Spaces of Solidarity

‘Spaces of Solidarity’ aims at examining community-driven spaces and spatial processes that pool and share resources to build social cohesion in times of crisis or absence of government, at a variety of scales, places, and contexts. ‘Spaces of Solidarity’ attempts to explore environments of community formation and open up a dialogue on the agency of design in enacting and facilitating actions of solidarity.

Solidarity is equally a product of imagination and pragmatism. One must be able to imagine forms of human coexistence but must also be able to produce spaces and to coordinate actual processes for distributing resources and creating access to services. Production of solidarity involves all spatial scales of human communities: one can have solidarity with his or her peers, a society can demonstrate collective solidarity towards those in need and states can show solidarity towards each other or the natural world.

Values of solidarity extend beyond survival; they enable us to build relations with multiple communities and with strangers, develop cultures, a commons, economic or ecological systems, and designs.

‘Spaces of Solidarity’ will look at individuals and communities coming together and generating new forms of mutual support. Examples include the Women’s March, Sanctuary Cities, refugee support along the shores of Greece, Tent Cities, Hotel Walmart or Boston's Methadone Mile.

The primary goal of this course is to explore the built environment from the perspective of solidarity: accumulating showcases, sharing methods and forming design tools to make visible and enact spaces and imaginaries of solidarity. We will examine and propose Spaces of Solidarity from multiple perspectives and disciplines, and in a variety of scales and territories. At the end of the semester we will produce an online publication in collaboration with Amateur Cities.