Building the Survival Lounge

Published by:,
the Chair of History of Architecture & Urbanism, Professor Hermann Schlimme, Institute of Architecture, Technical University, Berlin, 2021

Building the Survival Lounge, by Tildem Kirtak, Sarah Riviere, Hermann Schlimme

based on Sara Ahmed’s Book :: ‘Living a Feminist Life’

The Survival Lounge project is a series of seminars focusing on the design, construction, and inhabitation of an intersectional feminist Survival Lounge inspired by Sara Ahmed’s book ‘Living a Feminist Life’. It is a Survival Lounge dedicated to the voices of the unheard.

In this, the second book of the seminar, you will read about the participative construction of the Lounge and witness the production process. It tells the story of how the design of the Survival Lounge, which had been created during the digital summer semester of 2020, was transmitted to a new group of people who worked collectively on the construction phase of the Lounge in the workshops of the TU Berlin. Furthermore, it focuses on the physical group experience of intersectional feminist discourse throughout this construction process.

Even though the design process had been executed from behind our screens, here, in spite of the pandemic, we return to physical space; producing and discussing together, facing new conditions and new challenges, and discovering that the question of how to keep on going on is more relevant than ever.

ISBN 978-3-9822233-4-6 (softcover) ISBN 978-3-9822233-5-3 (eBook/pdf)

Building the Survival Lounge

The “Building the Survival Lounge” seminar, held in Winter Semester 2020–21 at the Technical University of Berlin, was taught by Sarah Rivière, Hermann Schlimme and Helle Schröder. It was the second seminar in the tri-partite Survival Lounge series. The building seminar was supported by student tutors Ho Kim, Marcus Matznick, Esin Mehmed, and Thalia Staschok.

The previous volume in the series (Designing the Survival Lounge) set out the methodology of the critical design approach developed for the first seminar and continued into the second, and described the design process creating an intersectional feminist Survival Lounge (after Sara Ahmed). The Survival Lounge was an idea proposed for the Institute for Architecture by the student Franziska Nessler and her colleagues in a previous course taught by Matthäa Ritter-Wurnig and Sarah Rivière in Summer Semester, 2019. The Survival Lounge seminar series was set up at the Chair of History of Architecture and Urbanism (FGBSG, Professor Hermann Schlimme) as an opportunity for students to design, build and inhabit their own Survival Lounge as a real and much-needed space of intersectional feminist exchange at the TU

Berlin. Beyond the built results of the work – the Lounge itself – the seminars became places of support to students in these challenging pandemic times. As one student in the first seminar series wrote: “This course is my Survival Tool... it is emancipating!”

Building the Survival Lounge

Building the Survival Lounge

Building the Survival Lounge

Building the Survival Lounge

Building the Survival Lounge