On Friday 20th May, Making Spaces (under the experienced wing of Niche Berlin) teamed up with Creamcake to curate the NIGHT SHIFT at the beautiful Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg. As part of the 36-hour Factory of Thought, we presented 8 hours of heady beats and tantalising tipples to launch the blog in a big way.
Architect Merril Sinéus fights for the reintegration of socially vulnerable inhabitants into urban space. Through diverse programmes, Sinéus puts forward a kind of ‘architecture of rehabilitation’, often linked to the habitat in its broadest sense. Acting on pre-existing structures, on the domestic, quotidian level and in direct interaction with future users, her projects demand flexibility from the architect. With this in mind, we knew she would be the perfect candidate for a residency with L’Espace Féminin in June 2015. Here is her statement on the conclusions that she drew:
In June 2015 we asked the question: Is there such a thing as “feminine space”? The social space in Berlin’s Wedding district is dominated by locations typically perceived as “masculine” – kebab shops, barber salons and gambling halls. In what kind of spaces do women here spend their time and how do these differ from those “male” spaces? To investigate these ideas, Stefanie Gerke and Gilly Karjevsky guided a tour around the neighbourhood in conjunction with the Make City Festival.
Starting in November, with inspiration from Fee Kyriakopoulos from KIM Architektur & Urbanistik, we put on a series of art workshops. The aim was to bring the local art scene into contact with children living in the Soldiner Straße area, such that there would be some mutual comprehension. Each week a different artist was invited to come to the project space in Wedding, where they would share their skills with the children. We produced a small flyer in German, Turkish and Arabic, which was strategically distributed around Wedding to reach families with young children.
Building on the success of the first dinner, we decided to go back to the Contemporary Food Lab with another group of practitioners to further the debate. Maintaining the format of the placemat-survey, in which guests were asked to write responses to questions printed on their placemats, we attempted to develop the discussion with insights from the whole year in mind.
From September to December 2015, we presented a solo-show by Flavien (*1971 Le Mans, France) in our exhibition space “Hinter den Vögeln”, the former flower shop on Wedding’s St. Elisabeth II graveyard. The show nucleus for a house was made up of two new artworks: nucleus 00 (air – elastic) (2015) as well as the elastic house (2015) as an offspring of the nucleus.
To kick off L'Espace Féminin, we hosted a dinner at the Contemporary Food Lab in Berlin-Mitte. To this dinner we invited spatial practitioners - the majority of whom being women - whose work was particularly interesting for us. In order to stimulate conversation towards issues of gender, stereotypes, women's representation and space, we gave each attendee a placemat on which four questions were printed.