© Catrin Schmitt

Vertical Village — From Curb to Skyline and Back Again

The compact course for students of the Berlin University of the Arts (UdK) will take place at two weekends in June. Its focus will be on how a change of perspective can serve as the starting point for artistic work. The students will first take a walk through the Gropiusstadt city quarter and then view it again from a project room on the 24th floor.

In the early 1960s Walter Gropius designed a modern, green residential district with “light, air and sun”, popularly known as “Gropiusstadt”. Fundamental changes were made to the concept of the massive housing project following the construction of the Berlin Wall. The buildings had to be situated more closely together and built higher than originally planned. Many have expressed and still hold widely varying opinions on Gropiusstadt. For some, it is a beloved model of modern residential development, and for others, a problematic city district. With their project “Vertical Village”, the art students of the UdK will now gain their own impression of Gropiusstadt. From a temporary project room atop the 24-storey skyscraper at the Wutzkyallee underground station, the students will seek a change of perspective as they set out to artistically explore the area. In dialogue with the local residents, they will then share and discuss what they’ve observed. In this way, they will gain insights into the history and neighbourhood structure of the quarter and its residential high-rises. The students will then take their collected material to develop an artistic work, highlighting the “vertical villages” in Gropiusstadt.

Artistic directors: Dennis Fuchs and Sarah Wohler

The resulting artworks will be presented in an exhibition in the container at Berlin Mondiale at Apfelsinenplatz on Sunday, 23 June 2024, 4 pm – 6 pm.

Vertical Village is part of the project bauhaus@gropiusstadt. Designing Neighbourhoods in Berlin-Neukölln district and was made possible by the Youth Culture Initiative. The Youth Culture Initiative is funded by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Social Cohesion and supported by the Berlin Mondiale accompanying programme.