The notions of the public and public space have been traditionally associated with the idea of collective interest and civic participation. Today, however, public spaces throughout the world are being increasingly restricted through privatisation and institutional powers obsessed with security, surveillance and control. Meanwhile, the Internet and social media has expanded the notion of the public sphere, from the physical to the virtual. At times, an action in one sphere affects the other: a flash mob starts with a tweet, a Facebook campaign fights the closure of a park, and an Instagram image fuels a revolution.

By creating a focussed environment for UK-based and international practitioners, DF aimed to facilitate exchange and foster new ideas and propositions about the public domain.   DF supported peer-to-peer conversations between participants through a series of informal gatherings and meals, as well as targeted organisational visits and opportunities to engage with artists, academics and researchers interested in the same lines of inquiry.  These internal events were complemented with an external public programme of talks, screenings, dinners and panel discussions to engage with the public-at-large.


Artists, curators and writers were invited into residency for one to three months: Azin Feizabadi(Germany/Iran), Decolonizing Architecture Art Residency (Palestine), Keg de Souza (Australia), Maxime Hourani (Lebanon), Sherief Gaber of Mosireen Collective (Egypt/USA), Işıl Eğrikavuk (Turkey) and Övül Durmusoglu (Turkey).

UK Associates included Lorenzo PezzaniNishat Awan, Bahbak Hashemi-Nazhad, Cressida Kocienski, Kelda Free & David Brazier, Basia Lewandowska Cummings, and Young in Hong.

Open studio programme

By bringing together practitioners from different creative fields, Delfina Foundation explored how artistic strategies have and can be used to address wide-ranging issues related to the commons and public space, both the real and the imagined, from the city square to the computer screen.  During the residencies, Delfina Foundation’s project space was transformed into a public open studio, featuring finished artworks, research materials, films and videos that serve as starting points for the investigations taking place at Delfina Foundation.  For more information, please click here.


A series of events in the form of talks, screenings and meals were integral to the open studio programme as well as the residencies.  For more information on events, please click here.


The Public Domain returned to the forefront our programmes at Delfina Foundation in autumn 2015 with the sub-themes of Grey AreasGame Theoriesand Covert Ops. For more information on the programme, click here.