Habitat Unit

Prof. Dr. Philipp Misselwitz, Maximilian Becker

Coproducing Housing Solutions: Medellín / Berlin

Globally, and particularly in the global south, the majority of urban housing stock occupied by economically weak households has not been built through state programmes or formal market delivery, but by households themselves. While global policies like the new UN Sustainable Development Goals are beginning to recognise the importance of 'inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities', housing policies in most countries do not build on vibrant self-provisioning practices as a means to achieving them, focusing instead on centralised delivery programmes and market dynamics. How can established binaries between programmed and self-provisioned (informal) housing be overcome and new co-designing approaches be forged?

The seminar will explore this question through a comparative study of current debates and practice around housing in two cities: Medellín (Columbia) where a large percentage of local residents live in informally developed housing and Berlin, where the housing crisis and refugee influx has reenergized discussions on alternative affordable housing provision. We will use a broad range of courses such as academic texts, films or expert interviews to understand potentials of co-designing approaches and the possibility to transfer experiences across the two cities.


The seminar is a required preparation for the participation in the Medellín / Berlin Urban Lab, a project by Habitat Unit, an independent initiative and Universities from Medellín funded by the Herrhausen Foundation. The Lab will consist of a Spring School in Medellín (March 2017) and a Summer School in Berlin (July 2017), each followed by design studios (SS 2017; WS 2017/2018).

Course Information+

Seminar - 6 ECTS
Arch MA - WP, UD MA - WP

Februar 25 - March 18, 2017

Open Studio
November 22, 2017, A 624, 1pm

First meeting
January 9, 2017 (more information will be sent by email to the participants)

Apply by November 30, 2016 with a short motivation letter, CV and Spanish proficiency to springschoolmedellin@gmail.com