Piranesi, Pasolini, and Punk Rock—Reflections on the Meanings and Potentials of Urban Wastelands in the Eternal City (and Beyond).

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Piranesi, Pasolini, and Punk Rock—Reflections on the Meanings and Potentials of Urban Wastelands in the Eternal City (and Beyond).

Cities have always been subject to the forces of ruination.  Buildings, monuments, and infrastructures built with the pretense of permanence, inevitably succumb to the shifting fates of disinvestment, abandonment and transition.  How should we look at these spaces as citizens, as designers, planners, and ecologists? What’s going on within them and why does it matter?

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Bangalore or Bust: Commonstudio Heads to India

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Bangalore or Bust: Commonstudio Heads to India

Commonstudio is Bangalore bound!  Well, almost.  Fuelled by a 2016/17 Fulbright-Nehru research grant from the United States-India Education Fund (USIEF), we're thrilled to have the opportunity to put down some temporary roots in India, beginning in October of 2016. 

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Signs of Life at The Metropoliz Future Forest

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Signs of Life at The Metropoliz Future Forest

Last week marked our first visit to the Metropoliz Future Forest site since our assisted migration efforts in the fall of 2015.  We were honored to co-lead a group of visiting scholars, artists, and designers from the American Academy in Rome for a “Walk & Talk” which focused on the many signs of life and friction that exist in the contemporary fringes of the “eternal city.”  

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Commonstudio to join "Come In" exhibition at the A+D Museum Los Angeles

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Commonstudio to join "Come In" exhibition at the A+D Museum Los Angeles

(Los Angeles, CA) — On March 24, A+D Architecture and Design Museum>LosAngeles will present Come In! DTLA, an exhibition that celebrates the Museum’s new neighborhood in Downtown Los Angeles and the designers who find inspiration there!

The latest installment of the Museum's Come In series presents what is on the minds and in the studios of the cutting edge, innovative designers of Los Angeles. Featured work pushes the boundaries of traditional forms of architecture and design and extends to graphics, digital media, landscape, fashion, furniture, installation, photography, sculpture and more.

Come In! DTLA is organized by A+D Architecture and Design Museum>Los Angeles and curated by Danielle Rago. Exhibition design by Tyler McMartin.

Commonstudio will demonstrate how many of our projects and overall creative trajectories were inspired by our time in Los Angeles,  and how these ideas relate to ongoing challenges within Downtown Los Angeles and beyond.

Find out more at www.aplusd.org

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“The Ecologies of Elsewhere” A Walk & Talk with Daniel Phillips, Kim Karlsrud, and Lindsay Harris.

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“The Ecologies of Elsewhere” A Walk & Talk with Daniel Phillips, Kim Karlsrud, and Lindsay Harris.

Commonstudio co-founders Kim and Daniel will participate in a conversational excursion to the post-industrial periphery of Rome on the morning of March 24th, 2016.  Building on valuable historical perspectives from Lindsay Harris (current Mellon Professor at the American Academy in Rome), we will use the districts of Prenestino and Centocelle as a fitting lens to discuss issues of historical and contemporary migration and settlement within Rome from both a social and botanical perspective.  We will also visit and discuss our recent collaborative landscape intervention at the Museum of The Other And The Elsewhere (MAAM) as a case study examining how marginalized people, plants, and places find ways to survive, thrive, and build resilience against all odds.  

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Made in LA- Assessing Our Impact at the DWC Five Years After “Abject Object.”

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Made in LA- Assessing Our Impact at the DWC Five Years After “Abject Object.”

To celebrate the dawn of a new year, we wanted to take a moment to reflect on a past project that is near to our hearts.  

“Abject Object”, which began in 2009,  was an early attempt to develop series of products and workshops that were focused on creating pathways to skills, income, and a creative outlet for homeless women in the notorious Skid Row district of Los Angeles.  It was co-developed in partnership with the amazing folks of the Downtown Women’s Center, and an equally amazing, diverse and ever-evolving roster of design volunteers.  We met every Sunday for five years, volunteering our time from the craft rooms or windowless basements of the DWC’s old building on Los Angeles street.

It wasn’t always easy, glamorous or even fun, but it provided a crash course in the often messy intricacies of working directly with community stakeholders, and attempting to bring a sustaining social enterprise to life.  In 2009, Project H volunteer Jenny Liang helped produce a brief video that shows a glimpse into the process.  

Perhaps the most powerful and enduring aspect of these efforts were not the individual projects and products as we originally assumed, but the workshop and engagement model that continues in some form to this day.  Five years after we began the initiative, the DWC is celebrating the success of Made—a brick-and-mortar social enterprise located at its new building on San Pedro street in Downtown.

Made provides a public face to the organization and an opportunity to broadcast it's mission of hope and resilience.  It’s a place to stop in for a coffee and check out a range of handmade goods, some of which are still produced in on-site workshops with the women of the DWC.  

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Project Preview: The Metropoliz Future Forest

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Project Preview: The Metropoliz Future Forest

We are excited to share some field notes from initial stages of a collaborative tactical landscape intervention we are calling The Metropoliz Future Forest, developed in an ongoing creative partnership between Commonstudio (Kim Karlsrud and Daniel Phillips) and Flash Atoye (Firat Erdim and Olivia Valentine), with support from the American Academy in Rome.

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"A-Roma"- Exploring the scent of ecology in the eternal city.

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"A-Roma"- Exploring the scent of ecology in the eternal city.

Commonstudio's "A-Roma" installation re-interprets ancient Rome through a contemporary lens by distilling the scents of the living urban ecologies growing on top of, in between, and alongside historic sites.

It was created for the annual "Cinque Mostre" at the AAR, celebrating the work of the current Rome Prize designers and artists, and will be on display until February 29th.  

Read and see more on the project HERE

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