Co-responsibility and the multiplicities of co-

Udall, J., Vardy, S., Vodicka, G. and McCloskey, P. 2019. Co-responsibility and the multiplicities of co-. (Im)possible Complicities. Berlin, Germany 23 - 24 May 2019

TitleCo-responsibility and the multiplicities of co-
AuthorsUdall, J., Vardy, S., Vodicka, G. and McCloskey, P.
TypeConference paper
Abstract

How can we start to think about relations with others in the production of and life in, the contemporary city, when our language, imagination and praxes have been so co-opted by the spectacle and capital? Whether we call it the anthropocene, the chthulucene or the capitalocene, our epoch is fundamentally relational, both the crises that engulf the earth and the alternative imaginaries that are made and necessary all speak of connections, affiliations, alliances, networks and interdependencies, all of which relate in complex, non-linear, entangled ways. At the core of many resistant, creative, relational practices and positions is a recurring and dominant figure, the prefix co- ; which has been exhausted of power and potential as it tries to fuel collective desires and practices, nowhere more so than in the life and transformations of the city. As we are called upon to co-operate, co-llaborate, co-produce, co-research and co-design (to name only a few) the space is rarely afforded to question the basis of this co-; its forms, histories, character, limitations and potentiality. This relates to the history of participation in architecture and the city. To investigate the city as co- is to acknowledge the political context of “planetary civil war” (Steyerl, 2016) and to explore how we are bound-up in chains of capitalist labour, unequal dependencies, and exploitative relations (Frederici, 2010), (Trogal, 2017). It can also be understood as seeking ways to act commonly, fight against processes of enclosure and separation of consumption and production, or to acknowledge more-than-human relations, and interdependencies. We can also think about co- otherwise; including at a material and granular level, with non-humans, as complex assemblages of productive differences, in a temporal dimension as coinciding, and as approach to design that acknowledges a distributed process and explores its democratic potential (Holert, 2012). In this paper we are drawing on perspectives from three different spatial practices of which we are part: a place of their own (an art/spatial research practice); Studio Polpo (the UK’s first social enterprise architectural practice); and Architecture Sans Frontières - UK (a non-profit organisation aiming to make community development integral to architectural practice and teaching).

Keywordsurban, design, praxis, spatial practice, architecture, participation, co-
Year2019
Conference(Im)possible Complicities
Publication dates
PublishedMay 2019
Web address (URL)https://vimeo.com/341315667

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