What shall we make in common?

COMUNfARE is our long-term practice-led research project situated in the economic, spatial, social and environmental context of the Vallagarina district in the Italian Alps. During our presentation, we will share how we go about researching our intuition that commoning may actually offer us a way out of the environmental and social shitstorm we are in. We will discuss practical experiments we are conducting together with other citizen activists in order to create and activate spaces where ways of relating and living together become possible that are challenging our competitive, individual and market-driven ways of life.


“Being-in-common–that is, community–can no longer be thought of or felt as a community of humans alone; it must become a multi-species community that includes all of those with whom our livelihoods are interdependent and interrelated.” Ethan Miller and J.K. Gibson-Graham

“For many living in precarious situations, the Anthropocene is already life-altering, life-threatening, and even deadly. It comes in the form of a massive flood or a rising tide that takes their homes away. Or as an oil well that poisons the river on which they depend. But for others, especially the white and middle-class of the global North, the Anthropocene is so banal that they do not even notice it. It is the green front lawn, the strip-mall parking lot, the drainage ditch where only bullfrog tadpoles remain.” Heather Anne Swanson

“Thinking with a feminist insight that ‘the personal is political’, personal ethic-political practices of change need to be also though as collective. By this, I refer to situations when people are changing their ways of doing at the level of personal everyday life, not individually but in connection to a collective.” Maria Puig de la Bellacasa

Short Biography

We produce participatory design projects that engage people in reconfiguring the politics of social and environmental issues. We combine design research methods with radical pedagogy, feral approaches to community economies and lots of DIY making. We create a diversity of outputs, including spaces for making, learning and exchanging; commoning and community-building processes; events such as workshops and conferences. We also enjoy feminist theory, writing, (self)publishing research outputs, working with our circular saw, printing with our Risograph and good graphic design. We are currently co-creating a community academy at our local train station in the Alps.

Bianca Elzenbaumer works as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies, Eurac Research. Fabio Franz is a Ph.D. candidate at the Sheffield School of Architecture, University of Sheffield.

Recommended Readings

The banality of the Anthropocene – Heather Anne Swanson Manifesto for living in the Anthropocene – edited by Katherine Gibson, Deborah Bird Rose and Ruth Fincher Matters of Care – Maria Puig de la Bellacasa