Herwig Turk

Unpacking Burckhardt with Social Design Studio Vienna. Documenta14 Kassel - July 5th 2017

The Social Design Studio Vienna introduced its recent activities and started a debate as to what extent it is possible to share methodologies and tools within varying scopes and scales.

The Unpacking Burckhardt series on that occasion took place in the Narrowcast House, an open radio studio and listening space in in Kassel’s Nordstadt.

On the 5th of July 2017, hosted by aneducation / documenta14 the Social Design Studio Vienna got the possibility to present recent activities in an afternoon Session.

“What do we have in common, and how are we to fight for it?” Oskar and Zofia Hansen asked in The Open Form in Architecture: The Art of the Great Number (1959).

Following this motto contained in the invitation, it was the special interest of the organisers and our goal, to find methodologies and tools that could be shared in other contexts. Projects like Urban Knautschzone, Détours Travel Agency, #analogposting, Iphigenia - the unexperienced experience, Liebes Kreta und Auslage in Arbeit, offered a broad variety of examples of how to act in public space by exploring it’s modalities, shifting conventions and looking for the unexpected. Working with an artistic approach, the undertakings provoked general curiosity and managed due to profound basic research to uncover potentials that otherwise might be easily overlooked. Some projects kept a low profile by blending into the neighbourhood and activating the potentials with discrete interventions. Others based their interaction with the locals on theatrical strategies and changed the streets and squares into a stage.

What can be achieved by the methods of our studio was shown through practical examples. Building trust by honest interest in individual needs and site-specific conditions helps to create a polylogue and a basic debate about the local situation. Being patient and not pushing quick solutions or offering readymade problem solving recipes improves the credibility in the role as moderator. Making invisible structures and potentials of a community visible, activating and empowering citizens to think and decide for themselves helps to create a different understanding of public space and its potentials.

Herwig Turk, 2017


July 2017
Brigitte Felderer
Markus Gebhardt
Michel Gölz
Veronika Hackl
Klaus Kodydek
Lena Kohlmayr
Tinka Legvart
Eva Mair
Milly Reid
Clara Rosa Rindler-Schantl
Christina Schraml
Cosima Terrasse
Enrico Tomassini
Herwig Turk
Asia Valencic and Andrea Visotschnig