Crafting autonomy: Space as product and agent of decommodification in 3 housing collectives

This research explores the spatial manifestations of the efforts to sustain collective decommodification of housing within a market-driven context.

Considering space simultaneously as a manifestation of social relations and as an active contributor to their (re)definition, this doctoral research offers an in-depth exploration of 3 long-sustaining housing collectives within which housing is not traded as a commodity, but transmitted on value-driven grounds with little to no monetary transaction involved.

Using the thereby established societal schism, the research aims to expand dialectically upon the widespread assumption derived from the "spatial turn" in social sciences that opposition to a space imposing order and normativity would find its resolution in a self-produced, self-established and self-governed spatiality.

To do so, we will study the spatial layouts within these housing collectives dynamically and on different scales, focusing on the following aspects:

  • the establishing of a differentiated dwelling practice coherent with the outspoken and practiced values of the collective ;
  • the ability to compose with shifting urban and social realities in order to maintain the collective practice ;
  • the ways in which the order established through space imposes itself on, and/or evolves with, emergent new practices within the collective.