In 2020, the Council for the Arts and its Urban Praxis working group proposed an initiative that, together with Berlin-based artists, city activists, and in a network of Berlin-wide campus projects and city laboratories, demonstrated the cooperation and action field of ‘Urban Praxis’.
In close cooperation with various actors from the branches of art, culture, architecture and socioculture, initial city laboratories will be activated by the end of 2021 and existing site projects will be further developed. This includes smaller pioneer locations and larger campus facilities that shape change and initiate processes in exposed social spaces in Berlin – in the centre as well as the outskirts of the city.
The Urban Praxis project office works to connect these various companies and organise think tank activities. Round tables, excursions, and interactive models at the campus locations are some of the temporary networking offers and are part of these work and development formats. At the same time, the ‘Schaufenster Urbane Praxis’ (Urban Praxis Showcase) – a physical information architecture – is being built at the Haus der Statistik (House of Statistics). It brings the knowledge and experience of the campus projects together with the know-how from the pioneering process at the House of Statistics, as well as making it accessible and understandable.
In addition to opening up new areas in Berlin quarters, the goal of the collective spatial experiments, action and think tank formats, is the development of a joint agenda for urban praxis. This should outline sustainable cooperation and funding structures, as well as discuss implementation opportunities with Berlin politics, administration, and specialist groups.
The extensive enterprise is being realised under the umbrella of the ‘DRAUSSENSTADT’ (outer city) initiative, which the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe made possible in order to support art and cultural actors in the difficult time of the pandemic. This also includes the Urban Praxis pilot project fund, whose funding program can be found here: www.stiftung-kulturelle-weiterbildung-kulturberatung.berlin/
Further funding and financing opportunities within the framework of ‘DRAUSSENSTADT’: https://www.berlin.de/sen/kultur/foerderung/foerderprogramme/draussenstadt/
Berlin Mondiale is a network of cultural practitioners and artists of urban praxis in the context of migration, asylum and exile. In 2021, the project will be working at 7 sites across Berlin and building city laboratories at each location. A project of the Kulturnetzwerk Neukölln e.V. www.berlin-mondiale.de
ConstructLab-Berlin e.V. is part of the international and interdisciplinary network ‘ConstructLab’ and promotes the “urban practices” in Berlin. Their goals are the production of physical spaces and the meeting of various actors for community-oriented engagement. www.constructlab.net
Floating University is a Natureculture learning site. Urban Praxis on and in the rainwater retention pool at Berlin Tempelhof airport since 2018. www.floatinguniversity.org
For almost 30 years, KARUNA has been working with children and young people from difficult backgrounds with the aim of aiding those who have been separated from society and enabling them to find their way back into societal participation. KARUNA is dedicated to integrative urban-space projects that deviate from conventional target-group proposals and instead create lively communal places. www.karuna-ev.de
raumlabor is a collective of nine architects. Since 1999 the group has evolved out of a common interest in an expanded understanding of architecture, which in the meantime has established itself as urban praxis. The approach of raumlabor is situational and action-oriented: the content of its focus is collaborative space production, as an open-ended process. www.raumlabor.net
The Council for the Arts is an elected, independent body that represents Berlin culture and sees itself as a mediator between politics and cultural praxis. It also gives impetus for future developments of culture in the city. For example, it has proposed the initiative of the same name within the framework of the Urban Praxis working group. www.rat-fuer-die-kuenste.de
The S27 develops experimental projects and testing grounds that strengthen the initiative of young people. With its on-site projects, the association has tried out and developed various strategies for creative urban space reclamation in recent years. www.s27.de
The station urbaner kulturen is the satellite location of the arts association nGbK (neue Gesellschaft für bildende Kunst – new society for fine arts) on Berlin-Hellersdorf housing estate, conceived and run by nGbK members since 2014. It is a discursive exhibition and programme space and a workplace for collaborations between artists and residents. With its long-term presence at the outskirts of the city, nGbK takes responsibility for the development of new forms of artistic practice. In doing so, nGbK shapes an urban praxis that combines artistic-curatorial research and production with an embedded, discursive mediation conceived specifically for a certain city district.
Since 2012, ZK/U Berlin has been a place for art and knowledge production. By facilitating artist and research residencies, an international exhibition and networking program, as well as neighbourhood engagement programs, ZK/U combines local practice with global discourse. www.zku-berlin.org
Zusammenkunft Berlin eG cooperatively develops future-oriented components for the city which have a complex assortment of uses. Their tools stem from architecture, art, and organisation development. The context is local and simultaneously anchored in global discourses. zusammenkunft.berlin