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    INTRODUCTION : A Common Tale of Two Cities Leipzig and Prague are two fascinating cities with Soviet backgrounds. Although with different cultur… Read More
    INTRODUCTION : A Common Tale of Two Cities Leipzig and Prague are two fascinating cities with Soviet backgrounds. Although with different cultural backgrounds, both cities have successfully overcome the economic and population decline since the fall of the Soviet rule. Another interesting aspect is the economic, social and cultural growth of these cities. These are cities with a big potential. People are fed up with overcrowded and expensive cities such as Berlin, Paris or London. Cities such as Leipzig and Prague have now become the new cultural centers for the young and enthusiastic. However, the remnants left by the decline of industrialisation and communism is evident in the urban fabric. We see several abandoned sites and buildings throughout the city, rotting through time as the city is moving forward a new direction headed by capitalist ventures. Assuming low budget and minimal cost, the commons could be a suitable economic solution through collective ownership and collective exchange, without capitalist or private interference. Commoning is a bottom to top initiative which allow people a gradual and steady inhabitation of sites which are deemed “unprofitable” in the eyes of the capitalist. The IG Fortuna, a former GDR youth cinema in Leipzig and the Karlin Barracks a former military barracks are both monuments of the cities’ past which the people hve mixed feelings about. The challenge of this research is to harness a context in which the locals can relate to and be enthisiastic about. This project has also led me to examine the role of the architect today. The aim is for this research to be a mode for other commons and also provide a sustainable framework for running these commons. The result of the project is not a final product, but a simulation of situations, opportunities and possibilities allowing freedom of artistic creativity, resourceful productivity, and social activity. Read Less
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PRAGUE COMMONS
Part 1: Svejking up the Karlin Barracks
 
In the spirit of “The Good Soldier Svejk”,  the Karlin Barracks is itelf a serious monument waiting to be annoyed, maybe even frustrated. Once a stately military complex, the barracks is now ageing and decaying along with its promise of miitary sovereignty and power. Karlin Barracks should be, like the adventures of Svejk, a place for random occurences  within a rigid system. Svejk’s Anti-War attitude in line with Cedric Price’s Anti-Architecture and Non-Plan, is a fun and satirical way of dealing with the series of unfortunate events that has occurred to the barracks.
PRAGUE COMMONS
Part 2: The Carnival of the Commons
 
The courtyard of the Karlin Barracks is where the Carnival of the Commons can be established, allowing the users to freely inhabit, colonise and take over.
The next level of colonisation at the Karlin Barracks is a juxtaposition against the rigid background of its former military past. Once the barracks has been occupied, and new modules have been created from the depot collection programme, it is inevitable for activity to spill out to the courtyard. 
The other courtyards in the neighbourhood seem to be where the inhabitants express themselves, by building informal structures, or growing their gardens, to fulfill additional needs. 
The formation of the Commons Carnival at the courtyard is a physical and social resistance against capitalism and planned architecture which has often failed the masses. 
By participating in the commons at Karlin barracks, we are able to slowly collect the resources needed for the colonisation process.
The Carnival of the Commons is acollection of everyday objects- donated, found, or salvaged.
With impermanence in mind, these objects can be transported to site, adapted to suit the needs of the user, and also can be taken down whenever the user sees fit.