Design Studio Berlin

Spring 2018
ARCH 4011
“Germany is facing the biggest challenges since the reunification. Hundred thousands of people come to Germany escaping war and violence. Many of these will stay for a long term or permanently…We need residential space, we need to create possibilities for a successful integration, we need spaces of encounter..” (Dr. Barbara Hendricks / Federal Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety.) “Germany is in the midst of an enormously controversial and difficult process of settling around a million refugees who’ve fled the conflicts in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere – almost half the refugees arriving in Europe – and housing them in dozens of cities. …Ms. Hendricks announced that her government will fund the construction of 300,000 to 400,000 new units of social housing each year (for both refugees and established Germans), year after year, for the foreseeable future. No other government in the Western world is spending this kind of money on housing – and it has been decades since any government has deployed architectural solutions to social problems on this scale. When finished, it will be the equivalent of having created a second Berlin…” (Doug Saunders, 2016) Within the course we will investigate how to successfully transform temporary housing solutions into permanent, sustainable housing structures in Berlin, that can adapt to the status of immigration. We will explore how we can merge temporary housing with other functions – such as student housing, cultural centers, sport facilities, education facilities, start-ups... We will explore how we can imagine urban forms of integration where refugee housing is inserted into inner city “Bauluecken” (vacant lots) to create positive correlations between city, people and cultures. What are the methods for generating density: re-purpose, infill, adding on…? How can we provoke new conceptions of private and public space in which cultures overlap? What are the new tectonics, techniques of prefabrication and materials prompted by this scenario with an emphasis on quick construction?How could such a project materialize physically and economically? How can we use technology – such as virtual reality or augmented reality - to visualize these new sustainable prototypes within the city?
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