WHAT WE DO

COHABITATION STRATEGIES seeks to assist municipalities, provinces, regions, non-profit, cultural, neighborhood and community organizations that wish to generate socially just and environmentally responsible urban projects by designing and developing diverse socio-spatial strategies focused on:

(1) Producing new spatial relations between citizens through the design of urban pedagogy frameworks, community workshops and urban campaigns that call-for and exercise the right to the city in all its derivatives.

(2) Researching and projecting on the complex ecology of cities by employing trans-disciplinary methods of analysis, with the purpose of producing useful and operative knowledge on how to address new urban initiatives and/or specific urban problems.

(3) Formulating non-speculative and collective property, pursuing local initiatives that encourage the production of alternative property models: community land-trusts, limited equity cooperatives, co-housing schemes and the development of experimental models of living.

(4) Transforming everyday life: the design and development of parallel social structures for the commons, community-managed housing, cultural initiatives, autonomous infrastructures, transportation alternatives and food sovereignty.

(5) Developing alternative, contentious and collective labor processes in urban or rural areas: informal markets, work cooperatives, occupations, communal farms, guilds and urban unions.

(6) Speculating with radically new urban imaginaries: stronger local solidarities, communal politico-economic subjectivities, social networks at larger scales and parallel urban economies.

Cohabitation Strategies’ work has inspired alternative pedagogies in academia. The cooperative members have been involved lecturing and teaching widely. Most of the  academic projects have implied extensive field work and hands-on learning scrutinizing pressing and complex urban and social issues. Urban projects with social impact covering different scales have been at the core of the academic work.These projects have developed in a transversal way intersecting different design disciplines. Urban housing and social justice, and the socio-spatial implications of urban decline, inequality and segregation, have been core topics. The academic work has been produced with the assistance of a large number of engaged students, external partners and collaborators including local experts, citizens, civic associations, community organizations, community leaders and urban activists. Some of the experimental projects have evolved into actual projects and neighborhood initiatives.

the cooperative

FOUNDING MEMBERS

LUCIA BABINA

Lucia Babina is a cultural activist whose focus is on research and reactivation of sustainable ways of cohabitation and coexistence. Her aim is to reflect on the current global unevenness and injustice by means of collective and artistic process.She is the co-founder of iStrike and iStrike.ultd in Rotterdam, an environmental organization aimed at creating multidisciplinary platforms of analysis, comparison, and international exchange. With iStrike and Strike.ultd she co-produced projects such as: Ars&Urbis International Workshop (Douala, Cameroon, 2007), Salon Urbain de Douala (Douala, Cameroon, 2007), Moving in Free Zones #1 and 2 (Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2007 and 2009), Talking About! (Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 2009). She is co-author of The Cook, the Farmer, His Wife and Their Neighbour as part of Stedelijk Goes West (Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2009); Market Academy Naschmarkt as part of Wiener Festwochen (Vienna, Austria, 2010); TheBrantClub as part of Musagetes’ Guelph Program (Guelph, Canada, 2012). Lucia has been giving lectures and producing writing contributions for several international platforms.

EMILIANO GANDOLFI

Emiliano Gandolfi is an architect and independent curator, Director of the Curry Stone Design Prize and co-founder of Cohabitation Strategies. Gandolfi was co-curator the 11th International Architecture Exhibition – Biennale di Venezia, and before this role, he was curator at the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam. He has curated exhibitions and presented work in numerous international venues including the Tirana Biennial, the International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam, the public art biennale Evento in Bordeaux. He is a co-founder of REbiennale, a cooperative platform created by a net of associations to share methods, processes and competences linked to self-construction. Over the past years Gandolfi has been involved in a wide range of projects, exhibitions and conferences that dealt with methodologies and strategies for urban transformation, on both theoretical and practical level. He has lectured and organized conferences in many institutions worldwide.

GABRIELA RENDON

Gabriela Rendón is an architect and urban planner. Her work combines urban research, spatial planning and strategic design. Neighborhood decline and restructuring are among her areas of interest, as well as collective and non-speculative property and housing models. Gabriela’s latest study centers on the politics, practices and constrains of socio-spatial restructuring through citizen participation in low-income districts in America and Western Europe. Previous research and design projects have taken place on the northwest Mexican border region. Gabriela is an Assistant Professor of Urban Planning at The New School, in New York City. She instructs diverse courses at the undergraduate Urban Design and Integrated Design Programs, as well as at the graduate program in Design and Urban Ecologies. She has also taught postgraduate urban studies at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands, where she received a Master in Urbanism and is currently carrying on doctoral studies at the Chair of Spatial Planning and Strategy.

MIGUEL ROBLES-DURAN

Miguel Robles-Durán is an urbanist, Associate Professor of Urbanism and member of the Parsons School of Design Graduate Urban Council in New York. He is a Senior fellow at “Civic City”, a post-graduate design/research program based at the Haute École d’Art et de Design (HEAD) Geneva, Switzerland and is a current fellow at the Montalvo Arts Center Sally & Don Lucas Artists Residency Program in Saratoga, California. Previously, Robles-Durán designed and directed the Masters in Science program in Design and Urban Ecologies at Parsons School of Design; he directed the Urban In-habitat unit at The Berlage Institute, The Netherlands; and co-directed the Civic City postgraduate program at the Zurich University of Applied Arts and Sciences (ZHdK), Switzerland and the Urban Asymmetries research unit at the Delft School of Design in The Netherlands. In 2008, Robles-Durán co-founded Cohabitation Strategies (CohStra), parallel to his work with CohStra, Robles-Durán consults diverse state and municipal governments on issues relating to democratic urban governance and strategic urban methodologies for achieving greater spatial justice and alternative housing and property systems. His direct engagement with urban social movements and institutions has led him to become acting Judge at the International Tribunal of Evictions, advisor to The Right to the City Alliance and co-directed with the marxist geographer David Harvey the National Strategy Center for the Right to the Territory (CENEDET) in the Republic of Ecuador.

PROJECT MEMBERS

 

GUILLERMO DELGADO

Guillermo Delgado is an architect, urbanist and associate researcher at the Labour Resource and Research Institute (LaRRI) in Namibia and doctoral candidate at the School of Architecture, Planning and Geomatics, at the University of Cape Town.

PHILLIP LÜHL

Phillip Lühl is a lecturer and deputy head of the Department of Architecture at the Namibia University of Science and Technology in Windhoek. There he heads the first year architecture studio as well as the History and Theory cluster of courses. Phillip studied architecture at Delft University of Technology / Netherlands and collaborated in urban research projects in Mexico City and Rotterdam. He recently curated the international exhibition “Legacies of a Colonial Town” in London and Namibia, tracing the socio-spatial development of Namibian cities throughout the colonial period and beyond.

Thomas Purcell

Thomas Purcell is a political economist. He completed his PhD, ‘A Marxian Analysis of Endogenous Development in Venezuela: A Critique of the Landlord State’, in 2010 at the University of Manchester, UK. His research interests are in the political economy of development, urban studies and critical social theory with an empirical focus upon Venezuela and Spain. His recent monograph The Limits to Capital in the European Periphery: Capitalism, Crisis and Revolt in Spain (co-authored with Greig Charnock and Ramon Ribera-Fumaz), will be published in Palgrave’s International Political Economy series. 

Angel Lara

Angel Lara is a sociologist and scriptwriter. He has taught Sociology at the Open University of Catalonia  (UOC) and he is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at The State University of New York (SUNY) and an Adjunct Professor at The New School, where he teaches Urban Research Methods and Socio-Praxis. He is also a member of the ‘Charles Babbage’ Research Seminar on Social Sciences of Labour at the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) and a researcher fellow at the Instituent Knowledges Network (Ins-Knows Network). He has worked extensively with different social movements in Latin America and Europe.

COLLABORATORS

Cohabitation Strategies has worked in different localities around the world with a wide range of local and international specialists, including geographers, lawyers, anthropologists, sociologists, political-economists, environmentalists, artists, architects and urbanists.

The cooperative has formed project coalitions or collaborations with the following persons: Jeanne van Heeswijk, Teddy Cruz, Erik Swyngedouw, David Harvey, Ruedi Baur, Imke Plinta, Alejandro Echeverri, Tahl Kaminer, William Morrish, Lorenzo Romito, Michelangelo Pistolleto, Lucia San Roman, Damon Rich, Marjetica Potrc, Aetzel Griffioen, Peter Zuiderwijk, Merijn Oudenampsen, Jan Konings, Carlos García-Sancho, Taufan Ter Well, Florian Arrijuria-Minaberry, Anne-Cecile Paredes, Fanny Liatard and Emmanuelle Roussilhes-Pouchet.

Collaborations with the following organizations: Right to the City (European Union), Bik van der Pol (Rotterdam), Stealth Ultd. (Rotterdam), Netherlands Architecture Institute (Amsterdam), The Berlage Institute (Rotterdam), The New School (New York City), Civic City (Zurich, Geneva), URBAM (Medellin), The Center for Urban Ecologies (San Diego), SKOR (Amsterdam), Curry Stone Design Prize (San Francisco), Warsaw Museum of Modern Art (Warsaw), Stalker (Rome), Political Equator (Tijuana/San Diego), Creative Time (New York City), Cittá del Arte (Biela), The Bordeaux Biennial (Bordeaux), Van Alen Institute (New York City), Atelier Tarwewijk (Rotterdam), Blackwood Gallery (Toronto), Fabrica Urbana, M7Red (Buenos Aires), Metahaven (Amsterdam), Casco (Utrecht), Musagetes Foundation (Guelph), Istanbul Design Biennial (Istanbul), The Philadelphia Mural Arts Program, The Museum of Modern Art (NYC) and The Right to the City Alliance (United States).

Furthermore, the cooperative has been involved with municipal governments in the following cities: Bologna, Valencia, Caracas, Medellin, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, Casarano, Bordeaux, Hamburg, Newark, New York City, Guelph, Philadelphia, Milan, Quito and Vienna.

 

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