Habitat Unit

Wednesday, 24.01.2024, 5.00 p.m. | IfA Forum, Ground Floor TU Berlin

Marta Doehler-Behzadi & Mathias Burke -
Let's talk about rurbanism // Rural transformation design

Along with substantial criticism in the dominant rhetoric of an “urban age” in the last decade, more and more urban researchers and practitioners have started to engage more closely with “non-city” spaces or the “countryside” – not as independent territories, but as strongly interrelated and networked with urban centers.

Especially when addressing climate-friendly and resource-saving spatial development, rural areas appear as a major arena for the necessary transitions in energy, construction material or food supplies. However, the physical and social spaces of “extended urbanization” also pose quite specific challenges for urban planners and designers. These challenges have been addressed by the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Thuringia for more than 10 years, putting forth a great diversity of collaborative projects. At the same time, young urban practitioners, have changed perspective and became experts in rural development.

This “Rural Talk” brings together Marta Doehler-Behzadi (IBA Thuringia) and Mathias Burke (studio amore) for inputs and discussion on innovative approaches for planning and designing rural territories in Germany.

Marta Doehler-Behzadi: “Let's talk about rurbanism”
Dr. Marta Doehler-Behzadi, born in 1957, was Managing Director of the International Building Exhibition (IBA) Thuringia from 2014-2023. She studied urban planning at Hochschule für Architektur und Bauwesen in Weimar and obtained her doctorate in 1986. She then worked for the Chief Architect of the City of Leipzig and as a freelance urban planner in Leipzig, from 1993 to 2007 as co-owner of the ''Office for Urban Projects''. From 2007 to 2014, she headed the Department of Building Culture at the German Federal Building Ministry.

Mathias Burke: “Rural transformation design - work at the interface of spatial and social change”
Mathias Burke, co-founder of studio amore, specializes in the interface of spatial and societal transformation. He co-authored the book ''Ländliche Verheissung. Lebens- und Arbeitsprojekte rund um Berlin“. Recently, Burke conducted research on behalf of the Zeit Stiftung, focusing on the dynamics of successful urban-rural relationships. Actively contributing to the development of digital tools for land activists, his work underscores the pivotal role of local actors.

Moderation: Anke Hagemann, Habitat Unit

Click here to download the poster.