Students research and develop projects that respond to the context and identity of the river island of Wilhelmsburg and the communities who live there.

This is a partly urban, partly rural area surrounded by the River Elbe. Wilhelmsburg Island is currently undergoing rapid transformation due to major redevelopment in anticipation of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) and the International Garden Exhibition (IGA) in 2013, as well as the municipal government’s general intention to integrate Wilhelmsburg more fully into Hamburg’s central district.

Publication Design for the Living World, 2011/12
Living on the River Island of Wilhelmsburg


Living on the River Island of Wilhelmsburg

This is one of the projects of the Design for the Living World class:

Cargo Bicycle Transport System by Markus Hüppauf

Cargo Bicycle Transport System (pdf)

Markus Hüppauf:

This project is focused on the district Wilhelmsburg, Hamburg. It addresses the issue of an inadequate infrastructure available to residents to transport their daily goods. Many people living in Wilhelmsburg need to take a bus to do their shopping. The idea for this project was sparked by the large number of shopping carts spread over the entire island. You will find discarded shopping carts almost everywhere. Many residents use the shopping carts of their supermarkets to transport groceries home, later discarding the carts on the street. Some supermarkets have implemented a magnetic wheel brake to stop this misuse of their property. This, however, neither stops people taking shopping carts nor does it address the actual problem of a lack of transportation possibilities. As an avid cyclist, artist and designer I have come up with a suggestion which I plan to realize and implement over the course of this year. Collaborating with residents in workshops I will build cargo bicycles. To do this I will use scrap bicycles, which are readily available from around the city and scrap parts such as discarded shopping carts. By using a DIY style of building it will be possible even for people with little to no fabrication experience to build an original and creative vehicle. When these very low cost cargo bicycles have been made I will incorporate them in a rental system so that they can be used by many different people. By involving locals in the process of creation and managing I will give them a local sense of identity and a sense of responsibility to the project. The project will be realized when the cargo bicycle system has become self sufficient and is used and managed by the people who created it.

Living on the River Island of Wilhelmsburg project is also published on the website of Department of Design, HFBK

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