Longing for Future • Sehnsucht nach Zukunft

Programme by Herwig Turk

During the focus week Longing for Future the Social Design Studio had a close look at the genesis and evolvement of the urban development area Seestadt Aspern in order to sharpen ideas for the future of Zukunftshof – another development project in the making on the Viennese urban fringe.

© Herwig Turk


Do and can urban fringes make space for societal utopia? What does it take to be an inhabitant of a city? Where do we belong to? What are we longing for? Where does the future take place and space? How do borders of all kinds manifest in space? During the focusweek we discussed opposing narratives, shifting prejudices, old and new migration movements, different planning concepts, and issues of supply infrastructures in a rapidly growing city.

The program started with a guided tour through the project Zukunftshof in Rothneusiedel with Andreas Gugumuck, founding member of the initiative Zukunftshof, and Klaus Schafler, artist and curator of Kunsthalle Exnergasse. Within the upcoming 25 years the venue wants to develop into a space for social utopia, a center for sustainable circular economy, urban agriculture, and a cultural hub on the fringe of Vienna. Next we visited Seestadt Aspern, a new city quarter also on the urban fringe being built in the last ten years and still under construction. We looked at the claims and promises that were publicly made by the area’s development agency and marketing department at the beginning of the project and compared it to the status quo. We especially reflected on the abilities of art projects to improve social cohesion in new neighbourhoods in terms of participation prospects.

Reinhold Zisser presented the Notgalerie project he had realized in the framework of an always changing and growing artists’ collective between 2015 and 2020 both in Donaustadt and Aspern.

Barbara Holub, artist and member of transparadiso, discussed with students the potential of street names for a new neighbourhood not only merely used as decoration.

Daniel Aschwanden, performer, choreographer und urban practitioner, shared with us the experiences of a cultural activist and producer who was in close connection to construction sites and new settlers in Seestadt Aspern between 2011 and 2016.

Closing the focus week, the students presented projects on qualities and imaginaries of a neighbourhood by neglecting regulations of the city administration and just following the street names.

3–10 November 2020
Participants: Barbara Holub
Daniel Aschwanden
Reinhold Zisser
Andreas Gugumuck
Klaus Schafler