Reading on Commons | with Sophia Holst


Reading on Commons | with Sophia Holst

Publication-Sophia-Holst-reading at SEA Foundation
Publication Forms of Public Privacy, research by Sophia Holst
and Image Essay by Axel de Martau, 2019


Reading session:
18:00 – 19:30 CEST



Please register by filling up the registration form

This reading group event is part of SEA Foundations’ longer-term research of art and sustainability fold #02 on Commons

The event is free of charge, organised by artists and volunteers of the SEA Foundation. Donations are welcome.


Common Space: The City as Commons

Sophia Holst’s practice reflects on the public realm and the effects of urbanisation. In collaboration with photographer Axel De Marteau, Holt recently produced Forms of Public Privacy, This publication takes a critical stand on the current trends in urban development in Belgian cities, and Western cities in general. which is resulting in over-designing and over-programming the common spaces. As we are currently learning about commons and commoning in fold II. on Commons we are glad that Sophia Holst accepted our invitation to lead the reading session. She will be joining us on location at SEA Foundation.

Together we will read an excerpt from the book Common Space: The City as Commons written by activist and architect Stavros Stavrides. In the book, Stavrides researches the city as a dynamic space where new forms of social relations and experiences emerge. We are encouraged to conceive the city as a common space going beyond the notion of public and private and to understand it as a space that explicitly expresses, encourages and exemplifies new forms of life in common.

Sophia Holst

Through research, exhibitions and applied architectural projects, Sophia Holst both practices and reflects on the field of architecture and urban planning. By questioning and manoeuvring deeper into this field, she intends to reveal the political and ideological standpoints behind current urban developments and trends. Holst focuses on her own living environment, a Western European context, where city-politics tends to bend towards neo-liberal urban growth at the expense of socio-economic diversity and urban equality. Some of her projects have focused on: the value of public privacy in decaying public spaces, the privatisation of urban commons in Vilnius, and the continual issues around social housing in Brussels.

Sophia Holst (1988) is a Dutch architect and researcher based in Brussels and Maastricht. She obtained a Master’s degree in Visual Arts at the Sandberg Instituut in Amsterdam and a Master in Architecture at the KU Leuven in Brussels. Next to her independent practice, she worked for architecture offices Studio Anne Holtrop (NL), Nu architectuuratelier (BE) and CRIT. (BE). Her projects explore the design or use of architecture and public space in relation to politics, social paradigms and everyday human activities. As a resident of the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, she currently works on a critical study around the social housing developments of Brussels.

Website Sophia Holst

Stavros Stavrides

Stavros Stavrides is an architect, activist and associate professor at the School of Architecture, National Technical University of Athens, where he teaches courses on social housing design, as well as a postgraduate course on the social meaning and significations of metropolitan experience. His publications on spatial theory include The Symbolic Relation to Space (1990); Advertising and the Meaning of Space (1996); The Texture of Things (with E. Cotsou, 1996); From the City-Screen to the City-Stage (2002, National Book Award), Suspended Spaces of Alterity (2010) and
Towards the City of Thresholds (2010).

The programme of reading sessions:

27.10.2022 reading with Anna Zvyagintseva
05.10.2022 reading with Jun Zhang
25.08.2022 reading with Christopher van Ginhoven Rey
in fold V. on Awakening

02.12.2021 reading with Laura Castro
16.09.2021 reading with Amy Franceschini
in fold II. on Commons

08.07.2021 reading with Sheng-Wen Lo
17.06.2021 reading with Katarina Jazbec
20.05.2021 reading with Mari Kesi-Korsu
in fold I. on Empathy

More suggestions for reading? Check out the Commons recommended book list

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Forms-of-Public-Privacy-research by Sophia Holst and Image Essay by Axel de Martau
Forms-of-Public-Privacy-research by Sophia Holst and Image Essay by Axel de Martau
Forms-of-Public-Privacy-research by Sophia Holst and Image Essay by Axel de Martau