Habitat Unit

SEMINAR, WS 2015/2016
Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Dr. Rachel Lee

Urban Narratives
Simulizi Mijini

What is urban heritage? Whose heritage is it? Who defines what is of value? How can we meaningfully document and communicate heritage?
These are some of the questions we will address in this seminar. Focusing on the cities of Berlin (Germany) and Dar es Salaam (Tanzania), we will bring together two very different cultures and contexts: a “northern” understanding based on a highly regulated system of norms and definitions versus a “southern” context in which a framework of protection has not yet been formalised and state power and resources are scarce. Through readings, invited lectures and film screenings the seminar will build up an unbiased understanding of the potentials and risks that emerge in both contexts. We will examine a wide spectrum of approaches to heritage, from powerful global institutions such as UNESCO, ICOMOS and docomomo, to rights-based approaches, the heritage from below movement and the discourse around immaterial/intangible heritage.

We will also explore the macro forces that contributed to the shaping of the two cities. These include migration movements, the impact of colonialism, the pan-African independence movement, the Cold War, nation building and development cooperation, as well as neo-liberal globalization and the “shared” German-Tanzanian heritage.

We will explore how augmented reality and oral history techniques, digital mapping tools, participative online forums and more established archiving methods can be used to capture and share places, sounds, images and stories, contributing to a richer understanding of urban space and the lives and practices of local communities. Through the seminar we will define criteria for the development of an online heritage platform that will not only capture and communicate heritage, but will also work as a community resource to perhapsinfluence decisions about how space is used and developed, and about what places are demolished or preserved.

WS 1516 - Urban Narratives - Poster

This WS seminar is part of an ongoing research project funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation (2015-2017) in which the Habitat Unit partners with Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik ZK/U (Berlin), Goethe Institute and other Tanzanian partners. The seminar is the first component of a two-semester project addressing urban heritage in Dar es Salaam and Berlin. The second component is a 4-week Summer School in Dar es Salaam in February/March 2016. A follow-on design project will take place in SS 2016. In August 2016 Tanzanian students will come to Berlin for a second Summer School that will complete the project. We have secured funding for 10 TU Berlin students to take part in the Summer School in Dar. Successful participation in this seminar is necessary to be eligible for the Summer School in Dar.

Course Information+

Seminar, 3 ECTS 
MA Arch: WP(3) HAB.06

Teaching day
Monday, 2 pm - 4 pm, A 606

First meeting
October 19, 2015, A 606

Sign - up list at Habitat Unit, A 624


Dr. Rachel Lee

Room A 622 
T + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21830 
F + 49 – 30 – 314 – 21907