Amsterdam Noord

The red queen hypothesis – a story of co-evolution, Konstantinos E. Papasimakis

First, the commons are understood as a series of concrete architectural and urban figures, which can be found in the Western and non-Western city and represents an idea of commonality. From this perspective the term refers to notions of the public realm. However, whereas the public realm is often thought to address the public at large in exceptional locales and moments, the commons seem to engage with smaller communities, within ordinary places and times. In this time of rapid development and strong differences, there seems to be a need to rethink and redraw these architectural figures of commonality.

Second, the commons are looked upon from a procedural perspective, implying the rituals, pleasures and politics of co-operation that articulate an architectural project. Increasingly there is an idea that architectural projects are not a single-authored ventures, but rather complex and layered processes that depend upon multiple agencies that establish a commonality. This commonality encompasses the shared effort of designers, advisers, constructors, and owners, but architectural projects are also the result of the commonalities of other stakeholders, like inhabitants, users and neighbours that negotiate forces into a new venture. In other words, architecture is a ‘common enterprise’, a public effort.