Commonstruction: A Manual for Radical Inclusivity
Local community groups are resisting the planned regeneration of Tottenham with the claim that a policy of social cleansing is being used to facilitate a land grab by developers and speculators. The purpose of our design manual is to create a circular reference for various actors in the area that will coordinate collective action and enrich the threatened public life. There are 3 key combinations of spaces that constitute it: live-work & community workshops; public social spaces; residential & start-up spaces
To achieve collective ownership commoners have to start a community land trust that will allow them to pursue funding as a group. The project begins with 100% equity owned by the collective. Works start by constructing the permanent core of the project consisting of live-work units, social spaces (i.e. community workshops), basic circulation and services. Afterwards, members of the collective take on the development of residential units that plug into the existing core; self-build or voluntarily-build projects earn 25% equity on completion. The live-work spaces will accommodate professionals that can help in running the community workshops while the residential units on the higher levels add density and are fundamental in sustaining the project economically until the loan is repaid. By gradually repaying their share of the loan residents can earn up to 75% equity; 25% remains collective to ensure that the design will not be capitalised upon. Collective work, on-site production and external contributions sustain workshops in community planning, sustainable living, urban agriculture, art & design.
Our project acts as a place of assembly and collective action; for communities to meet, share knowledge and participate in commoning. We want to create a collective consciousness between the communities and to promote and test alternative models of coexistence, in contrast to the current unsustainable model.
Konstantinos Lerias is a post-graduate architecture student. He is interested in working on cities at a time of crisis, in reclaiming the commons and the right to the city, collective urban design, and self-build construction methods.
Orestis Michelakis is a postgraduate architecture student interested in practicing architecture as a catalyst for social change at a time of turmoil, in reclaiming commons and applying participatory design and construction as methods to promote the de-commercialisation of knowledge.