community economies and situatedness

What can it mean to move from a critical to a caring design practice? To explore this question, I will take my own design practice as a starting point and reflect on how it has been transformed through the ongoing attempt to keep care as a central point of reference.

What happens when we move en masse from a critical to a caring design practice?

How to create an economy that cares?

Where is your community of care?


Bianca Elzenbaumer

is a design researcher based in the Italian Alps. She is a founding member of Brave New Alps and currently also works as a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow in the Institute for Regional Development of Eurac Research. Her 40-year research plan focuses on supporting and creating community economies and commons starting from the Alps. To do so, she combines participatory design and research methods with radical pedagogy, feral approaches to community economies and lots of DIT making and organising. She also enjoys engaging with feminist practice and theory, creating a community academy at a local train station, writing, foraging to make fizzy drinks and exploring the woods with her extended family.

Martina Dandolo

is a Designer since 2003 and graduate in Eco-Social Design at the Faculty of Design and Arts of the University of Bolzano. I have been involved in visual and inclusive communication, cultural projects with relational and participatory approaches. Through my work, I develop tools, that thanks to communication, publishing projects, relational and co-design projects I apply in order to investigate the processes of social and cultural transformation. I’m particularly interested in community and mutual economies, form of activism, feminist theory and self-determination processes.

recommended readings or other media
  • Helfrich, Silke, and David Bollier. Frei, Fair Und Lebendig: Die Macht Der Commons. transcript Verlag, 2019.
  • brown, adrienne maree. Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds. Chico: AK Press, 2017.
  • Gibson-Graham, J.K., and Ethan Miller. ‘Economy as Ecological Livelihood’. In Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene, edited by Katherine Gibson, Deborah Bird Rose, and Ruth Fincher, 7–16. New York: Punctum Books, 2015.