Postgraduate architecture student from Glasgow wants to meet Commoners from Antwerp (20th-27th sept)

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Hello, my name is Louisa and I am a postgraduate architecture student at the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow. I am very interested in the role of the architect as a facilitator for participatory urban design. In this way, architects can draw on the local communities’ unique perspective and personal experience of their neighbourhood to collaboratively create architecture which they identify with, and which they find most useful. In September I will visit Antwerp and commence with a year long design thesis set in the city.

I want to learn about the commons experiments in Antwerp from those who contribute towards them. As a starting point for my project I intend to create an inventory of the existing commons projects within the city. I plan to research and record the inventory by mapping existing commons sites within Antwerp, and routes to, from and between the commons, drawing and photographing what activities take place within the commons, and how these activities occupy the common space, and the physical environment of the commons and their surroundings.

I am very interested to discuss how the commons are collectivity run, and I would love to meet you there to talk about it. I want to learn: What happens in this common? How did you become involved in the commons? Do you have a definitive role within the commons? Do you live nearby? Are you growing something in the commons? How is it decided what will be grown? And when to harvest? And who gets to eat it? Do you ever cook together in the commons? Can you tell me about another place in the city you would like to common? Have you built anything in the commons? How do you think architects could collaborate with citizens to create new commons? I will use little excerpts of interviews, photographs, drawings and maps to build a picture of the commons in the city. 

I would be delighted to meet with you in the commons. I will arrive in Antwerp on the 20th of September for a week long research trip. Let me know if you would like to share your knowledge with me at I’m really looking forward to hearing back from you and to possibly meeting up in Antwerp. 

Koen Wynants