AoA and all of our book’s contributors were invited to curate the program of the closing night of an international theatre festival in Riga, Homo Novus, together with the organisation Cape Farewell. The festival ran throughout fall between 9.9.-12.11.2016. Continue reading
Take Back The Economy by J.K. Gibson-Graham, Jenny Cameron and Stephen Healy is a practical guide for the transition toward a postcapitalist society suited for amateurs, students, citizen, and activists alike. Through tools, tips, and examples from around the world, the book engages its reader in a very accessible way, dismantling the idea that the economy is separate from us and better left to experts.
As our first project, AoA independently published the co-edited book ‘Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities’ in 2015; an open book exploring the visions, actions, tools and impacts of change agents, thinkers and ‘happeners’ (those who make things happen!). It shows the creative processes and tools for designing positive societal transitions. These transitions are revealed by showing the new hybrid relationships being forged between alternative approaches to learning, living, making, socialising, thinking and working. Continue reading
Essay by Malin Bäckman, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)
I wanted to gain understanding of how to involve residents of a neighbourhood in a design process through a series of initiatives, referred to as ‘explorations’. These explorations were carried out between October 2011 and August 2012 in Kannelmäki, a suburban area of Helsinki, and formed part of my Master’s Thesis at the Creative Sustainability programme, at Aalto University. Continue reading
Interview with Cordula Andrä, ZEGG Centre for Experimental Cultural and Social Design
ZEGG stands for Zentrum für Experimentelle Gesellschaftsgestaltung – Centre for Experimental Culture and Social Design. It is an intentional community living in the small town of Bad Belzig, an hour away from Berlin. ZEGG has existed for more than twenty years since its foundation in 1991 and reinvented itself more than once over the years. Continue reading
Interview with Daphne Büllesbach and Luisa Maria Schweitzer, European Alternatives Berlin
European Alternatives (EA) is a transnational organisation and network whose mission is to promote ‘democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state’.1 On a dark February evening in 2014, we met up with Daphne Büllesbach, Citizenship and Democracy Director at EA, and Luisa Maria Schweizer, City Coordinator of the local Berlin chapter of EA. Continue reading
Essay by Katharina Moebus, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)
For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. (Aristotle1)
There are certain things you only learn through direct experience. Roughly four years ago, I had the chance to go through an experience which entirely changed the way I look at problems. Continue reading
Interview with Amber Hickey, editor of A Guidebook of Alternative Nows
Amber Hickey is an artist, researcher and book editor who has a special focus on art activism and is currently based in Santa Cruz, California. She is editor of the book A Guidebook of Alternative Nows,1 an inspiring collection of essays and case studies by thirty-four different contributors. We met Amber on Skype for an interview to find out more about her work, the book, and the unusual process behind it.
Interview with the editors of the Community Lovers Guide Berlin, Francesca Weber-Newth and Isolde Nagel
Francesca Weber-Newth and Isolde Nagel are the two editors of the 2013 published The Community Lover’s Guide to Berlin,1 a guidebook to non-profit community projects in Berlin. Francesca is a sociologist and Isolde an architect based in Berlin with a special interest in urbanity and curating. Continue reading
Essay by Anja-Lisa Hirscher, published in Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)
There is an inherent pleasure in making … the sheer enjoyment of making something exist that didn’t exist before, of using one’s own agency, dexterity, feelings and judgment to mould, form, touch, hold and craft physical materials, apart from anticipating the fact of its eventual beauty, uniqueness or usefulness. (E. Dissanaykae)1
Essay by Alastair Fuad-Luke, published in: Agents of Alternatives – Re-designing Our Realities (AoA Berlin, 2015)
We have witnessed a ‘social turn’ in design over the last decade that is gathering momentum as existing and new power structures perceive ‘designing’ as a means to achieve their telos, goal directed purpose. I prefer to talk about the ‘socialisation of design(-ing)’, that is, how the ‘field’1 of design is becoming an activity that is not the sole preserve of professionally trained designers as their approaches, methodologies and processes are being adopted by other professionals, professional amateurs (pro-ams) and citizens.2 Continue reading
Common Space – by Greek architect, activist and professor, Stavros Stavrides – builds on commons and commoning discourse, alongside the work of great city thinkers like Lefebvre, Benjamin, Foucault and de Certeau, and more recent thinkers such as Ranciere, Negri and Hardt, to look at the specific role space plays in social and political production.