Reichenberger Str. 86a, 10999 Berlin-Xberg. Photograph © Jan Bitter, June 2017
Architecture . Architectural Theory . Urbanism
1. Dream - Play - Challenge: The Future of Residential Living
Our recent international symposium "Dream - Play - Challenge, the Future of Residential Living" initiated a truly inspiring exchange. We had such a great set of discussions - joining together from many different spaces across the world, from offices and homes dialling in over the webinar, joining in person in the auditorium or in the exhibition space at the Felleshus of the Nordic Embassies in Berlin.
We, Sarah Rivière and my co-organiser - the independant researcher Wiltrud Simbürger - extend our warmest thanks for the generous input of so many architects and academics across the world. Each was vital to the co-creation of the exchanges that developed during the symposium, as each found the courage and generosity to raise their voices, present their research, locate their individual positions, give their generous support towards participants’ work and towards the questions of residing that face us today.
From the beginning, we set up this symposium within the WIA Festival Berlin as grounded in intersectional feminist modes of exchange. As a matter of course we worked to create a respectful space, where all felt welcome and “at home”, where all felt that their voices and their positions would be heard and welcomed on an equal level. We aimed for a welcoming and non-hierarchical exchange, on - as the German language so beautifully expresses – Augenhöhe.
The theme of the Future of Residential Living was chosen out of a sense of urgency towards our global failure to address how we want to live together in the future; to place the need for a home and a community out of which we can all stand tall and raise our voices at the centre of the conversation; to call for homes that can support the diverse constellations in which we wish to dwell and the diverse lives we wish to lead.
Together we developed a shared critical stance towards three core topics in this area: community, spatial agency (and the agency of the design process), and individuality.
And together, all of the contributions opened new avenues as to how we can start to Dream – Play – Challenge how we can reside, and through what processes these ways of residing can be created. We hope that this exchange can help facilitate a shift in attitude towards the question of how we want to live together in the future.
We are now looking forward to bringing the discussion further in a Dream – Play – Challenge publication. Some of the funding for this is secured, other funding is still open. We are seeking a concrete avenue through which we could complete our funding needs and thus make the publication possible, if you can support us here - please let us know!
2. The Survival Lounge and Berliner Architekt*innen: Oral History at the TU Berlin
Recent seminars taught at the TU Berlin include the Survival Lounge according to Sara Ahmed, and the Berliner Architekt*innen: Oral History seminars. Both were generously supported by the Belrin Chamber of Architects and were exhibited in the [FRAU] ARCHITEKT*IN exhibition, June - July 2021. The three recent publications from these seminars can be accessed online here:
- Inhabiting the Survival Lounge
3. Improving urban space and local ecologies
My recently completed project in Berlin-Kreuzberg brings one of the largest inhabitable green walls - 200 square metres in size - to Berlin. The new residential building includes eight flats with box-balconies where residents can stand within their own vertical garden above the street. In this project the challenge lay in integrating the latest green "living wall" technology into a façade with 8 balconies and 20 windows. Here architecture, urban planning, ecology, structural engineering and fire protection were successfully brought together in one design. The building was selected for exhibition at DA! Architecture in und aus Berlin organised by the Berlin Chamber of Architects.
Model photo showing the corner solution and communal terrace in the new-build on the corner of Reichenberger Straße 86 in Berlin. Photo © Sarah Riviere
Elevations of the new six storey residential building in Reichenberger Straße 86 in Berlin © Sarah Riviere