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Housing and the Commons 

Wednesday, 21 June 2017
6.30 – 8pm

*** This event will now take place at K4 Architects, 122 Fazeley Street, Birmingham, B5 5RS. ***

In this discussion we explored the practices and pleasures of commons and commoning in housing and the wider city, challenging the dynamics of state and market driven space.

The term ‘commons’ derives from the traditional English legal term for common land and, in an urban context, refers to land, public space, services or buildings which are commonly owned and collectively managed by groups of citizens who work together to co-produce urban resources – from culture & knowledge to housing, energy or democratic processes. Commoning has the potential to create alternative economies, structures of ownership and ways of using space and resources on many different scales. Architects Mike Dring and Robert Annable explored existing and possible models in relation to the Artists House, including Community Land Trusts, Open Source architecture and the use of design as a medium through which community relationships and organisations are built.

Mike Dring is an architect, senior lecturer, MArch programme director and researcher at the Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. He brings seven years of professional practice to his role with a track record of delivering award winning projects. He is involved in a number of emergent and established research projects and groups spanning architecture, urbanism, art and design, and ecology.

Rob Annable is a Director of Axis Design Architects and visiting tutor at Birmingham School of Architecture and Design. His practice specialises in housing, community projects, sustainability and self-build; helping to deliver many social housing projects around the West Midlands. Research & development of design & construction strategies is a regular feature of the practice’s work, recently culminating in a personal self-build project for his own family.

Terrace Image courtesy of Irena Dumitrascu, Studio Plastic