UdK University of the Arts
The exceptional status of Berlin as an island with its own rule system is a defining quality of the city. Geographically in an isolated position, historically cut off through the Iron Curtain, it was special conditions that kept Berlin alive during the cold war. Previously a republic of its own right, Berlin is constituted as a city state within the federation of German states. Today, the idea of a ‘Berlin Republik’, an entity in its own right, receives an acute revival in critical and popular debates.
In 1977 Oswald Mathias Ungers and Rem Koolhaas proclaimed Berlin as a ‘Green Archipelago’, a type of anti-city. This project saw Berlin as a new ideal city where recognisable neighbourhoods (islands) are immersed into an ever-expanding landscape space that gradually takes over the city. Today Berlin retains this quality containing “Cities within the City” (Ungers).
‘Island State’ will explore Berlin’s special status as a city of extraordinary conditions, a heterotopia’ or counter-site under threat.
During the intensive 9 day workshop we will work as much in the field/city as in the studio and will engage in research, discussion and proposals for the city of Berlin at large and small scale.