Girard College Founder’s Hall, Philadelphia, PA (Classroom Oculus)

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 shown above used to cast light onto the books and papers of these students, illuminating new worlds of ideas.

In like manner, I hope this site might shed light onto ideas that, in truth, are not new, but remain persistently obscured by the forces of convention, pernicious cultural norms, and the blinding glare of neoliberal capitalism.

While commonweal and the various systems that thwart and support collective care and stewardship might be unifying themes, the subjects vary according to my interests and encounters.

These include the nonprofit sector, philanthropy, arts and heritage, commoning, resource sharing, collective organizing and the Solidarity Economy, economic and political theory, history and philosophy of science, horticulture, permaculture, behavioral sciences, and historic preservation, among others.

The writings here do not aspire to scholarly rigor. They are thought experiments, observations, and reflections on the writings of others, encountered through my work on various projects. Thank you for joining me in these explorations.

Thaddeus Squire


Architecture, historic building craft, and horticulture are go-to source for images to break the text. The photographs throughout this site are public domain and are either my own (most of the plant and garden images) or 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 F. D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and seeks to document for public benefit the diversity of America’s built environment and the “American vernacular”–a commoning project as wondrous as it is impossible.