At this year’s conference of the German Foundation for Design Theory and Research I was invited to speak about the projects I conducted with the University of Arts Berlin in Nairobi, Kenya. In my talk I presented theses and conclusions I draw from the experience of the collaborative work we did there to address a more contemporary, just and realistic approach towards international development and how design could actually contribute towards this change.>> Read More
Starting in October, I will work much closer with the NGO Nyendo, who is supporting the Love School and 13 other privately run schools in the slums of Kangemi and Kawangware (CIFEFA network). I traveled to Kenya in late September/October to connect different initiatives with the CIFEFA schools: the Wajukuu Art Project in Lunga Lunga, the Kounkuey Design Initiative in Kibera and the FabLab GEARBOX in Nairobi.
Our vision is to establish an educational exchange program between designers, German pupils (grade 11) and the initiatives in Nairobi, which transfers both polytechnical know-how as well as tools to run self sustained food production. This work is part of my PhD research and will be developed throughout the next years. Together with the participants we came up with a name for our endeavor: INUKA SASA (rise now).>> Read More
We are happy and proud to have finally launched a first website for our quite ambitious project, that is supposed to bring together initiatives, people and projects to develop formats and methods for empowerment through making and design. If this resonates with you and you think you should be part of our institute, please get in touch!>> Read More
REGENERATE ! – Fluid Community Food Systems. Interdisciplinary Project with Nyendo & Wajukuu, Kenya and the Department of Architecture, UdK, Berlin
„Cities have a crucial role to play as catalysts of the system change we need. They can embody a new story about development and progress in which the health of biodiversity, foodsheds and watersheds are key indicators of success. A city is most healthy as a meeting place for change agents, outliers, and shadow networks. The healthy city is about participation, not spectacle. Connecting is itself a form of innovation.“ John Thackara
By acknowledging the city as a living system where things grow organically, offering a new human centered fluidity, we will approach its territories as a fertile ground for community regeneration and a healthy (fair, resilient, circular, sustainable) local food system, while understanding ourselves as agents of change by designing and producing genuine urban abundance.
This living city is already emerging with new kinds of infrastructures: food coops, collective urban gardening and farming, craft breweries etc. We will kick off the semester with a Berlin wide field research, exploring and identifying key elements for local food systems in a community context (production, transformation, distribution, consumption). We will visit and interview grass roots initiatives, start-ups, farmers, community gardens, local producers etc., cook and eat together, explore the different set-ups of community and share it all in a collective map, which will be the starting point for the semester project.
Inspired by emerging disciplines like permaculture, transition and regenerative design, the goal of this project is to experience a socially engaged design practice and to establish a systemic understanding of the topic by investigating different scenarios: we will work with an allotment garden and analyze its specific structures and rules and how these shape its community; we will explore the potential of the „house of statistics“ at Alexanderplatz, a building and space whose purpose still needs to be defined and we will address our thinking towards the very special constraints of the slums in Nairobi and its consequences for community purposes.
The systemic approach will allow us to think at different scales (Berlin/Nairobi) and help us to decolonize knowledge (and design) and to understand, how we can share knowledge and resources in fairer, healthier way.
We will approach these scenarios with questions like:
– How to propose new food products & service systems (PPS) that regenerate local economies as well as communities?
– How to use mobile & lean structures to establish resilient and circular food systems that will not be affected by politics, real estate speculation etc.?
– How to help people to take back the city by establishing shared food production/transformation/systems?
with Virginie Gailing, Prof. Markus Bader,St. Oberholz, KDI, Barefoot Solutions, NGO Nyendo, Edgeryders’ OpenVillage>> Read More