Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Dr. Anna Marie Steigemann, Moritz Ahlert


By 2050, 70% of the world’s population is likely to live in citylike concentrations. This rapid urbanization process threatens natural resources, causes climate gases and poses a great risk to the global ecological and social balance.

During the Summer Semester 2018 the former rainwater retention basin close to the former Tempelhofer Airfield in Berlin will host the “Floating University Berlin” (FUB), initiated by raumlabor Berlin with support from the Kulturstiftung des Bundes. The Habitat Unit will be one of 20 international architecture and urban design think tanks from Europe, the United States, and South America, to activate FUB as their temporary satellite campus. To address the challenges of global sustainability outlined above, the Habitat Unit will use the FUB as an experimental site for a radical institutional experiment: Students will identify and analyse key actors from the surrounding neighbourhood and connect them with local and international experts in the field of urban climate change, sustainable resource management, including water, energy and food. By connecting local transformation knowledge and endogeneous everyday know-how with international expert knowledge and artistic practices students will design transdisciplinary “transformation-to-sustainability modules” of a new “urban university”.

SS 2018 - Poster - Die Grosse Transformation

The “urban university” will be tested as a think-and-do campus during a two-week-long summer school in July 2018. Here, design studio participants will act as mediators, teachers and organisers of in-situ neighbourhood interventions co-designed with local actors and inter- national experts. The “urban university” thus understands itself as transdisciplinary institution – a place for critical reflection and design of new approaches to transdisciplinary teaching, research and action – based on the belief in co-productive approaches to actively shape social and environmental change.

Final Report

Final Reviews +

July 19, 2018
Floating University Lilienthalstraße
3 pm - 6 pm Presentations & Discussions
6 pm onwards Open Bar

Guest Critics
Benjamin Förster Baldenius, Katherine Ball, Gilly Karjevsky, Carla Kienz, Gözde Sarlak
Habitat Unit: Moritz Ahlert, Anna Steigemann, Christian Haid, Philipp Misselwitz

Summer School+

July 16 – 28, 2018

General Dates

Thursday 19, 2018
‘Final academic presentation’
Guest Critics: Benjamin Förster-Baldenius, Katherine Ball, Gilly Karjevsky, Carla Kienz, Gözde Sarlak
Habitat Unit: Moritz Ahlert, Anna Steigemann, Christian Haid, Philipp Misselwitz

3 pm – 6 pm Presentations & Discussions
6 pm – onwards – Open Bar

July 20, 2018 – Saturday 21, 2018
‘Institut für Architektur Jahresausstellung 2018’ TU Berlin
Die Große Transformation – Mini exhibition Room A202
July 20, 3 pm – 6 pm (Opening 5 pm, Tour 5.50 pm, Party 8 pm)
July 21, 12 pm – 8 pm (Finissage 6pm)

July 28, 2018
‘Fête de la Nachbarschaft’
10 am – 16 pm @ Hangar 1 THF, Columbiadamm 10
10 am – 12.30 pm First Building Block »hands on activity«
12.30 pm – 1.30 pm Lunch Break
1.30 pm – 4 pm Second Building Block »hands on activity«
4 pm – 6 pm Guided neighborhood tour to the urban interventions,
starting from Hangar 1
6 pm onwards Closing party @ Floating University Berlin

1. Die Foodbrücke
Die Foodbrücke is linking three global issues - neighborhood communication, economic & social inclusion and food sustainability. With the 70-years anniversary of the ‘Berliner Luftbrücke’, Die Foodbrücke implies a futureoriented vision of a more connected and sustainable neighborhood around our area of interest - the Tempelhof Field area. Die Foodbrücke builds bridges through food within the neighborhood. These are bridges which are supposed to overcome fragmentation and exclusion in our society and to sensitize the people and make them aware of the mentioned social and economic problems. These mental and physical bridges address further the lack of sustainability in our society through increased neighborhood communication and neighborhood bonds through our tool for transformation – the Foodbrücke. In addition, our mobile food and communication tool mobilizes and distributes knowledge about sustainable economies and food sustainability. A physical structure, co-produced together with local initiatives, supports these mental bridges - our Foodbrücke-Mobile, which is a bike trailer consisting of a foldable table and thermo-storages for cooked food. The performance of this tool includes cooking together with different neighbors, get to know their cultures, their own food codes, and bring differently stratified neighbors together during cooking actions. The Foodbrücke thus serves as a communication and connection tool - because nothing connects people more than a sharing a good meal. By Anais Alfieri, Camilla Gemignani, Petra Heber, Sinen Kahraman, Alina Reuschling

