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AABL 2010: Experiments in Dwelling

3.-12.9.2010, Aedes Network Campus Berlin

“In what follows we shall try to think about dwelling and building. This thinking about building does not presume to discover architectural ideas, let alone to give rules for building. This venture in thought does not view building as an art or as a technique of construction; rather it traces building back into that domain to which everything that is belongs. We ask:
1. What is it to dwell?
2. How does building belong to dwelling?” Martin Heidegger, Building Dwelling Thinking.

“The parameters of building plan and life style are no longer aligned. The plan still follows the parameters of the industrial society whereas life styles have diversified and have left the relationships between class, family, gender and architectural typology behind.” Arch+ Magazine.

Post-wall Berlin has emerged as a major player in contemporary cultural production. As a laboratory of lifestyles and modes of production, it attracts an influential community of highly creative people from around the globe. The AABL 2010 explored the role of experimentation and interdisciplinary ways of working, harvesting this exceptional energy. Now in its second year, this intense workshop explored tools and systems of experimentation, focusing on the idea of dwelling.

No other city has been as enthusiastic as Berlin in experimenting with modes of living. From mass housing to highly individualistic visions of living and extreme communal regimes, Berlin has long pushed the boundaries of what it means to live together. New organisational forms of dwelling, combined with alternative implementation methods, are currently challenging the roles of both architect and local authority in the process of delivering dwellings for the city.

During this intense nine-day workshop participants worked both in the laboratory/studio and the field/city, revisiting existing experiments in dwelling and the social ideals that shaped them. In search of new logics of living, students will used emerging computational and rule-based design systems to develop prototypical forms of dwelling relevant to the city of Berlin. The workshop was led by AA and Berlin-based tutors and hosted by Aedes Network Campus Berlin (ANCB). A public programme of visits, lectures and seminars with speakers from different disciplines provided a stage for debate.