The first part of the workshop conference for Urban Praxis

The kick-off of the conference at Place Internationale Hellersdorf with Markus Bader, Renée Tribble, Birgit Effinger, Barbara Meyer, Elisa T. Bertuzzo, Licia Soldavini and Annette Maechtel

Situation Berlin #1, the first workshop conference for Urban Praxis, took place at the end of May on three campuses of the Initiative Urbane Praxis, even though the public followed via Zoom due to the pandemic.

The conference kicked off at Place Internationale Hellersdorf (station urbaner kulturen / nGbK Hellersdorf) with conference initiators Jochen Becker (metroZones/station), Licia Soldavini (Constructlab) and Simon Sheikh (Goldsmiths College), as well as Barbara Meyer and Markus Bader for the Initiative Urbane Praxis and Annette Maechtel (ngbk Berlin) and Renée Tribble (Planbude Hamburg, TH OWL/Detmold) discussing the history and present of urban praxis. Elisa T. Bertuzzo (weissensee kunsthochschule berlin) moderated the kick-off.

The conference team insisted on the importance of the physical location. Each site, with its situational coincidences, the peculiarity of the spaces and the people passing by, can tell more about the “outside” than the classic conference tiles of digital video conferences. Therefore, a wireless camera was used on the first evening to roam through the Hellersdorf wasteland and over the constellation of discussants: public space could finally be experienced again. Birgit Effinger’s organisational performance was decisive here.

The following day, Adam Page (station urbaner kulturen / nGbK Hellersdorf) and Jesko Fezer (Studio Experimentelles Design / Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg) continued the debate about the potential of a suburban wasteland on site with the workshop participants connected via Zoom. In parallel, Graziela Kunsch (artist, Sao Paulo) and Simon Sheikh discussed the question of the autonomy of urban praxis from the Baupalast on the Dragonerareal Kreuzberg and Malve Lippmann and Can Sungu (bi’bak) the questions of accessibility from the Sinema Transtopia at the Haus der Statistik. These debates were scheduled twice to give the audience the chance to participate in two of them.

As a continuation of the practice-oriented kick-off conference, a second workshop conference will take place at the end of November. It will focus more on the requirements of urban praxis towards institutional consolidation.