resources and who makesdecisions about what gets built.

Yet an understanding of this political and economic context is completely omitted from our education. 
We think that property is the most important subject in architecture right now and that it’s something that should be foundational to a study of architecture. We want to understand and take control of the wider systems that determine what buildings are produced.

We use commons to begin to frame new conceptions of property and development, not generated by wealthy landholders, but instead by different kinds of stakeholders who wouldn’t normally have agency or ownership over architecture.

Although we believe that a lot of problems in architecture and the climate crisis have emerged from the absolute control private developers have over our cities, that doesn’t mean we are dismissing experiments in private and public ownership. We welcome perspectives from different contexts across Europe and we would like EASA Commons to be a place for bringing discussions around property to the fore, exploring many solutions and ideological and political positions.

Not only concerned with common land, the event series seeks to further the discourse around newly-emerging commons such as social, knowledge, digital etc. and develop practical applications of this theory through workshops. By establishing a collective body of experimental work, EASA Commons aims to forge an alternative path to the production and practice of architecture.


EASA Commons is not just one event, but a series of actions that seek to establish ongoing relationships with communities and form projects with enduring social impact. In addition to the main event in summer 2023, a series of precursory ‘commoning workshops’ will lay the groundwork for more embedded workshops and community infrastructure to emerge.

The commoning workshop programme will develop and share knowledge around the central themes of property rights and ‘the commons’, with participants acquiring implementable skills related to land acquisition and creating and managing projects in the ill-defined space between public and private property.

NB: Our programme of Commoning Workshops is now complete.