The invisible city dwellers: The agency

Urban Intervention & Investigation Studio (MA)

Team: Benedikt Boucsein, Elif Simge Fettahoğlu Özgen, Marco Kellhammer

With: Christiane Thalgott, Markus Lanz

"The contemporary city, the city that is at this moment under construction, is invisible. (...) While it remains everywhere and always in view, it is fully transparent to the urban conceptions under which we operate. From this point of view, we take the question of land as a starting point in the studio, in order to deal with the invisibility of urban development processes and to contribute to the current discussion by making them visible. For this topic lies at the root of many, if not all, urban planning issues in Munich. The egalitarian and the cooperative city: They are only conceivable with a just land right.

Residents of the city are aware of changes, but these changes are only partially comprehensible. Are there really as many apartments vacant most of the year as many people think? Who owns the apartments that are sold for enormous prices? How does this development affect life in the neighborhoods? How do people from precarious classes live who can no longer afford the city? Is the idea of a middle-class city crumbling, or is everything half as bad? How do the balance between the city center and the periphery shift?

In keeping with the complexity of the topic, we will be exploring the issue in various formats: MA and BA Studio and the seminars "Walkscapes" and "Beyond Urban Image". The MA group will play the role of "agency" in this compilation: it will work investigatively, using the techniques of spatial analysis, as groups such as "Forensic Architecture" do. It will do so by combining spatial representation, analysis, observation and interviews to make the invisible or "the invisible" visible. The communication of these insights will also be designed.

The thoughts and ideas of the investigations will be put to the test in an exchange with the BA-Studio (the "Cooperative") and are intended to spark a discussion: Agency and cooperative work together on the same problem, but from different directions, and in their different roles they meet again and again during the semester. The area around the Grossmarkthalle and Gotzinger Platz, one of the last areas in Munich, will serve as a focus, offering the opportunity to rethink an urban development in an inner-city context. The results from both studios as well as from the seminars, if applicable, will be presented to the public in a joint exhibition/intervention at the end.