July 14, 2018
Cooking ‘Couscous Competition’
2 pm @ Tempohomes/ Tempelhof
6 pm @ Dinner with Foodbrücke @ Floating University

July 15, 2018
‘Hinter der Hecke’
3 pm – 5 pm @ Kolonie am Flughafen with local allotment gardenexpert

July 16, 2018
‘Food is love’
3.30 pm Cooking Workshop in cooperation with ‘Cooking with
Friends’ Community
@ Floating University
6.30 pm Soli-Delivery with Foodbrücke

July 17, 2018
‘Aggelikis Nature Soap Workshop’
5 pm – 7pm @ Floating University

July 26, 2018
Kids Workshop
10 am – 1 pm @ FUB together with re:cemetery Group

July 28, 2018
‘Foodbrücke @ Fête de la Nachbarschaft’
10 am – 4 pm @ Hangar 1 THF, Columbiadamm 10

2. Hasenbänk
Hasenbänk is a time-bank project based at Hasenschänke, a Biergarten and kiosk in the floating university’s adjacent park Hasenheide. Our observations and interviews with passersby and customers revealed that Hasenschänke is characterized by its “slowness”, meaning that the place is not as fastly developing and changing as the surrounding neighborhood(s) – in term of its offers, users, prices, physical and social structures. Time bank is a local knowledge exchange system: you contribute and offer a skill or talent to the community and, in return, you receive a service for your own. Hence, the time bank’s currency is time, as the shared or exchanges time it takes to deliver the offered service. Hasenbänk aims to encourage people to be more aware of and appreciate more the time and the manifold skills they have as well as the neighborhood they share. By using time as new currency, we hope to increase and support the overall neighborhood resources by exchanging
the knowledge within the community and maybe also loosen the reliance on money. Our second goal is to preserve the slowness of the Hasenschänke and its surrounding through time banking and the awareness of the importance of time and local knowledge exchange within the neighborhood. By Tareq Almuhammad, Olga Bagnoli, Pedro Fortunato, Isabella Speidel
July 15, 2018 – July 17, 2018
‘Building Phase’
tba @ Floating University

July 18, 2018
‘Launching – Spreading the Idea and informing about workshops’
4 pm - 8 pm @ Hasenbänk (Hasenschänke) Hasenheide

July 22, 2018
Free workshops (sketching, tandem, wood workshop, acro yoga)
1 pm - 8 pm @ HasenBänk, Hasenheide

July 23, 2018
Free workshops (wood workshop, acro yoga)
5 pm - 8 pm @ HasenBänk, Hasenheide

July 28, 2018
‘Premiere of the Hasenbänk-movie @ Fête de la Nachbarschaft’
10 am - 4 pm @ Hangar 1 THF, Columbiadamm 10

3. re:cemetery
The cemeteries along Bergmannstraße are exposed to vast transformation processes: long gone are the times where cemeteries were pure places reserved for mourning. Nowadays they serve as, for instance, green islands that provide a home for flora and fauna within the city, where people go for a walk or rest in order to escape the hustle and bustle of their urban lives. We found that the local cemeteries are microcosms that depict various issues and processes that are happening on local as well as on global levels. By implementing a set of very sensitive and small-scale interventions that touch upon ecological, spatial and societal topics, such as global flower production and consumption, preserving the local fauna, enhance recycling cycles and a more actors-driven space production, we want to be able to export and exchange knowledge from the inside to the outside of the Bergmannstraße cemeteries, discuss and apply it and eventually come back with refreshed ideas. By Iliana Angelou, Lenny Kaupp, Daiki Ori, Annelene Stielau, Lina Thürer

