Brave New Alps

Hospital(ity) school – please help with crowdfunding

We need your help to support a crowdfunding campaign for a project we are involved in.

For a few months now, we have been collaborating with an activist collective from Bolzano, who are running Italian courses in the ghettos of Southern Italy, where thousands of heavily exploited crop pickers live in horrible conditions – you may have heard of Rosarno. These are the people who pick the oranges and tangerines, but also many other agricultural products that we daily consume all over Europe.

About a year ago, the collective, called “Mamadou”, started to run language classes in these places – the mastering of Italian being identified as the most important means for self-emancipation.

Now, our plan is to build a modular structure (this was designed by an Italian collective of socially-engaged architects) in Rovereto, with the help of a group of asylum seekers. The ‘shack’ will then be shipped to Rosarno with the help of SOS Rosarno and assembled in the ghetto next to the town. The structure, which will be run by different engaged groups from all over Italy, will host an Italian school and a medical and legal assistance point.

As many of you know, since 2016 we have been setting up QuerciaLAB, a “community maker space” in Rovereto (see picture below), where we organise activities around making, the commons, and community economies, involving asylum seekers, local inhabitants and international guests. The space now hosts a fully-equipped wood workshop, where we plan to build the structure’s modules.

Therefore, we are now trying to raise money to realise this ambitious project. And for this we need your help!

You can donate as much as you want directly over the crowdfunding page: For donations of 20€ and above there is a nice little treat :)

Please download the architectural project here, so you can get a better idea of what’s boiling in the pot.

Also, it would be really great if you could help us spread this campaign as widely as possible through your social networks.

Thank you very much for contributing to make this happen!!

Making Commons Work | Medea Vox

The idea of commons describes practices that rely on sharing and collaboration. But how do you make commons work in practice, and not just in theory?

Traditionally, commons was about sharing natural resources such as land or woods. More recently, the idea of commons is used to describe a growing number of practices that rely on sharing and collaboration, from urban gardening to the production of open source software.

In this Medea Vox episode, Bianca discusses with design researcher Anna Seravalli how to work practically with commons and commoning.

Thanks to Richard Toopgard for the editing work.

By Design or By Disaster 2017

In a few days we’ll be contributing with a talk and a workshop to the upcoming By Design or By Disaster conference, at the Faculty of Design and Art of the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen. Very glad to see that our interest for the economies of eco-social design resonates.

… these are the slides of our presentation:

Alpine Commons with Studio Rural+

Between October 2016 and March 2017, together with Hannes Langguth and his group of MA students of Studio Rural+, hosted at the Habitat Unit of the Technical University Berlin, we are exploring the Alpine commons in the Vallagarina district (IT). The intention of this collaboration is to trigger experiments exploring new ways of living and working based on local commons and a collaborative society. How can architects, planners and designers help to imagine new forms of commoning?


QuerciaLAB – community economies research and resource centre

In the framework of the research COMUNfARE, since September 2016, we are working on setting up QuerciaLAB, a community economies research and resource centre in Rovereto (IT). As the Centre starts out, it is hosted in a disused industrial space (200m²), which is part of a complex of buildings that have been re-functioned in 2015 in order to host up to 80 asylum seekers. The Centre is conceived as a multifunctional space that will grow into an interface that through ‘making’, research and culture fosters the creation of alternative socio-economic relations between old and new inhabitants of the Vallagarina district and beyond.


The initial building workshops have been run in collaboration with MA students from the Sheffield School of Architecture and members of the Erasmus Plus network Ecole_IG in the framework of a Live Project.

We are working on the centre in collaboration with the co-operative Punto D’Approdo and have so far been sustained by Cinformi, Festool, Doka and an Erasmus+ grant through the Ecole_IG network.

We’re currently also working on QuerciaLAB’s own website – designed by Gaja Meznaric-Osole and programmed by Blaz Beuermann.

Exploring Territories – talk & workshop

We’re delighted to contribute to Exploring Territories, the Graphic Design Educators’ Network second annual conference, which will explore the physical, intellectual and existential terrain of design learning and teaching.

9 September 2016
Cardiff School of Art and Design – B Block, Cardiff Metropolitan University Western Avenue, Cardiff, CF5 2YB

And these are the slides of our presentation:

Urban Heat: Art Data and Activism


The Right to the (New) City: Art, New Towns and The Commons


On the 6th July we’ll contribute to the symposium “The Right to the (New) City: Art, New Towns and The Commons”, organised by Claire Louise Staunton for MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, UK. We’ll share some thoughts on the commons, commoning and community economies and how these concepts and related frameworks are currently relevant for our doing and research and how we are trying to activate them in practice.

At DRS2016, Brighton, 27-30 June


We’re in Brighton for different activities taking place in the framework of this year’s DRS conference – Design + Research + Society:

On Monday 27 June, together with Maria Portugal and Alison Thomson, Bianca coordinates a PhD by Design event “The Future of Design Research”

On Wednesday 29 June, Bianca is contributing to the conversation “Design as symbolic violence. Design for social justice”, organised by Jody Boehnert.

Also on Wednesday, together with Valeria Graziano and Kim Trogal, Bianca is coordinating the paper presentation strand “The Politics of Commoning and Design”, in which we’re presenting the paper “Commons and Community Economies: Entry Points to Design for Eco-social Justice?”

Making academic careers together. Recruitment, precariousness and gender


On the 24th May, we’ll coordinate the workshop “Making academic careers together. Recruitment, precariousness and gender”, which takes place in the context of the research project “Garcia” and COOP 2016 – XII International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems, hosted by the Department of Information Engineering and Computer Science of the University of Trento.

The one-day workshop explores the precarisation of work in academia and its intersections with the gender dimensions, a growing phenomenon in the last decade, with significant consequences in terms of intellectual development, continuity of streams of thinking and researchers’ well-being.

Here the manifesto that resulted from the two workshop sessions:





Two prints from Brave New Winter will be part of the exhibition “TRANS*NATURE”, curated by Jürgen Tabor, at the Kunsthalle Eurocenter in Lana (IT). The exhibition opens on the 27th May.

Reactive Interstices – a course on the other economy


The Circolo del Suolo goes on. The new chapter is called Reactive Interstices and it’s a course that consists in six week-end-sessions held between June and December 2016.

The course is dedicated to community economies and will bring together people who want to activate projects that rotate around the well-being of people and the environment.

On Saturdays, we will visit eco-social initiatives in Northern Italy, while on Sundays we will come together for seminars and workshops to strengthen the projects of the people participating.

Further details can be found here (in Italian):…/interstizi-reattivi-call.pdf

PhD by Design – documentation 2015

The documentation of the PhD by Design confernece “Resarching across difference” is now online.
… we can guarantee it’s a great read!

Download as pdf.

The Soil Guide #2


It’s finally snowing and the moment has come for issue 2 of The Soil Guide.
200 printed copies in green are also to be found around the Vallagarina.

PhD by Design – Instant Journal #2

The second issue of the PhD by Design Instant Journal is now out. It has been produced during the PhD by Design conference at Goldsmiths on November 5 and 6 2015. It’s focus is on “researching across difference”.

Download as pdf.

At TU Berlin / Architektur

Will soon give a talk about COMUNfARE at the TU in Berlin at the School of Architecture, in the framework of the Studio Rural+ and the Refugee City Design Studios.


On Idea mag

We contributed to the current issue of Idea magazine with a small text and a few images around the commons & commoning. Thanks Madoka Nishi :)


The Soil Guide #1

The first phase of COMUNfARE proceeds well. Just finished printing the first issue of the Soil Guide, a guide to the commons and commoners of the Vallagarina district. Its contents are generated together with those who contribute to the roundtable discussions we’ve been organising in Fabio’s home town Nomi since last July. Follow the updates on the project (in Italian) here:


Reading group: Take Back The Economy

We are starting a reading group around the book Take back the economy – an ethical guide to transforming our communities by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Stephen Healy and Jenny Cameron.

We will use the book to stimulate discussions about our socially and politically engaged design practices and the various economies that accompany them. This means that although it will be important to read the texts, it is even more important to draw on our own knowledge that we gained through practice.

The reading group will take place once a month and last for about 1.5hrs. Physically it will be based in Leeds and Nomi, but we will also always have a skype connection for people in other places to join.

The first session will be on Tuesday, 27 October 2015 at 17:00 (UK time). Please read the introduction for this first session, so we can decide together what direction to take and what makes us most curious.

The book is made up of an intro, 6 chapters and a conclusion, so if we meet once a month, this will keep us going for eight months and hopefully contribute to transform some of our economies!

If you want to join the reading group, please drop us a line: bravenewalps (at) gmail (dot) com.



Here our contribution to Backsides, a project by Simon Rogers, together with Kia Tasbighou, Erik Brandt, Other Means, Bastion, Jon Bland, Paul Bailey, The Rodina, Alistair Hall, Dante Carlos, Sarah Boris, Corbin Mahieu and Cyanne van den Houten.