Rather than bring in an ‘outside’ curator, the IABR decided to invite a group of active citizens to take on this role. Of the ten practices interviewed, five eventually joined the IABR Commons Collective BoTu. Each of these initiatives developed and contributed its own program. Through joint meetings aimed at developing a common narrative and program, a picture of collective identity and action gradually emerged.
Following previous collaborations between BoTu and the IABR, initial explorations began in the winter of 2021. In the first half of 2022, the collective met with the IABR to discuss mutual expectations. The relationship between commoning, the activities already taking place in the district, and the spatial aspect were important in this context.
Biweekly meetings resulted in a joint program of tours, performances and events in either the Bospolder-Tussendijken district or the local Ferro venue, depending on the target audience, both during and after the IT’S ABOUT TIME biennale.
During these events, commoning theories were put into practice and tested. It all came together in the podcast ‘Gedeelde Grond’ (Shared Ground), in which representatives of 15 initiatives were interviewed by Hugo Post of MediaAtelier Delfshaven (MAD) about their goals and methods and the pitfalls they encountered. Linked to this podcast series was a ‘GoTo BoTu’ tour: a permanent ‘district exhibition’ so that visitors can visit the initiatives and listen to the podcasts on their own initiative or with a guide. The podcasts and the GoTo BoTu tour were launched on 12 January 2023.
The end result of the IABR Commons Collective BOTU to date is twofold. The first prong is a series of projects, actions and events that have brought the initiatives closer together, effectively demonstrated ‘commoning in action’ to a wider audience, and sharpened the collective’s substantive focus as it operated. A second one is the increased visibility of a collection of transitional design practices through a walking tour, district exhibition and podcast series.