I saw a tweet this week (above) – I’m, regrettably, back on twitter now that the presidential election is over – and then I went down a rabbit hole thinking about what community means.
A couple years ago, I was working on a project in London co-designing market furniture with “the community” of Somers Town. On a particularly frantic day of building, I was somewhere between finding more sandpaper, recording a voiceover for a video about the project, and talking to people who passed by the space where we were working. One of these guests approached my frantic self and asked, so what’s the about? I quickly said something to the effect of, we’re a group of students working with the local community and Camden Council to design… This person simply responded, don’t you mean communities?
I think about this interaction so often that I actually feel bummed out that I’ll never be able to thank this person. Of course I meant communities. Of course, Somers Town is made up of many individuals who move in and out of groups, gathering around situations or experiences or sometimes just the fact that you’d like to see some useful furniture at your local market.
We talk about ‘the community’ a lot. What do we mean?