Nomadic Property: Spatial Opportunism of the Commons
The system of real property ownership, consisting of land or buildings, delimits urban form and experience and often inflexibly prioritizes private value over communal experience. While some pre-modern precedents of the commons (a system of sharing resources) have been maintained elsewhere, the United States, in particular, largely upholds a rigid system of private ownership and use. However the influence of a volatile economy, social dynamics, and temporal use patterns destabilize this system leaving certain parcels fallow for periods of time. Though “property” often implies an object of ownership, it is also synonymous with a quality or characteristic. These subjective properties define a place but are not necessarily tied to a particular location. Thus an alternative concept of property can exist outside of the legal boundaries of object or location as mobile and nomadically seeking spatial opportunity. How can this alternative definition of property enable the communal use of these sites within fallow periods? What alternative loopholes can be exploited to enable this appropriation into the domain of the common?
The concept of nomadic property manifests as a field manual, identifying specific aspects of property that can be exploited through a set of spatial and architectural tactics. This toolkit is adaptable to different conditions of place, time, and particular manifestations of the commons.