Illich used the word ‘vernacular’ to name all the activities by which men and women engage in convivial forms-of-life. Vernacular activities reduce dependence on commodities sold by corporations, services hawked by professionals, donations handed out by NGOs, and public goods offered by the state. Whether they be rooftop gardens or dry toilets, whether they be community supported agriculture or factory cooperatives, this corner documents (in video, photo, text) the range and richness of vernacular activities that attest to the inventive and autonomous capacities of people. To contribute to this collection inspired by the Guide to Convivial Tools published by Valentina Borremans in the 1970s, send an email to [email protected]



Illich used the word ‘vernacular’ to name all the activities by which men and women engage in convivial forms-of-life. Vernacular activities reduce dependence on commodities sold by corporations, services hawked by professionals, donations handed out by NGOs, and public goods offered by the state. Whether they be rooftop gardens or dry toilets, whether they be community supported agriculture or factory cooperatives, this corner documents (in video, photo, text) the range and richness of vernacular activities that attest to the inventive and autonomous capacities of people. To contribute to this collection inspired by the Guide to Convivial Tools published by Valentina Borremans in the 1970s, send an email to [email protected]

Eating/Drinking

 All through history, the best measure for bad times was the percentage of food eaten that had to be purchased.

Dwelling

Only humans can dwell. Dwelling is an activity that lies beyond the reach of the architect, above all because no two communities dwell alike.

Healing

Late twentieth century practices its necromancy by…reducing persons born for suffering and delight to provisionally self-sustaining information loops. 

Eating/Drinking

 All through history, the best measure for bad times was the percentage of food eaten that had to be purchased.

Dwelling

Only humans can dwell. Dwelling is an activity that lies beyond the reach of the architect, above all because no two communities dwell alike.

Healing

Late twentieth century practices its necromancy by…reducing persons born for suffering and delight to provisionally self-sustaining information loops. 

Learning

School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 

Transit

In this fool’s paradise [of free rapid transportation for all], all passengers would be equal, but they would be just as equally captive consumers of transport. 

Tools

Imperialist mercenaries can poison or maim but never conquer a people who have chosen to set boundaries to their tools for the sake of conviviality. 

Learning

School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 

Transit

In this fool’s paradise [of free rapid transportation for all], all passengers would be equal, but they would be just as equally captive consumers of transport. 

Tools

Imperialist mercenaries can poison or maim but never conquer a people who have chosen to set boundaries to their tools for the sake of conviviality.