July 16, 2018 – July18, 2018
‘Building Phase – Sneeky Interventions and Cemetery Island’
tba @ Floating University

July 21, 2018 – July 22, 2018
‘Cemetery Tours’
tba @ Friedhof Bergmannstraße

July 23, 2018 – July 25, 2018
‘Design and Building Phase – Plant Swap & Cemetery Island’
tba @ Floating University

July 27, 2018
‘Kick-off Plant Swap’
4 pm - 7 pm @ Café Strauss, Bergmannstraße 42, 10961 Berlin

July 28, 2018
‘re:cemetery @ Fête de la Nachbarschaft’
4 pm - 6pm Guided neighborhood tour, starting from Hangar 1

4. Wohnzimmer Farm
The intervention Wohnzimmer Farm envisions a sustainable city which selfsufficiently produces food. We consider urban farming as our tool to reduce pressure on the world’s productive land and to assure long-term food security. For us the Great Transformation needs to happen from bottom up and not from top down. Hence, our vision starts from the scratch – the first step is to sensitize people on the very local level about sustainable food consumption, production and the global supply s in order to support a higher awareness and recognition for the urgent need for transformation towards sustainability. For this reason, the intervention Wohnzimmer Farm is bringing the topic of food security and sustainability into the everyday context of a living room. The installation, located at the south-east entrance of Tempelhof airfield, invites people to learn and practice possibilities to grow food at home, e.g. in their living rooms or balconies. For the development and performance of the intervention, we collaborate with local actors of already existing garden projects in the neighborhood, from allotment gardens to urban gardening initiatives, in order to develop DIY-tool kits for composting, water filtration, and food production. The actual space of Wohnzimmer Farm is a container of a local cultural initiative, which we transform into the Wohnzimmer Farm. The focus lies on everyday suitability and motivation to put the more theoretical ideas into practice – we offer an interactive installation accessible for everyone and practical workshops. By Giorgia Coluccia, Lena Heiss, Eve Neumann, Julia Nicotra

July 16, 2018 – July 18, 2018
‘Building Phase – move into the livingroom’
tba @ Kulturgate on the Tempelhof Airfield (south-west entrance)

July, 21, 2018
‘Water & Seed-Workshop’
2 pm – 6 pm @ Kulturgate on the Tempelhof Airfield

July 28, 2018
‘Wohnzimmer Farm@Fête de la Nachbarschaft’
4 pm - 6 pm guided neighborhood tour, starting from Hangar 1

Fete de la Nachbarschaft+

As part of the neighborhood summer school »Die Große Transformation, « there will be a collective building workshop organized by the Habitat Unit Berlin and the tentaja. Together with newcomers, Berliners, students from the Floating University Berlin and kids of the neighborhood, we will build furniture and activity equipment to support the existing sport and community infrastructure of tentaja*.

*tentaja is Berlin‘s newest meeting place situated in the former Tempelhof Airport. Experienced associations, societies and teams Berlin-wide are offering you the opportunity to take part in a myriad of recreation activities held indoors and outdoors. The numerous events organized include sport and cultural activities with an additional focus also on advice and guidance. Either young or old, refugee or long-term resident: all are welcome!

10 am - 12.30 pm First Building Block
»hands on activity«
Lunch Break The lunch will be provided by the cooking initiative of newcomers alongside the final presentations of the Habitat Unit students
1.30 - 4 pm Second Building Block »hands on activity«
4 - 6 pm Guided neighborhood tour by the Habitat Unit students
6 pm onwards
Closing party at the Floating University Berlin

July 28, 2018
Columbiadamm 10
Hangar 1

Course Information+

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

Teaching Day
Thursday 10am, A 505

First meeting
April 19th, 2018, 10am, A 505

Motivation letter to
a.steigemann@tu-berlin.de and


Dr. phil. Anna Steigemann

Moritz Ahlert 

Raum A 622

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