Wednesday, October 2, 2019, 7 pm
Mythos der Kreativität (The Myth of Creativity)

Discussion with Florian Hertweck (architect, University of Luxemburg), MetroZones – Center for Urban Affairs (Berlin), Nina Scholz (journalist and author, Berlin), Schroeter & Berger (designers, Berlin)

Today, Berlin is regarded as creative, smart and innovative. By taking a detour via subculture, art and creativity, the city has at last become a global city. For Berlin knows how to stage itself as a haven for artists, creatives, and start-ups. This staging of Berlin as a laboratory for innovation and creativity is part of a “culturalization of the urban sphere” (Andreas Reckwitz), in which urban creativity and culture are specifically mobilized and exploited as a resource. As is so often the case, the revolution devours its own children: The myth of the creative Berlin in turn leads to displacement and exclusion, to institutionalization and commodification. How much truth lies in the narrative of the creative Berlin? Which positive and negative urban impulses have evolved from the scene? And how can independent creative spaces be preserved and newly built in order to contribute to the promotion of a city for everyone?

The exhibition
1989–2019: Politics of Space in the New Berlin outlines the urbanistic and architectural development from the point of view of the supposed “end of history”: How did Berlin become what it is today? Projects realized especially for the exhibition exemplify various urbanistic policies and their consequences for today’s Berlin. They depict partly contradictory processes and narratives that to this day are superimposing and intensifying in Berlin as a constructed city. There is not only one Berlin, but many myths and ideas of what Berlin is supposed to be. The exhibition reflects the perspectives and myths of history, of the market and of creativity.

In the framework of an extensive discourse program, selective glimpses into the history, present and future of the city are supposed to sound out what the urban Berlin consists of today. Politicians, architects, urban theorists, artists and activists will be discussing the politics of space in the New Berlin: What to do about historically amnesiac ambitions? What is the current constitution of urban social movements, how can their relationship to party politics be apprehended in terms of emancipation? What kind of associations, planning approaches and architectures are needed to create a Berlin that is open and based on solidarity?


Florian Hertweck is an architect and professor at the University of Luxembourg, where he heads the master’s degree program in Architecture, European Urbanisation and Globalisation. He has examined the urban transformation of Berlin after 1989 in a number of publications. In 2018, together with Andrea Rumpf, he curated the Luxembourg pavilion for the Architecture Biennale in Venice and co-edited ARCH+ 231: The Property Issue —Von der Bodenfrage und neuen Gemeingütern (On the land question and new commons).

metroZones Center for Urban Affairs was founded in Berlin in 2007 as an independent association for critical urban research. Situated at the juncture of art, science, and politics, the team’s projects combine research and knowledge production with cultural and curatorial practices, as well as political interventions. These are implemented through transnational, interdisciplinary, and institutional collaborations. The goal of metroZones is to address and politicize urban issues, daily life, and conflicts.

Nina Scholz is a journalist based in Berlin. She oversees audience development for the radio stations Deutschlandfunk and Deutschlandfunk Kultur and writes for taz, Freitag, the Sunday magazine of Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, analyse & kritik, and other media about digital capitalism, alternatives, and resistance. Her book Nerds, Geeks und Piraten. Digital Natives in Kultur und Politik (Nerds, Geeks, and Pirates: Digital Natives in Culture and Politics) was published in 2014.

Schroeter & Berger is a design office founded in 2005 by Maximilian Sauerbier and Sebastian Helm while both were students at the Bauhaus University in Weimar. Their designs incorporate stylistic devices and design maxims from modernism, constructivism, and the Russian avant-garde, visual poetry, New Objectivity, and the clear typography of Switzerland. In addition to commissioned works, they realize socially relevant projects in the form of conceptual, interdisciplinary, and cross-media visual and auditory works. Their work has been presented internationally at festivals, on radio and television, and in museums and galleries.


In German
Free admission