Making Futures School
August 30th – September 15th, 2019
Over the course of two weeks, 70 participants are invited to take part in a diverse curriculum facilitated by international practitioners in the field of spatial practices. Acting as a non-disciplinary learning environment, the School proposes, designs, builds, negotiates, maintains, performs and celebrates an educational and convivial space in and around Haus der Statistik, Berlin. At the same time, it becomes a dynamic actor within a process of local transformation, serving as as a common sphere of action between participants, neighbours and civic society.
Making Futures embraces prevailing narratives of uncertainty through the lens of criticality and honours minor acts by focusing on what we have at hand. We propose to work towards building up alliances and making transversal connections with people across, disciplines, institutions and territories that transcend the boundaries of the academic world and go beyond the borders of Europe.
After a series of short-term action-led research activities – a Plug-In at the Floating University in Berlin, three Mobile Workshops in Istanbul, Palermo, and Oberweissbach – Making Futures School situates its school in Haus der Statistik to explore forms of productive cooperation, exchange, solidarity and living. These activities will entail a mix of process-driven as well as applied research strategies, including – but not limited to – research-based interventions throughout the building; working with the community to propose pioneer uses; or rethinking education in spatial practices.
The school will continue to explore Making Futures’ action-research fields: Collectivity – How can we construct and read the built environment as bringing together the cultural, the social, the economic and the political?; Resource – How can architecture be understood as a resource calling for lasting dynamics, such as recuperation and maintenance?; Education – How can educational curricula be reworked to better reflect the social potential of the spatial practices?; and Practice – What possibilities emerge when we understand architecture as being not just concerned with the production of shapes and objects, but as a form of agency itself?
The two-week period of the School follows a series of phases: Encounter, Emergence, Production and Exchange. Encounter will entail two days of coming together, getting to know the city and ourselves. Phase 2, Emergence, will see participants begin to constitute the School via a series of moderated assemblages before organising into the four working groups led by invited facilitators. During Production, each group will go on developing mutual research and learning processes. The final phase, Exchange, marks the juncture where outcomes will be shared within the groups and also with the wider public.
Empty since 2008, Haus der Statistik finds itself sandwiched in between shopping locations, hotels, quiet residential areas and surrounded by the cities biggest traffic interchange. The building is the subject of a unique process of transition, where civic and public actors collaborate at eye-level to collectively invent its future. Making Future School engages in this process at a crucial moment; as we write, the process of pioneer and experimental use is about to begin. This process can be understood as inventing and testing the protocols of the future use, and addressing questions of diversity, governance, style and, forms of acting, and modes of economy.
The School in Haus der Statistik will be part urban laboratory, walk-in-conference, intimate living room, hospitality kitchen and community cinema, acting as a learning environment that breaks away from institutional logic. Following the Making Futures credo that “everything is of equal importance”, there is no distinction made between learning and/or fun; both are regarded as educational methodologies. Everyday life in the School is a collective endeavour, through which you will be invited and challenged to share, think, act and transmute – from daily rituals to larger political entanglements.
In addition to the working groups taking place during the day, Making Futures School will also host a public programme. The “night school” will comprise reading groups, screenings, lectures and performances – sometimes hosted by the School working groups and sometimes by external invitees – but is an open invitation for the general public intentionally seeking to facilitate further cross-pollination and knowledge exchange beyond the School.
The School’s activities will oscillate between Haus der Statistik and our satellite site, the Floating University.
Bellastock – Simon Jacquemin, Comunal: Taller de Arquitectura – Mariana Ordoñez & Jesica Amescua, Ignacio Farías, Jon Goodbun, Valentina Karga, Anna Kokalanova, raumlaborberlin – Markus Bader & Christof Mayer, Dubravka Sekulić, Tatjana Schneider, Fiona Shipwright, Stavros Stavrides, Rosario Talevi, Zuloark – Juan Chacón, Aurora Adalid, Manuel Pascual, Jacobo Cayetano, Alberto Rey…. and many more to be announced.