The first ever Make City kicked off in earnest on June 11th and as the new Berlin-based festival for “architecture and urban alternatives” approaches its conclusion this weekend – and there are more than forty events to still check out if you are in the city over the next four days – uncube shares some highlights so far from its inaugural edition.
The constellation of the festival’s ambitious programme of over 120 events has orbited around three central themes: Urban Commons, Urban Open Source, Urban Living & Working and in doing so has lived up to its tagline of “re_sourcing the urban”, with a broad spread of activities encroaching into every nook and cranny of the city’s urban fabric. From the roof of the vast Tempelhof airport hangar (who knew there was a sauna up there?!) right down to the more intimate surroundings of the festival’s HQ at the Czech Centre, a remarkable Brutalist building designed by Věra and Vladimír Machonin in 1978, over 5000 participants have taken up the festival’s invitation to “make city differently”.
Whilst the bulk of activities have taken place within the German capital, the issues addressed are anything but Berlin–specific. The Czech Centre in particular has played host to some lively, critical discussions between locals and international guests on topics encompassing the nature of the commons, smart cities, the future of the maker movement (or maker “process” as UK maker expert Daniel Charny preferred to term it during his presentation), the resilience of urban centres in times of crisis and indeed what other cities could learn about Berlin’s rich – but fragile – heritage when it comes to DIY and self-initiated projects.
Whilst the festival may be about to reach a culmination (check out the festival programme for over forty events during the next four days as well as scores of buildings and architects offices open over the weekend) it appears that the discussions it has instigated will extend far beyond Make City’s official three-week span. We’re looking forward to the next edition already.
– Fiona Shipwright
For more on Make City and how the festival came about, read our interview with its founder Francesca Ferguson, by uncube correspondent Ethel Barona Pohl.
Make City: A Festival for Architecture and Urban Alternatives
June 11-28, 2015
And for more on the fascinating topic of Urban Commons read the uncube special issue on the subject, guest edited by Francesca Ferguson, here.