Platform for Research through the Arts and Sciences

In response to the request of property developer BPD to rethink the design and programming of communal spaces in their housing developments on Amsterdam’s Zeeburgereiland, this project identifies several experimental strategies for organizing urban commons, drawn from art and spatial design.


In Amsterdam, a city known for its history of social housing, rental and squatting,  there is a steady rise of privately-developed and privately-owned housing. As housing is privatized, the right of common increasingly implies creating and managing privately-owned public and semi-public spaces or providing and consuming specialized goods and services in the sharing economy. These (semi-)public spaces, goods and services, which are tied to private property, are what this project refers to as “the private commons.”


This project introduces the concept of the private commons as a space for artistic and design intervention, by outlining sites of opportunity within the design and implementation of new urban spaces. The private commons allows us to imagine alternative relations between public and private space in the contemporary city.




/ Adeola Enigbokan \

Adeola is an environmental psychologist. She explores how the spaces in which we live and work can better express our values and commitments, as individuals and organisations. She holds a PhD in Psychology from the City University of New York and a BA in Anthropology from Columbia University. She currently lectures in Urban Sociology at the University of Amsterdam, and Architectural Design at Gerrit Rietveld Academy. 


/ Gavan Blau \

Gavan is a human geographer and organisational strategist, with professional experience as an  economic analyst and commercial litigation lawyer. He brings an empirical, research-driven approach to complex systems, thereby partnering with decision makers and communities to co-design holistic solutions to embedded problems. He holds an LLB and BCom (Honours) from the University of Melbourne and an MSc in Economic Geography from the University of Amsterdam. He currently lectures in Landscape Architecture at RMIT University.