C-O-L-L-E-C-T-I-V-E-S — Architecture Beyond Capitalism school (ABC) 2021

  • How does your work engage the notion of the commons?
  • What are different cooperative structures of working and governing?
  • What are the potential impacts of cooperative work on architectural production and education?

Presentations by:

Magali Sarfatti Larson, Professor Emeritus of Sociology at Temple University
Cristina Gamboa, chartered architect, co-founder of Barcelona-based Lacol 

Garrett Jacobs, Chief of Finance and Operations, Designing Justice + Designing Spaces; founding director, Open Architecture Collaborative

Kofi Boone, University Faculty Scholar and Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture and Environmental Planning at NC State University in the College of Design

Speaker Bios

Coordinated by: 

Palmyra Geraki, Quilian Riano

Coordinator and Saloner Bios



1. Magali Sarfatti Larson, “Practice and Education in 21st century architecture: a sociologist’s view” in Quid Novi: Architectural Education Dilemmas in the 21st Century (Nhamerica Press LLC, 2015), pp. 52-123. [available in English and Portuguese, relevant to presentation by Magali Sarfatti Larson]

2. Stavrides, Stavros. Common Space: The City as Commons (Zed Books, 2016): Introduction, Part 1 – Chapter 2. [relevant to presentation by Cristina Gamboa]

3. Agyeman, J. and Boone, K. (2021) “Could collective ownership of a “Black commons” help advance economic justice?”Fast Company [relevant to presentation by Kofi Boone]


1. Erik Olin Wright, “How to Be an Anti-Capitalist Today” (2015), Jacobin 

2. David Bollier, “The City as a Commons”. (VIDEO)

3. https://prezi.com/q5suswnotkjh/entering-the-city-ideal-and-real/?present=1 (from International seminar in Urban Sociology)

4. Avilla-Royo, R.; Jacoby, S.; Bilbao, I. “The Building as a Home: Housing Cooperatives in Barcelona”Buildings 2021, 11, 137.

5. Sheila R. Foster and Christian Iaione, “The City as a Commons”Yale Law & Policy Review (2016)

6. Zack Beauchamp“Ahmaud Arbery and the dangers of running while black”, Vox.com (2020)

7. Nancy Kaffer, “Who’s watching the Detroit watchmen?”Detroit Free Press (2015)

8. Levente Polyak, “A bundle of rights and obligations: Privately Owned Public Spaces”Autoportret Magazine (2017)

9. “African American Cooperatives and Civil Rights: Jessica Gordon Nembhard” (2014), The Laura Flanders Show. (VIDEO)

10. Resources on Community Wealth Building, Community Wealth.org access via web https://community-wealth.org/



While the CAPITALISM assignment was about tracing the power relations enmeshing objects (the what), and the LABOUR assignment was about understanding the situation and qualities of laboring workers in capitalism (the who), this COLLECTIVES assignment is about how we organise into collective bodies in architecture and how these collectives share or protect resources. In the salon we will strategize on how we can shepherd architecture beyond capitalism by altering our collectives to make the benefits of collective resources more fair and open (the how). 

  1. Start by defining a collective (Identity)
    • Participants will choose an overarching architectural organization: Academia, Professional Practice, The Public, The Firm, A Place, or Identity Based Community. Choosing an organization type you are directly involved in will make for better assignment and salon outcomes.  Members will reflect on what this organization means to them & consider whether or not it’s inherently more collective-leaning than the others.  Write a paragraph as a summary of your thought process.
    • Next, define a collective within your organization category. It could be a specific architecture office, school, design studio, workplace, research body, professional body, etc. Prepare a short summary of why you selected this collective. Choosing a collective you are directly involved in will make for better assignment and salon outcomes. 
    • Define the boundary of this collective by drawing who is “in”, who is on the periphery, and who is “out.”  You can use the base drawing file provided in the Google Drive or create your own.  Share this, and a portion of your written summaries, on the Miro board.
  2. Identify some of the resources that are important to this collective (Resources)
  3. Create a list of the most important resources related to architectural production (labor, capital, technology, etc) in the collective you selected (general possible examples provided below). Be as specific as possible and consider multiple scales. If you are stuck, consider a “day-in-the-life” of the collective you are imagining. Ask: “From the time they wake up to the time they go to sleep, what are all the specific resources (tools, social networks, infrastructure, etc) that facilitate their production.”  List your answers using the base drawing file in Google Drive or create your own.
  4. On the Miro board, categorize the nature of each resource along two axes. On the x axis, a spectrum from easy to give exclusive access to only those paying for the resource (excludable) to impossible to give exclusive access to those paying for the resource (non-excludable). On the y axis, a spectrum from use of the resource by one prohibits the ability of the resource to be used by others (rivalrous) to the resource may be used by many without any diminished of its effectiveness (non-rivalrous). Refer to the examples in the matrix below and this short summary of general concepts.  You may use the drawing base file in Google Drive or create your own.