An Urban Team in a think tank?

Our working lives are in continuous dialogue with our urban environments. Autonomy_Urban applies Autonomy’s focus on work and workers to the city.

We develop projects, programs and proposals that support new forms of work and leisure, designing radical and pragmatic visions for the future. We create physical and digital infrastructures for community and economic resilience, collective care, worker services, and resource redistribution. Our work addresses the lived experience and ongoing struggles of workers, whilst planning for the habits and habitats of a future beyond work.

Our team of architects, urban planners, and designers collaborates with local authorities, unions, grassroots organisations, and universities, leveraging the broader insights of the think tank.

Through our consultancy, we help governing bodies, private agencies, and civil society organisations future-proof their urban spaces and services.

A recent project for the regional government of Valencia gave us the freedom to imagine three core infrastructures for the urban centres of the region. The product of our work there can be found at the link below.

From SME logistics to Long Term Care Centres to local remote working hubs

We are developing concepts for ready to hand, implementable models for economic resilience.

One important strand of research and design revolves around ageing, care work and place. Read how we approach these issues through the links below.

We are also exploring new blueprints for remote working in the post-pandemic environment, developing designs for new Community Open Workspaces

We teamed up with Common Wealth to envision what a Green New Deal will mean for the UK's cities and towns. Our drawing dives into the carbon-free city of 2030, an urban environment geared for care, leisure and sustainable work.

A green urban future will not just mean different energy solutions and a wave of retrofitting. As we develop new patterns of work and leisure, re-thinking the spaces we share in the city is key.

Follow the following link to learn more about that project and what a Green New Deal City would entail.

Working with local authorities to bolster mobility and conviviality

In Summer 2020, we were commissioned by Hackney Council to help them with the programming of community spaces and the development of visual methods in order to discuss proposals with residents

As part of our work, we investigated physical barriers and deterrents to active lifestyles, the presence of interstitial and underused open spaces and what the furniture and infrastructure of conviviality might look like.

There was a particular focus on narrative building and communication.

Julian Siravo

Julian is an american-italian architect and urban designer. Trained in London, he has spent time both in commercial and research-based architectural practices, as well as working independently in the practice he co-founded in 2015, Rowhill Studio. In his work Julian has explored automated construction, post-familial domesticity and socialized care-work. His research for Autonomy spans from aging populations and the future of care, to food and logistics.

Stavros Oikonomidis

Stavros Oikonomidis is an architect and urban designer from Thessaloniki, Greece. After studying Architecture in Greece, Stavros practiced at the intersection of architecture and documentary production, investigating the social dimension of urban transformations during the Greek debt crisis. After finishing his MA at the Royal College of Arts he continued extensive research on the future of urban manufacturing, industrial intensification and creative workspace.

Stephanie Sherman

Stephanie is a producer, researcher, and strategist working at the intersection of social and speculative design. Her projects activate latent surplus and stories to reorganize outmoded systems into platforms for co-production.

Cosimo Campani

Cosimo Campani is an Italian architect and researcher. He pursued a PhD in Architecture and Urbanism between Roma Tre University and the Architectural Association and he is a research member of the think tank Autonomy. In his work, Cosimo focuses on the interaction between labour, architecture and urbanism, particularly on the territorial implications of capitalist production. His PhD research spans from manufacturing and domestic work, to automation and logistics.

Throughout his career, he lectured as a visiting professor at Yale architecture advanced Studio (with Pier Vittorio Aureli) as well as organised courses and seminars on architectural and urban design at RomaTre University, Royal College of Art and Architectural Association.

As part of our work we contribute to various events, helping to shape the debate: from the European Placemaking Week to art exhibitions, from academic conferences to design symposiums.

We also collaborate with higher education courses and degrees, bringing our insights to live projects and workshops.

In 2020-21 Autonomy are running the studio module on the City Design MA at the Royal College of Art. Students will explore 'pandemic urbanism' and the crisis of work that the Covid virus has brought on in cities.

A workshop we ran at the Marina de Valencia in June 2019, sourcing ideas for a redesign of a local warehouse space . Photo by Carpe Studio

Follow the link below to read more about our 'Post-Work City' design project with students from University College Arts in Epsom.

Read more Autonomy_Urban work here: