In spring 2018, the Berlin office Urban Catalyst asked us whether we would like to participate in the upcoming participation process for the redesign of Steintorplatz in downtown Hanover. That's what we wanted. We worked on the concept for the pitch presentation and developed many different formats for an "action week" planned for September. Our double-decker was used and we planned and wrote a newspaper in preparation for the campaign week as an important tool for us to increase participation and participation in the process.
Shortly before the start of the action week there was unfortunately a quarrel between us and the building department of the city of Hanover, because an interview agreed several times in advance should not be printed at short notice and without justification. Since the cooperation up to this point was difficult on other levels as well and this decision, which we could not understand, was symptomatic for it, we decided to quit the project.
In our opinion, the right to freedom of expression is not only the most important tool and means in a citizen participation procedure, it is also a fundamental right in our democracy, protected by the constitution for good reason. It is therefore, of course, inalienable for us. Even in a service relationship.
+ Format: Transparent Planning Office
In order to make participation processes in public space more accessible and easier for all parties to understand, we have developed the format of the transparent planning office. Here public planners and citizens come together directly at a (working) table not only to discuss ideas, but also to test their professional feasibility and to promote an understanding of feasibility limits: "Take a look at the plan here, where should it go, the city forest in the pedestrian zone? We can draw it in together..."
+ Format: G.R.I.D.
Stands for: G iven R ooms I dentified and D imensioned. In order to make participation processes in public space visible in an effective way, on the one hand, and to activate as many people as possible and clearly define the scope of change, on the other, we transform the surface we are dealing with into a square paper. Really. With chalk colour and the precision of a middle school maths teacher we transform the planning area into a transformative sketch paper on which - in combination with the prototype workshop - ideas of citizens can be spatially located, changed and tested 1:1.
+ Format: Newspaper
Particularly in participation projects, changes in perspective, listening to different voices and making different positions visible play an overriding role. That is why we offer tailor-made newspaper formats for such projects, which either appear once or as a magazine series during the project period. These are not documentary by-products, but as a basic building block for successful and transparent participation with the involvement of all actors: a cultural-journalistic assessment of the situation as a starting point for the forthcoming transformation of urban space.
Photos: China Hobson
+ Format: Prototyping Workshop
Either mobile, in our bus, or stationary, we offer a project-specific workshop, equipped with the necessary tools and professional craftsmen, which implements spatial ideas and visions directly on site quickly and uncomplicatedly in the form of prototypes. Here, too, we proceed according to the co-creation & co-production principle and involve the idea providers in the implementation without them having to have any technical know-how. Ideas and their effect can be tested better together than on paper: ... "Now that this swing is here, would you stay here with your child and feel comfortable? If no, what's missing?".
+ Method: Co-Production
Even after the co-creation process, we do not see ourselves as a mere implementation agency, but see it as a core task to involve as many people as possible with different backgrounds and motivations in the implementation of our projects. In our drafts we therefore do not only work site-specifically, but also group-specifically.
+ Method: Performative Urbanism
An understanding of urban development, architecture and the appropriation of the city, not only as an urban space and framework for action, but as a performative subject in itself: not (only) performance in the city, but the city as performance!
+ Method: Mobile Intervention
Thanks to our oldest team member - a double-decker bus built in 1979 - we are able to organise a tailor-made mobile intervention for every project and every occasion, which not only takes people away and brings ideas somewhere they haven't been before, but also generates additional attention and solves all (superficial) transport and (deeper) transfer questions in one go.
⟶ All Methods & Formats
Client: City of Hannover
Place: Hannover, Germany
Partner: Urban Cathalyst Studio
Media: Interview Wohnart Magazin
Unsere Stellungnahme zu unserem Austieg aus dem Projekt
⟶ Architectur⟶ Community Building