Platform for Research through the Arts and Sciences

Contemporary Commoning is a two-year research project investigating the many ways in which ‘commoning’ can contribute to new forms of public space, in the physical as well as the digital realm, and new spaces for public action. This research takes the potential contribution of design and art in these processes of ‘commoning’ as the main point of departure. 

The research is a collaboration between the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Sandberg Instituut, Waag: Technology and Society, University of Amsterdam’s Center for Urban Studies, Casco Art Institute, and Studio René Boer, who were awarded an NWO/SIA Smart Cultures grant in 2019.


links: project page


“Trusted Subcultures” is a design-cum-manifesto for a new public space to arise on the waters of Amsterdam. The project addresses several questions vital for a better understanding of our everyday living environment: A lot of our governments’ funds go towards the improvement of social cohesion, but what is “social cohesion” in the first place? How is it possible for strangers – people from different subcultures – to become “trusted familiar strangers”? The design takes an innovative and optimistic concept of the stranger as its starting point. The proposal for a temporary floating park offers flexibilility and a variety of possibilities for action, which makes it into a very suitable pilot project for developing a new understanding of social cohesion in public space.


partners: studio RAAAF [Rietveld Architecture-Art-Affordances]