Online Workshop Series

Designing the Cultural Commons for Members and Patrons

Join this series of workshops to discover new models for sharing resources, values, spaces and wealth.

Please note this event has been postponed to July 2021.

What to expect

Collectively explore alternative values, approaches and modes of production for design through the lens of the Commons: an emerging field of study that offers new models for sharing resources, values, spaces and wealth.

In this series of workshops, tutors and students from the MA ‘Designing the Cultural Commons’ will introduce a range of methods and techniques that can be applied to your own work.

Tuesday 4 May: Noise as Common Hazard with Saurabh Levin
Noise pollution is a growing problem in urban communities that has numerous adverse environmental and health effects. It is symptomatic of largescale inequalities in production and distributive practices, and of a lack of structure in how we manage our shared soundscapes. This workshop will introduce commons-based approaches to tackling noise pollution. By using smartphones and opensource applications to conduct noise surveys in their neighbourhoods, participants will create audio streams that can be shared online. Participants will learn how these shared repositories of data and media can be used as evidence towards civic rights, and ways in which community soundscapes can be managed.

Wednesday 5 May: Language of Care in Cultural Commoning with Emilie Mendy and Aurore Jullien
The language of care is at the heart of commons thinking; without a language of conviviality, there can be no commons governance. This workshop is designed to encourage young people to develop leadership skills using care principles. Over the course of the workshop, participants will engage in dialogue, listening and observation to develop new collaborative modes of community building.

Thursday 6 May: Re-imagining the Neighbourhood with Lily Heaume
Civic reimagining is crucial to reclaiming control of the streets to ensure a more inclusive, accessible and enjoyable neighbourhood that is guided by social values other than those predicated by capital. In this workshop, the concept of cultural commons acts as a framework for enacting social change. Through role-play and creative writing, participants will collaboratively develop tools and methods for reimagining possible futures embedded in social and environmental justice. Participants will be invited to utilise their collective imaginations to propose alternative futures for their towns and neighbourhoods.


Torange Khonsari

Torange Khonsari is Co-Founder and Director of art and architecture practice Public Works, an interdisciplinary practice combining performative art, architecture, anthropology and politics. Torange also leads the Design for Cultural Commons Masters at The Cass. She has previously taught at international universities such as UMA School of Architecture in Sweden and UIC Barcelona, Guildhall, and the RCA.

Emilie Mendy

Emilie Mendy set up Bizzie Bodies in 2015, to empower the local youth using digital technology, art and design thinking. By bringing together communities from different backgrounds, Bizzie Bodies aims to provide young people with the tools to develop life-affirming skills. Emily is currently studying for the Design for Cultural Commons Masters to develop the idea of a youth-led commons and a language of care as a model for confidence building.

Lily Heaume

Lily Heaume is a relational artist whose work explores the environmental effects of London's Olympic and post-industrial landscapes through the forms of walking tours and workshops. Lily is working on commons-based projects local to Hackney Wick and Fish Island, such as Hackney Wick Underground, an organisation that builds on culture and creates common good through shared workspace.

Saurabh Levin

Saurabh Levin is a Bangalore-based designer and researcher whose work touches on the environment, democratic access to technology, and music. He has worked on projects ranging from an open-source water quality monitoring platform to DIY electronic musical instruments. He is currently exploring commons-based approaches to managing noise pollution on the Design for Cultural Commons MA.

Related exhibition

Designer Maker User

Featuring over 1,000 objects, Designer Maker User is an introduction to the history of contemporary design through three interconnected roles - the Designer, the User and the Maker.