May 29 2024

Congratulation Vanessa Monna to your doctoral thesis!

Vanessa Monna
By Bodil Malmström

What does “Civic Design” mean? Vanessa Monna´s PhD research scientifically frames the essential nature of Civic Design, which addresses issues while simultaneously presenting a critique through the proposed outcomes.

It does so by being value-rational, embedding design processes, nurturing processes of common work in and for the space of togetherness, doing the work of agonism, construing through the lenses of power, ownership, and representation, and forming publics while learning together. She would like to give a big thank you to fellow ekip partner.

“Valentina Auricchio from Politecnico di Milano was my amazing supervisor, without her I wouldn’t have made it! And both Yvonne and Martijn from the Municipality of Rotterdam contributed to the thesis. I interviewed them as Public Officers since I took Rotterdam as a case study for my work”, says Vanessa Monna.

“To live together in the world means essentially that a world of things is between those who have it in common, as a table is located between those who sit around it; the world, like every in-between, relates and separates men at the same time” (Arendt, 1958).

“Imagine the common good as this table around which different stakeholders, from citizens to public administrations, gather. These people meet and share the same space, filling it with conversations, proposals, and desires as if they were placing different kinds of food on it. Even if unanimity is hardly present, if treated as a place in common, the table advocates for diverse voices to be present, enabling a process resulting in negotiated resilience”, says Vanessa Monna.

This analogy opens to issues of engagement, making things public, and opening unjust black boxes. How is it possible to build such a table? This thesis highlights how Civic Design can build such tables, shaping diverse experiences of democracy.


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