15:00 - 16:40
Session: S17
[Commons and Infrastructure] + Design
A framework for infrastructuring commons creation
Infrastructuring Co-Design; Commoning Infrastructure; Creative Engagement; Tool Appropriation
Justin SACKS, Rosendy GALABO

In this paper, we present a framework that combines the co-design and commons fields to support the creation of social practice infrastructure required to sustain a commons. A commons is a shared resource managed by a community of people rather than a government entity or private company, and commoning is the social practice to maintain a commons. The commons/commoning literature offersrobust frameworks for analysing an existing commons but lacks approaches for creating a new commons. To address this gap, we turn to co-design to develop approaches that support communities in commons creation. We draw on co-design’s use of frames, tools, and infrastructuring to develop a ‘commons creation framework’. Infrastructuring approaches seek to design structures that outlast designer involvement for use and adaptation by communities. The proposed framework is a design support to guide communities in their ongoing exploration of the critical components of a functional commons. The commons creation frameworkis composed of a commons creation matrix that assists people in selecting tools to address critical factors of a functional commons and a tool improvement matrix that assists people to tailor selected tools for localised use. To explore this framework, we applied it as a lens to three tools used in the transition of libraries into neighbourhood centres. This application provided insights into how the framework guided the categorisation of tools and framed the improvement of tools explicitly for commons creation. Future research involves sharing the framework with communities to gather insights on its evolution.