The new Urban Ideation Lab 2021

After a long Corona break, our Urban Ideation Lab was finally able to resume its work in September with great enthusiasm! We are very excited to introduce the 2021 UIL Fellows. We were able to bring some teams back on board after the break, but there are also fresh newcomers to enrich our Lab in 2021:

Team Stadtbewegung consists of the exercise leaders Verena Kupilas, Robin Spätling, Urte Zahn, Jannike Kirsch and Lukas Schulze and campaigns for better framework conditions and an appropriate infrastructure in public space on the subject of sport and health. Together with the association Stadtbewegung e.V. and other associations from the network Urbaner Sport Berlin, they advocate for more information, cleanliness, toilets, drinking fountains, light, seating and movement opportunities and design future movement suggestions in public space.

Georg Hubmann is a research associate at the Department of Urban Design and Sustainable Urban Development at the TU Berlin. His main interest is the resource-conserving and participatory management of the built environment. In his doctoral thesis, he is researching the spatial and socio-political implications of the circular economy in cities. He is also interested in wood as a building material and circular construction.

Under the new name Symbiotic Lab, Jakob Kukula, Felix Beer and Leoni Fischer are starting the second round of the B-Part Fellowship this fall. Building on the exhibition SynchroniCities, which was on view at the B-Part Exhibition from March to July of this year in cooperation with loop – Raum für aktuelle Kunst, they will continue to address relevant issues surrounding the relationship between humans and nature. While SynchroniCities focused on non-human perspectives on the city, Symbiotic Lab’s current research is dedicated to the role of nature in the field of tension between urban sphere and rural space in and around Berlin. The combination of science, design and art are fundamental to the work of the interdisciplinary team.

Back again are our fellows from nextT, who tell stories with data, visualize them and make them understandable. Sven Ehmann and Nicholas Bourquin are all about creating experiences, always based on the idea that all people should better understand data (especially their own) and then also be able to deal with it (self-)consciously. In addition to the topic of data privacy, they are also active in the field of sports, movement and health data, which they are currently working on in detail.

Christoph Kollert researches how digital planning tools can support the implementation of the mobility transition: In his main job, he supervises the creation of a user data-based and inter-municipal cycling concept as well as the (further) development of innovative planning and implementation methods within the framework of the Reallabor für interkommunale Radverkehrsförderung. Through his interest in the intersection of urban design and behavior change theory, he would like to use the fellowship to advocate for cycling promotion measures that go beyond the mere provision of infrastructure to convince non-cyclists to cycle. In addition, he is committed to networking scientific, civic, and private sector actors in cycling promotion.

Continuing to join us are our Fellows from Circular Berlin, for whom the transition to a Circular Economy is key to helping cities meet their climate goals and ensure a sustainable future. For them, the Circular Economy offers a new alternative to build more resilient, inclusive and local communities. They contribute to shaping the local Circular Economy agenda by engaging in research, building networks, and realizing implementation-oriented projects. Their work focuses on the city of Berlin and includes community building, education, advising city authorities, and developing knowledge in industries with high potential for circularity: the construction industry, the food & biomass industry, the textile & fashion industry, and the materials & products industry. From the non-profit organization, Dina Padalkina, Arianna Nicoletti, Cherelle Escaffre, Jessamy Hardie and Sofia Elisabeth Ratzinger work with us and contribute with their respective expertise.

The Urban Participation Lab (UPLab) has been newly formed with Caterina von Welck at the Lab. The UPLab offers innovative digital formats for citizen participation and is committed to improving participation in urban development and involving more citizens in planning processes across generations.

Under the motto “Flows – Public Space in Motion” and under the direction of Amira Sahr, we will jointly address the question of how the urbanity of the future can be designed in order to respond in the best possible way to the diverse new requirements such as climate change and increasing urban density. We would like to build a bridge from planning to practice. Because in B-Part Am Gleisdreieck, ideas are being developed for the urban neighborhood of tomorrow, which will be created here with the Urbane Mitte Am Gleisdreieck.

Due to technological and social developments, new ways of working and living, and the challenges of climate change, public space is undergoing major changes, especially in the big city. This raises many questions that we would like to explore. What are the opportunities and challenges for public space? How can public space become attractive, integrative and emancipating for all? What can the Urbane Mitte Am Gleisdreieck learn from this to become a neighborhood for all? And last but not least, the question is currently asking itself what the Corona crisis means for public space and the time “after”.

In the discussion with our fellows and external partners, we would like to find answers to these questions. We are particularly interested in the design and utilization possibilities of the Urban Center as a neighborhood of tomorrow, which should enable the most diverse and resilient living and working possible in the sense of urban transformation. Specifically, over the next six months we will be looking at the new public spaces being created on the southern construction site of the Urban Mitte. In a Design Sprint in November, concrete ideas will be developed here and a final exhibition will be created. In addition, we will address the question of sustainable urban “placemaking” in a UIL Talk. We are very much looking forward to the coming months with our seven Fellow teams!