Wintersemester 2023/24

KASSEL CONTESTED - War Planning Love

The ASL Studio project KASSEL CONTESTED | Krieg, Planung, Liebe explores spatial connections between industry and urban planning decisions, the resulting urban conflicts, and the niches for commoning practices that emerge within these conflicts.
The arms industry companies Henschel, Krauss-Maffei Wegmann, and Rheinmetall Defence are closely intertwined with the urban fabric of Kassel, with some of their connections being explicitly visible while others are obscured or disappeared within the urban structure.

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KASSEL CONTESTED - Who owns the city?

In collaboration with urban planners and civil society actors, we want to understand and map the most contested spaces in Kassel - with a focus on (post)industrial development sites, arm industry areas and vacant urban space. The following research questions are to complement and deepen the work of mapping of the studio KASSEL CONTESTED: What is the ownership structure of the contested urban space? What are the planning goals at specific locations? What private and non-profit spatial interests are at play? Which roles can urban planning, architecture, self-organized spaces, as well as resistant commonings take on?

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The Productivity of Common Ownership Models

More than ever in modern history, housing and urban land are the most tradable and wealth building forms of property. This means that what is known as spatial planning of a certain locality is at the same time, possibly, a process of global asset value appreciation. But in order for this to be apparent and understood, we need investigative research that connects the spatiality of a certain location with its role as a major asset in the financial market.

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Critical cartography against the neoliberal city

Mapping is not neutral - it always directs our gaze to a selected and represented phenomenon and inevitably reflects the view of those who draw it; All too often the focus of data collection and algorithms is on the economic centers and ethnic minorities, women and poor people are excluded. Equally, however, counter-designs of the hegemonic city can be mapped.

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Did Anyone Say Social Design?

This seminar examines design positions on the future of ecology and alternative economies in games. We will be playing with and critically assessing games, such as world-building and Live Action Role Play games, which range from radically open ones where players scope and explore history, to semi-scripted strategy games for political allegiance building akin to a real world in the future.

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Infrastructure for a social-ecological transformation

Designing places to live is always synonymous with designing infrastructure. Interconnected infrastructures are a fundamental and often normalized component of societal processes within their respective political-economic contexts. They enable a variety of seemingly routine (urban) practices that often only gain renewed attention during moments of disruption and crisis. Consequently, societal debates about fundamental change are also conducted around the question of realigning infrastructures. From the perspective of "political ecology," infrastructures are not merely viewed as technical artifacts but as "socio-technical systems" that simultaneously express and mediate social-ecological processes and socio-spatially unequal conditions.

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Resources Extracted, Exploited - Trip to Venice Biennale

Together we want to visit "The Laboratory of the Future", this year's Venice Biennale. Curated by Lesley Lokko, founder of the African Futures Institute (Accra, Ghana), the focus is for the first time on Africa and the African diaspora ("that fluid and enmeshed culture of people of African descent that now straddles the globe", Lesley Lokko) and their stories, too often marginalized in the canon of architectural history. For Lokko, questions about resources and the representational (effort) of a biennial are also central, and we also want to place our joint visit under the motto exploitations - what are the consequences of the biennial for the city of Venice?

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