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Adhocracy Athens Adhocracy Athens. From Making Things to Making the Commons

Adhocracy is a philosophy of action characterized by creative, flexible, purposeful attitude. Unlike bureaucracy and its fixed schemes, Adhocracy is adjustable to different challenges and situations. Adhocracy uses available systems in unimagined ways to face existing problems quickly and efficiently.

From the late 18th Century, the Industrial Revolution allowed serial manufacturing processes and contributed to the unlimited production of identical, increasingly sophisticated goods that required specialized professionals to produce them. Since the beginning of the 21st Century, we are witnessing a New Industrial Revolution based on limited production, prototypes and customization. This is a movement fuelled by a cultural shift that drives people to share designs and collaborate with others in, both online and physical communities; with digital desktop tools and affordable manufacturing devices. The entry barriers that have been firmly in place since the last Revolution are now being swept away by access to information and tools that can also be modified. This new paradigm does not need big production lines or factories with highly standardized industrial processes. It is enough to generate workspaces for interaction, where the ideas of citizens who have training or experience can mix, cross-fertilize and spread. Rather than big factories and the bureaucracy that the system has built to control itself, we are now feeding self-organizing networks that are not afraid to have fun and learn by doing.

Ad-hoc processes allow people to get rid of market stereotyping and challenge the rules of capitalist consumerism. In some cases such processes are deeply related with the notion of ‘the commons’; a concept that refers to social relations and social justice. It is based on sharing a set of resources, which are non-commodified and open spaces where the commons can be transformed form a noun into a verb: “to common”. Commoning is to share the way we create practices, as we are constructing them. The pieces in Adhocracy Athens not only reveal the current alternative ways of production process and the social-economic realities of design but aim to share concrete results and methodologies, realms of thinking and critical understanding of labor, production, and education. Adhocracy is a different way to understand this ever-changing world; where it comes from and also how to move on.

In this exhibition you will find a wide range of projects showing the path from making objects to making the commons. From an Arduino printer that constantly updates its contents from Wikipedia; or luthiers in 21st Century bringing to life trash cans to create, instruments, orchestras and even insects; to a modular construction model where everybody can contribute with parts, components and structures. Coupled with the promising uses of digital fabrication tools we will find devices to harvest solar energy and recharge electric bicycles; collective experiences of bottom-up reuse of abandoned urban landscapes and a “coming community” built from a collective imaginary through everyday life practices.

Adhocracy highlights achievements by makers who are guided by the will to change the system by changing the way they make things themselves.