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AABL 2013 – Island State


The workshop will take place at UdK University of the Arts Berlin,
Hardenbergstraße 33
10623 Berlin












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.