This imaginary mid-eighteenth-century proposal is a model of land organization that projects a shared private space on a newly emerging capitalist economy. Private here does not mean individualized but instead indicates an area that remains independent from the outside economy. This narrow and near-invisible strip of land is not zoned to extract use-value but is instead shared and mutually improved. This design speculation, set in the past, renders a new and fictional history where the commons are not enclosed but remain in the form of a shared network. Imagining alternative pasts ultimately defamiliarizes the present and leads to speculations on new forms of common land.
The Common Border
On Site Review, no.38, lines, borders and breaches, edited by Stephanie White, 2021
Design Team: Fionn Byrne with Diana Guo, Jiahui Huang