Habitat Unit

Emily Kelling, Dr. Moritz Ahlert, Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Dr. Anna Steigemann

Practices and infrastructures by multi-locals in Berlin

Mapping and Design Studio with International Summer (Winter) School

Berlin as a city but also the life of its residents is embedded in complex translocal structures. Many people construct their life and home across multiple locations. These practices produce modes of (limited) commitment to the respective political communities and their spaces that seem to contradict urban policymaking. These interrelationships call us to reflect on concepts of place, home and citizenship.

To address these dynamics, the studio focuses on people who move to Berlin and their homemaking practices and infrastructures. What are the practices of arriving and of making a life in this city? How and where do people find housing? How do the first housing arrangements look like? What support infrastructures do they access and work towards? What possibilities does the city offer?

Homemaking Poster

We look at three typical life trajectories. Their common starting point is a specific kind of employment, ranging from very precarious exploitative work conditions to privileged elite work. These diverse perspectives help us to map a multi-faceted picture of Berlin’s housing system, of translocal homemaking and practices of solidarity. The studio will be both analytical and propositional. We use research methods from the social sciences (walk-alongs, interviews) as well as urban design methods (mapping and visual recording). Based on this research, we will develop urban design proposals to enhance existing infrastructures of care.

In June (21/06 – 2/07), a summer school will be held with our research partners, the African Center for Cities and the Indian Institute for Human Settlements. This intensive exchange will provide students with the opportunity to compare and reflect on Berlin findings from the vantage point of Cape Town and Bangalore. The results will contribute to a growing online archive of case studies of home-making practices.

Course Information+

Design Studio
12 ECTS + 3 ECTS (PIV)
Arch: EP Städtebau I
MA UD: PJ 1-3 EP
MA SRP: Projekt
MA Arch-T

Teaching Day
Thursdays 10am-6pm

First meeting
15 April, 2021

ISIS course selection


Moritz Ahlert

Room A 621
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907

Dr. phil. Anna Steigemann

Raum A 621

T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21906
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907