„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