Camp Commons

At Camp Commons we engage with rural communities to reclaim abandoned communal land. Together we set temporary camps in these new wild places, where we build three different shelters. We invite many different guests to stay for a few hours or days, and they share their experience there by producing some artefact, action or information that contributes to take care of this commons while letting go of it together so new wild life can emerge within this ecosystem. Camp Commons is a pro bono initiative.

What?
Camp Commons is a community that shelters ideas. It is based on camps located in abandoned communal places that are becoming wild.

Why?
Our goal is to let these places’ diversity and complexity rise, by making questions and searching for shared sources -commons- in them, bringing exhausted soils, tired environments, into a new wild life.

How?
You can send us a collaboration proposal, with a short explanation of who you are and what you do. We will carefully consider it and eventually give you some shelter back in our camp.

Who?
The knowledge produced by our guests during their stay is shared -live and online.

Where?
Our first camp is located in a forgotten vineyard in Porrera (Priorat, Catalonia), and will be moved every five years to a different place. We are willing to open new camps elsewhere, to chart other forgotten territories.  When we leave, this place and its community move on together.  We are aiming to create a small camps net. Any suggestions?

When?
You can stay for a night, a weekend, a week, a month…

FOUR AGENTS

Camp Commons is a collaboration between four agents:

1. A community.

It all starts by meeting a small rural community. Their awareness of their survival bonds with the land is a gift.

2. A communal land.

Forgotten places and new eutopias. Commons and new wild. Working together is a gift. We work with local communities in order to find abandoned biotopes that have no current use. After the past centuries’ extensive abuse, consumption and destruction of land, these last 50 years an apparently reverse process of renaturalisation has spread throughout many occidental countries.

Far from romantic approaches -our camps are surrounded by rather humble landscapes-, these young forests and new wild places bring opportunities to strengthen their communities social tissue, and to increase the health of these shared environments.

Our thesis is that instead of leaving them alone so we don’t disturb their natural growth, they are key places where we can act as positive agents by helping them evolve in a more diverse and complex way. Our camp will give ideas to the local people on how to inhabit this communal space. Hopefully, when we leave, this new life will already be flourishing there.

3. Guests: Mutual gifts and hospitality.

Your ideas are a gift. They can arise from feelings or thoughts, and can take many forms. A musician can tell his proposal through a song; a biologist can explain a strategy to strengthen some part of the ecosystem; a writer, a tale; an architect, a shelter made with the resources at hand; an enologist, a new way of making wine. All these documents are made in situ and become a mapping of the site and its potentialities, tracks of your life in this ecosystem. We give shelter for ideas.

4. A camp: Unentropic principles. Shelter and symbiotic construction.

In order to welcome our guests and to give them some comfort, we need to set camp.  Our camps are spread in three little habitats: the room, for one or two people, where you can sleep, cook and rest. The bath, where you can have a sauna and wash yourself. And the thinkshop, where you can give time and contemplation to your ideas. These slight shelters give you some space and time so you can live for a few days in this hill. They are somewhere between a tent and a cabin. Barely climatised, almost an exterior, before domesticity.

All energy resources are obtained directly from the surroundings, through very simple mechanisms, with no machines involved. No waste is left on the site, and the structures are easily disassemblable, transportable and reassemblable in another camp.

With the necessaries of life –food, shelter, clothing and fuel- provided, you can devote some time to share and document your thoughts and feelings.

the campboards (the project’s former name) story at Inspira program. La2 national spanish television:


THREE CONDITIONS

All the shelters we build follow the same three conditions:

1. Human collaboration.
We invite people to stay in our camp. We share time, space and hospitality. Each shelter construction, that usually only takes a day, is a celebration, with the help of friends and people from the local community.

2. Environmental collaboration.
Our cabins must work in symbiosis with its environment. Bringing new life, not contaminating, using only energy and matter that’s available on the site.

Therefore they must easily adapt to the different users, camps, weathers, seasons, night and day… and they grow from the specific possibilities of each territory.

3. Traveling shelter.
We move to a new location every few years. So these shelters must be portable, easy to move, assemble and disassemble several times, leaving no destructive trace behind them.


THREE SHELTERS

exo, exoendo and endo.

We make three shelters in each camp. The first one is totally made off-site and quickly assembled onsite (exoshelter). The second one, a few months later, is made in collaboration with a craftsman from the local rural community (exoendoshelter), with her tools, skills and available renewable materials. The third one is done using only sources available in our camp (endoshelter).

  1. exoshelter

2. exoendoshelter

3. endoshelter


PORRERA

Our first camp is located somewhere in the hills of Porrera (Priorat). Their people have lent us an abandoned sloppy vineyard, with little shades, a small stream, and no apparent charm. On our first walk along this place, we met two deers. They crossed the stream and disappeared running uphill on the other side. Maybe they sleep and feed nearby. Their bodies are adapted to the conditions of this environment. They just lay under the shade of a tree. We are different. We need a shelter to survive. The boundaries of this land remind of the head of a deer.

Wild.

Water source. Mine.

Water source. Mine.

Water source. Mine.

Water source. Mine.

Water source.

Water source.

Water source.

Water source.

Water source.

Water source.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Viticulture.

Endogenous construction.

Endogenous construction.

Exo&endogenous construction.

Exo&endogenous construction.

Exo&endogenous construction.

Exo&endogenous construction.

Exo&endogenous construction.

Erosion.

Erosion.

Erosion.

Erosion.

Erosion.

Erosion.

A slight shelter.

As one walks up the slight slope of the abandoned mountain, views open and the sky is more present. The three shelters will be placed on this slope, as well as a tiny outhouse, an outdoors bath and a compost box. All the 23 hectares slowly manifest as a rich and diverse ecosystem, where we can go on excursions, rest in a pine tree island or sit among a humid forest.

RELATED CONTENT