Make City Festival 2015
Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 27, 10178 Berlin, Germany, Berlin, Germany
The city of Berlin is undergoing a fundamental paradigm shift – becoming both a magnet for investors and a site for large-scale transformations of urban landscapes. Its free spaces – its urban commons – are increasingly precious resources. In light of 2014’s momentous referendum which saw Berliners vote against the city government’s master plan for the redevelopment of the former Tempelhof Airfield – one of the inner city’s largest open commons – it is clearer than ever that citizens here want to be part of the rethinking and reshaping of their city. Make City – Resourcing the Urban is about discovering and optimising our urban resources, whether they be spatial, material or based upon the vast potential of civic engagement. The festival brings together numerous urban initiatives both in Berlin and internationally. As a new format, Make City is made possible by over 100 founding partners: these are architects, designers, agencies, planners, developers, civic groups, and platforms in the city that stand for civic engagement and empowerment. These collaborators have co-financed the festival, and bring their international network of city-makers into the mix. Make City is founded upon the notion of collaboration and participation. The festival partners have co-designed a city-wide conversation that comprises Studio Talks, specially conceived tours – Make City Open – exhibitions and happenings – Urban Hubs – over 17 days. With the focus on making – a hands-on approach – to urban design, Make City brings together many urban acts of renegotiation and re-thinking of urban space. This is necessarily a collective act; it is about anticipating and involving the needs and desires of those that constitute the life of the city. Social networks, petition and protest, the disruptions that crack urban codes and regulations can open up city spaces to completely new forms of use. Urban Open Source is a key notion within the festival: a focus upon participation, upon making and thinking about the city differently – as a mutual project. Over the years, Berlin has generated a multitude of urban interventions and occupations of space by architects, landscape designers and artists. Many of the design strategies that have transformed undervalued, liminal and temporary spaces are now prototypes that are subsequently exported elsewhere. In response to increasing economic pressure on the housing market, in Berlin and internationally, architects are also developing prototypes for living and working in an urban environment. Make City features new forms of co-housing initiatives, unique appropriations of space and intelligent hybrid concepts that rethink the notion of shared spaces and shared resources within a building: one of our major partners is the Chamber of Berlin Architects, whose yearly ‘Day of Architecture’ will be one of the highlights on the last weekend of the festival – this year in an XL format. Together with our specially conceived Make City Open Tours, festival visitors can experience new architecture first hand, and speak to their makers themselves – the planners and architects. Re_Sourcing the Urban also involves looking at the public realm. We look at how urban acts of interruption and intervention can lay the groundwork for a lasting shift in planning criteria for contested spaces, or those slated for development. Make City asks – do we treasure our shared, open spaces, our urban commons? Are we designing cities and their public spaces responsively, according to the needs of diverse social groups? Are we building with the patchwork family, the shifting needs of a household, the community, in mind? In its inaugural year 2015, Make City – the festival for architecture and urban alternatives – is free and open to a broad audience. Join in and make city differently with all of us.