The collaborations between Hallo: Verein zur Förderung raumöffnender Kultur e.V. and various departments at HafenCity University Hamburg, which have been in place since 2018, offer space and opportunities to test new forms of collaborative research and teaching at the interface between civil society and the university. In different formats (“Bille Land. Water as a social space“; “Urban Waters“; “Micromappings. Recycling. Rethinking Property. Property in Bille Land” and “Cohabitation”), various models of inquiry-based learning have been and are being tested: interdisciplinary, inter- and transdisciplinary, action-oriented, exploratory, reflective, cooperative, and participatory. They impart system, target and transformation knowledge and enable the acquisition of technical, methodological and communicative competencies.
The action area is the area around the water basin of the Billebogen and the adjacent canals in the east of Hamburg, where the districts of Hammerbrook, Hamm-Süd and Rothenburgsort meet. The area, which was completely destroyed during World War II, is characterized by a diverse and heterogeneous mix of long-established logistics, wholesale, factory and small business enterprises as well as (non-)established cultural and artistic uses, houseboats, water sports, allotment idylls and adjacent residential areas (approx. 5,000 inhabitants and approx. 12,000 employees). The Bille River and its neighboring canals span a fabric of waterways that is a complementary network of waterways to the public road, trail, and rail network. However, most of the riparian land is privately owned and there are few direct access points to the water. Only a few industrial companies still actively use the waterways for supply and apart from water sports (rowing, canoeing, motor boating, fishing) and a few houseboats, there are few concrete users of the water areas.
The design of city is studied in the teaching, research and design projects in a 1:1 mode in their relational connections between the site-specific spatial conditions and peculiarities in their relation to their urban, cultural and social practices. This is a fundamentally different attitude than the currently practiced urban and architectural production based on standardized socio-spatial assignments and generalizing principles, whose formal and institutional certainties are no longer effective or are encountering increasing social resistance. In order to be able to reflect, design and realize contemporary living environments with the necessary specificity and quality, differentiated approaches to the development and exploration of relational urbanistic, architectural and artistic strategies are required.
At the same time, all teaching formats pursue the goal of making a contribution to community-oriented, co-productive urban development and thus distinguish themselves from purely economic and profit-oriented urban and real estate development. This requires an intensive and conscious examination of the different perspectives and possibilities of individual civil society, municipal and private sector actors with regard to their possible contributions to promoting diverse coexistence in the city. Which contributions, actions and design approaches promote the common good can never be determined in a generalizing way, but only in a context-specific examination of a space in its concrete social context and the social negotiation processes taking place in that space. This also requires a critical examination of anthropocentrism and an inclusion of the interplay between human and non-human actors and their mutual relationships and dependencies.
The insights developed in the respective teaching formats serve as a basis for formulating new questions that are taken up in subsequent teaching formats. The resulting ideas and knowledge are documented in the growing Bille Raum Archive, which in turn provides an important foundation for further teaching and research formats as well as actions and projects that transform the space. In this context, both digital and analog media – such as models and maps – serve as important foundations of collaborative, co-creative, and perpetuating knowledge production and shared learning processes at the interface between science and practice.
|Hallo: We do not sell||2021|
|Speculating on Collective Futures||2021|
|Teaching, research and design in Bille Land||2018|