Doing laundry, praying, celebrating, dancing, taking your dog to a walk, playing, biking, running... Most, if not all of these activities prioritize individuality in today’s world. Considering these everyday activities as individualistic acts strongly undermine the sense of commons. This project proposes a way of communing through the ritualization of these activities. If a house errand like doing the laundry can be transferred onto the public medium, this change will inspirit a collaborative neighborhood identity as well as re-define how people use both private and public space.
The starting point of the project is an ill-defined lot which is adjacent to both single-family houses and vecinidades in the neighborhood. Starting from here, the project proposes a formation of an urban network, enhances connections in multiple scales throughout the site, also has the potential to spread through Santa Maria as a system.
One of the main ideas that shaped the design is the line between public and private. This network is a secondary public street in some parts but is an extension of the fully domestic space in another. So the idea is to have thresholds that define the size of the commune. The proposal aims to create commons that are in between public and private.
This proposal introduces a new concept to Santa Maria, a secondary urban network that has specialized sub-programs. The reason why most vecinidad patios are not effective spatially is the abundance of activities taking place in the very limited space. This new secondary public space offers a line of activities mentioned before, such as celebration and praying spaces, playgrounds, spaces for doing laundry, and dog parks. And, In some parts, the design preserves the desired “emptiness” of the patios.