Bianca Elzenbaumer

President of the cultural organisation Brave New Alps
Directing the Alpine Community Economies Lab
Brave New Alps
Rovereto, Italy

Other Affiliations

since 2022 - vice-director, Center of Other Worlds, Lusófona University (Lisbon, PT)   
since 2021 - co-president of the environmental NGO CIPRA International   
since 2017- co-founder and member of La Foresta - Accademia di comunità (Rovereto, Italy)   



2014 - PhD in Design, Goldsmiths, University of London, UK
2010 - MA in Communication Art and Design, Royal College of Art, UK
2007 - MA 1st level in International Peacebuilding and Conflict Mediation, University of Bologna, IT
2006 - BA in Design, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, IT
2021 - Training in forest pedagogy
2015 - Training in permaculture design
2007 - Training in home economics

Honors and Awards

2022 New European Bauhaus Prize, finalist with the project Forno Vagabondo  
2021 Lush Spring Prize for the project Comunità Frizzante  
2019-2021 Marie Sklodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship at Eurac Research (IT)  
2019 Hans Sauer Award for the the project La Foresta  
2014 Design Fellow at Akademie Schloss Solitude (DE) 
2010 Museion Art Prize (IT)

Research Interests

Participatory design, commons, feminist posthumanities, feminist economic geography, spatial practice, rural-urban connections, theory-practice relays.

My 40-year research plan focuses on supporting and creating community economies and commons in the Italian Alps. To do so, I combine participatory research methods with radical pedagogy, feral approaches to community economies and lots of DIY making and organising.

Together with my partner Fabio Franz and other members of Brave New Alps, I create spaces for making, learning and exchanging and I contribute to practices of commoning and community-building processes, both locally and trans-locally. Currently, I am in the process of consolidating the community academy La Foresta and the Alpine Community Economies Lab at the train station of the valley I live in. I also enjoy engaging with feminist practice and theory, writing, (self)publishing research outputs, foraging to make fizzy drinks, building things with my hands and exploring the woods with my son and his friends.