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“I think that (architecture in itself can) resolve social problems and does produce positive effects when the liberating intentions of the architect coincide with the real practice of people in the exercise of their freedom.” Michel Foucault, Space, Knowledge, and Power.

‘Political space’ is a term borrowed from political science that refers to the available room for citizens to voice and influence political processes and outcomes. This space incorporates the actors, structures, and processes that form politics and patterns of governance of today. The studio “Political Spaces” builds upon this concept, expanding on Michel Foucault’s theories of power. The goal is 1) the exploration of how operational tools and design strategies available to the profession of architecture at the scale of the built environment and of the territory can allow for maneuvering towards freedom, and 2) to carve out room, and design actual spaces for resistance and change—within the discipline, but primarily for the rest of the body politic.

Choreographed by episodes that set the tone of the studio (i.e. templates, graphic standards, references), exploring concrete resistant examples, empowered spatial programs, an intense research phase focused on sites undergoing construction as symptomatic of the land-use competition in Berlin, it emerged clearly that buildings are never simple ‘objects’ but the product of cultural, social, economic, and political mechanisms. The last Episode is the project: Political spaces. Challenging the existing project, actors, economic model, zoning, program, etc. the goal is to propose a tactic/strategy to overthrow and change the situation for the betterment of the neighborhood, the city, the public with a new program, and then to propose a design of actual spaces that serve the common good: a project.

During the year, a blog was conducted, chronicling the studio as well as references.

2018-2019, Guest Professorship TU Berlin.
Teaching Assistants: Wassily Walter, Cecilia Santamaria, Nicolas König

Tagged: Art, Culture
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Credit: Vaska