Location: Seoul, South Korea

Program: Exhibition Design for the Seoul Architecture & Urbanism Biennale 2017

Area: 20 m2

Client: Seoul Architecture and Urbanism Biennale 2017

Status: Exhibited Sept.-Nov. 2017


Prof. Christian Dimmer

K2LAB (Waseda University)


The term “commons” is often used to characterize a more or less coherent community of people who share a specific resource and safeguard its fair use. The 21 elements presented in the exhibition are representative of the wide and rich spectrum of community projects and small and big commons in Tokyo’s Yanaka neighbourhood. They are ordinary, everyday matters that show the diverse motivations and the strong individual aspirations, as well as the desire to collaborate with others, which are the vital prerequisites to create and maintain the commons.

Community and commons do not exist a priori, nor are commoners born as such. They co-emerge with common matters that connect people and places. Rather than monolithic and unitary, commons coexist and co-emerge at various levels; nestled into one another; larger commons assembled by smaller ones; each of them dynamically expanding, contracting, or fusing with others.

This nuanced view of the commons suggests that it is not necessary to coerce everyone into a unified common mindset, but rather allow and embrace the co-existence of a variety of motives, loosely connected to each other by small and big common matters. In pluralistic societies, a collection of independent actions with self-empowered, strong, intrinsic motivations are important to create sustainable projects and foster creativity.

Discover stories behind each objects on Instagram:

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