Together with refugees and local cultural initiatives, we started a garden at the ZUsammenKUNFT initiative, which took takes place from May 2016 to December 2017 in an old fifteen-storey hotel on Potsdamer Platz in Berlin. Since late 2015, the hotel has provided a home for new and old Berliners – refugee families and a few residents who own their own apartments there. Since May, local initiatives focused on social practices have been located on the top two floors. Here, fifteen socially committed groups and individuals work with refugees in a laboratory of coexistence and cooperation. ZUsammenKUNFT serves the prototype for a much larger project at the Haus der Statistik on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, which similarly aims to house low-income residents and refugees. Beyond the crucial need to integrate refugees into the society, ZUsammenKUNFT foregrounds the need to reimagine design and architecture by reviving the participation of residents, which was abandoned some fifty years ago by the housing practices of neoliberal economics.
Title: Berlin – Garden at the ZUsammenKUNFT
Dates: May 2016 – December 2017
Students: Lisa Eggert, Lea Kirstein, Robert Köpke, Barbara Niklas, Kathrin Solbach, and guests of the class Felizia Berchtold (Konzeptdesign, HFBK Hamburg), Anna Bergrun Hallsteinsdottir (visual artist, Hamburg), Sara Björg Bjarnadottir (visual artist, Berlin) and Hye-Eun Kim (Konzeptdesign, HFBK Hamburg).
The Class of the Design for the Living World in collaboration with: Nachbarschaftsakademie at the Prinzessinnengarten, new and old Berliners and cultural initiatives at the ZUsammenKUNFT project, Berlin.
The Garden Is a Living Room
During the weekend of July 15-17, the space behind the ZUsammenKUNFT building began a transformation from an empty space associated with garbage collection to a lively gardening area. Working with children and others who live in the building at Stresemannstrasse 95-97, students from Design for the Living World and guests of the class combined play and work to create an open-air living room.
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