While people in the Global South have been “self-building” out of necessity for decades, the trend has only recently surfaced in the Global North on a larger scale in recent years
Do-it-yourself (DIY) and “insurgent” architect collectives aim to push back against top-down urban design by assisting citizens in the reclaiming of public spaces through unconventional means.
DIY Architect Collectives Emerge in Spain
Western countries tend to be highly bureaucratized, surveilled and privatized — making common space, rather than shelter, more of a commodity. Earlier this year, Belgian researcher in urban sociology, Louis Volont, explored the ways several Spanish architect collectives create common spaces. Volont writes, “… DIY interventions, directly or indirectly, produce urban commons. DIY urbanism alters city space for collective use: Even when one DIYer modifies the outlook or functionality of the city, the result can be shared, experienced, or used in common. DIY urbanists, alone or during participatory projects, tend to avoid top-down, corporate, or privately led place making,” and, therefore, generate what some call “open-source” urbanism.
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