Established in 1848, Girard College in Philadelphia was one of the first progressive institutions of its kind in America, offering free housing, holistic support, and education to orphaned children. The oculus above used to cast light onto the books and papers of these students, illuminating new landscapes of ideas.
I hope this site might shed similar light onto ideas that are not new, but remain persistently obscured and themselves orphaned by the forces of convention, habit, and the glare of late capitalist markets and mindsets.
While commonweal and the various systems that thwart and support collective care and stewardship might be unifying themes, the subjects are simply my interests.
Currently, these include the nonprofit sector, arts and heritage, commoning, resource sharing, collective organizing, economic and political theory, history and philosophy of science, horticulture, behavioral sciences, woodworking, historic preservation, and systems thinking, among others.
The writings here do not aspire to scholarly rigor or expertise. They are thought experiments, observations, and reflections on the writings of others, encountered in the work on my various projects. For the reader, I hope these writings might cast light into a previously dark corner.
— Thaddeus Squire, Spring 2020
The photographs that you find throughout this site are public domain and have been drawn from the Historic American Building Survey (HABS), a project of the Library of Congress. HABS was begun in 1933 as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal and seeks to document for public benefit the diversity of America’s built environment–a commoning project as wondrous as it is impossible. Each of the buildings depicted carries some personal meaning for me, though the reader will need to apply their own interpretive imagination.