‘Questioning the Creative City’ in Newcastle

“Questioning the Creative City is a two-day event bringing together artists, researchers and grassroots innovators to debate the role of creative practice and innovation in the life of cities beyond the current obsession with market-oriented growth strategies. How do creative practitioners and grassroots social innovation see their contribution to the city? How can cities support and promote creative practice? Can we envision a city that values creativity for its own sake, rather than as a means to an economic end?” Continue reading


Community Economies practice-exchange

In June 2019, Common(s)Lab was invited by the Rovereto-based design practice Brave New Alps to join a 5 days get-together of artists, designers and economic geographers working with community and diverse economies in their practices as researchers and creative practitioners. The event was organised by Bianca Elzenbaumer as part of her Marie Sklodowska-Curie research project she is currently developing in Bolzano, hosted by the EURAC Research centre. Continue reading


9 months of Common{s}Lab

At the end of last year, we initiated a new project called Common{s}Lab in Schillerkiez, a neighbourhood in Berlin-Neukölln near Tempelhofer Feld. With this project, we aim to co-develop a platform for action and research around the urban commons, diverse economies, and sharing practices in neighbourhoods. Continue reading

Move Utopia_sw

MOVE UTOPIA 2017 – Get-together of movements

End of June 2017, a 5-day gathering of alternative movements called MOVE UTOPIA took place for the first time on Kulturkosmos Müritz, a festival site in rural Eastern Germany. The main aim of the get-together is to join forces with each other in the struggle for similar goals: “a world according to needs and abilities” that leaves the current capitalist system and market logic behind.  Continue reading

Gibson Graham Iceberg model

Review: Take Back the Economy

Take Back The Economy by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy is a practical guide for the transition toward a postcapitalist society suited for amateurs, students, citizen, and activists alike. Through tools, tips, and examples from around the world, the book engages its reader in a very accessible way, dismantling the idea that the economy is separate from us and better left to experts. 

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Our first book

As our first project, AoA independently published the co-edited book ‘Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities’ in 2015; an open book exploring the visions, actions, tools and impacts of change agents, thinkers and ‘happeners’ (those who make things happen!). It shows the creative processes and tools for designing positive societal transitions. These transitions are revealed by showing the new hybrid relationships being forged between alternative approaches to learning, living, making, socialising, thinking and working. Continue reading


Designing with(in) a community: Sharing insights gained through practice

Essay by Malin Bäckman, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)

I wanted to gain understanding of how to involve residents of a neighbourhood in a design process through a series of initiatives, referred to as ‘explorations’. These explorations were carried out between October 2011 and August 2012 in Kannelmäki, a suburban area of Helsinki, and formed part of my Master’s Thesis at the Creative Sustainability programme, at Aalto University.  Continue reading


An experiment put to practice

Interview with Cordula Andrä, ZEGG Centre for Experimental Cultural and Social Design

ZEGG stands for Zentrum für Experimentelle Gesellschaftsgestaltung – Centre for Experimental Culture and Social Design. It is an intentional community living in the small town of Bad Belzig, an hour away from Berlin. ZEGG has existed for more than twenty years since its foundation in 1991 and reinvented itself more than once over the years. Continue reading