Scaling Material Urban Commons is a speculative city-making project investigating automated logistics for commoning material urban commons, such as rescued food. It postulates that some forms of material commons require different forms of beyond-hyperlocal scale commoning. The project critically investigates and prototypes technological and sociotechnical conditions for city-wide commoning of material urban commons, using a predictive-algorithm-based system emulator that orchestrates pickup and drop-off of rescued food in Basel and London. Introducing predictive technology shifts the site of commoning closer towards an algorithm-driven platform, which raises following key questions: What frictions emerge from changing scale in commoning? How to reconcile predictive technologies with local, idiosyncratic food cultures? How to engage in commoning with algorithmic agents in participatory settings? By addressing these questions, the project aims at creating imaginaries of commoning-based smart city alternatives.
smuc.kitchenProject Website

@smuckitchenInstagram account

Curated research

Advisory Board

Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis, Cultural History and Theory at the Humboldt University of Berlin
Prof. Les Back, director Centre for Urban and Community Research, Goldsmiths, University of London
Dr. Jaz Choi, director Care-full Design Lab, RMIT
Dr. Martijn de Waal, director Play & Civic Media, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences

Host for London based activities

Center for Urban and Community Studies, Goldsmiths, University of London

The project is funded by the Practice to Science Grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation (grant no 199107).

Machine Teaching Commons / Teaching Machine Commons

June 19th – Exhibition Opening
June 20th – Symposium

One-day symposium and exhibition on site- and community-specific algorithms for governing urban resources. Field Test invites Basel-based residents to imagine a community-run urban infrastructure for teaching a machine to distribute food fairly.

Join us for three workshops and a dinner and receive deliveries of rescued food items during the experiment.

The Anatomy of Commoning-based Predictive Infrastructures

Workshop at CML and public panel discussion at HackThePromise festival Basel.

15–16 September 2023

Scaling Material Urban Commons (SMUC) crafts imaginaries of commoning-based urban infrastructures. The ongoing research project just launched a new website.