Birlikte Festival

15. Juni 2016 | von

2The fusion of music and city is by its principle incredible.

Street festivals have this potential to pause for a while the daily routine and activities of a city and host the inhabitants in this other way of experiencing the public space… Car lanes are blocked; people are walking and sitting everywhere; street food experiences; and of course music to entertain and gather the people. Isn’t it what every public space wanted to be instead of tolerating every day noisy and dirty cars…? Apart from this dreamy atmosphere of streets with no cars but music and people everywhere, I come to talk about the reality: from the 27th of may to the 6th of June the 3rd Birlikte – Zusammenstehen took place in Köln Mülheim. This event is not only a Street Music Festival, but actually a discussing-critical-socially-oriented festival. During the whole week many different events happened in different forms and places (from a wandering in the neighborhood of Chorweiler, to film session and debate) and as a closure on the very last day, a Sunday, this music festival takes place in the Keupstraße, Schanzenstraße and Carls Werk area. The Birlikte started in 2014 after 10 years of a terrorist attack against the migrant scene in the Keupstraße, and therefore the festival has as theme the “Zusammenleben” concerning the integration and the cultural diversity in the society. Weiterlesen »

Umbrella Action in Mülheim

13. Juni 2016 | von

1I already posted here experiences about studying and analyzing a neighborhood. Nowadays, btw, a nice concept that many planners try to work with is the so-called bottom up projects. This means that the plan or project for a specific area won’t be developed only by the interpretation and the own ideas of the planner (known as top-down planning), but developed in a participative way. The citizens join the planning process and contribute in sharing their opinions for what a city model is desired. In this way the city or the neighborhood is shaped much more to adapt their people, and not the other way around, when (in some bad urbanism project examples) the people has to adapt to the city.


Naturally this process has its critics and negative points. One of them is that it takes a really long process to develop together with the society a plan and a project – since the majority never had such a experience at all and, of course, have no degree in urbanism or architecture, for example. A positive argument thought is that a planner alone sometimes can’t see all the necessities of a certain people in a certain place, since one lacks the daily experience in the neighborhood, for example.


There are anyway many methods and types of participative planning process that can suit better certain specific situation. And despite for some negative points, I support this way in thinking cities and designing them for their people. And although this strategic urban planning is still pretty new, many cities like Barcelona, Amsterdam, São Paulo, etc. Already experienced the participative projects.


And so did the neighborhood of Köln-Mülheim. In fact the neighborhood is involved in a planning project called Mülheim 2020, which main objective is to improve socially, economically and physically the area. But I actually am not about to report this big public plan, but an action that we architecture and urban planning students from the RWTH developed in order to come close to the Mülheimer’s opinions.


Since we are developing a study, analysis and a design project for the area, we noticed we needed more contact with locals. Although we are a big group of students that share a lot our points of views, we don’t experience the daily life of the neighborhood, nor have an overview of all social diversity and their lives in the area. So we organized this big action, in which we would be all dressing similar (in black), carry something colorful and big, to attract attention and seduce people to talk with us and to share their opinions (in this case colorful umbrellas). And in this way we walked in a big group around Mülheim, carrying two posters with us, the negative places one and the positive places, where people should glue a sticker in the plan, showing us their opinion about positive and negative places there.


After about 5 hours of action we achieved two very colorful (and in some spots crowed) plans. The idea was very nice, since in this performing action people were really attracted to us, and wanted to take part. Very few denied answering us. In fact very different to what I am used to, when I walk alone or in pair along a neighborhood trying to talk with people, normally less than half of the asked people really get interested in taking part of an interview and sharing their opinion.


And so you can enjoy and understand the context of those pictures! J







learning from Kopenhagen

01. Juni 2016 | von

trampoline at the canal promenade

How cool is it when you are in a public space and it is full of live… the people hanging there makes the place so attractive, that you feel simply fine and it makes you want to stay in the place for a while and enjoy the atmosphere, the sound of people talking and giggling and the shades of people’s figures…

kids playgorund

Although such a scene should be naturally happening in all public spaces like squares, we know that in reality it is not always the way it works… Weiterlesen »

Emilia. Warsaw. Brutalist Architecture.

28. Mai 2016 | von

the Mezzanino



Brutalist Architecture Sample



This building called Emilia was constructed to host a furniture store during the soviet regime in Warsaw. When the communism fell, the original activities held in the edifice were also brought under. On the same time Warsaw’s city center met the real estate business – this means: when investors buy a piece of land in a city and resell them for a much higher price since they are normally a site of interest; since those areas costs really much, only other big investors can afford buying or building on those places, and guess what, what is built on those areas are not nice public facilities like a cool cultural center or a nice park, but something private and profitable, like a huge-blue-glassy shopping mall, or a gigantic-fortress-like-skyscraper, and similar other types of excluding and not human-orientated architecture. – Today Warsaw’s city center mirrors exactly this situation: uncountable shopping malls concurring with each other, huge blue-glass-facade-skyscrapers, large sites of parking lots, that make the area not suitable for pedestrians since everything is so big and so far from each other and many of those are better accessed by car then by foot (!).


Emilia is like a pearl in the middle of this glass and car jungle. It presents itself pretty shyly due to it’s high of only two floors. But delight the observer due to its simplicity but pleasant facade. Its roof is in shape of zigzag and from the outside we can see the interior and the beautiful designed stairs that connect the floors that create a mezzanine with each other. This main block connects with a thinner block that hosts on the first two floors also part of this store, and in the other 6 floors host housing. Those two blocks form a courtyard with beautiful trees and offer a connection to the two parallel streets that outline the building.


This modern architecture testimony hosted for years many arts exhibitions after the end of the soviet regime in Warsaw. But even though it could resist to the real estate wave that already disfigured the whole Warsaw’s center… this Saturday, the 14th of may was the very last day of Emilia’s life. It’s now gonna give place to another uninviting and excluding skyscraper.


This happens with very many building and cities all over the world. Sadly this is how our system works. If the land is profitable, it will be bought by someone and resold to another one who is not interested in what is gonna be built, but how much money can this building-to-be provide. That is how the history of many cities, and examples of different architecture styles are vanished now a days… It is a silent destruction. And worse, shopping malls, offices skyscraper and parking lots are a type of architecture that is restricted to a big part of the population. And normally their vast sizes transform the scale of the city, making them more inhospitable and therefore emptier.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 20.13.08


source:  http://www.uncubemagazine.com/sixcms/media.php/1323/37.2440457.jpg



It's beautiful street sign

the café

view from the café to the courtyard

studying can sometimes be pleasant

13. Mai 2016 | von



this post is mostly a reflection about how a space can positively or negatively influence us. These days I was lucky enough to receive the visit of my parents. And therefore I took some days off to spend some days with them. As good as the Murphy’s law can be (for those who are not so keen about it, check this Wikipedia link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murphy%27s_law ) I had a very important presentation in the Uni, but the trip with my parents was already organized. And so I decided that I would spend one of the days of this trip working in order to prepare my presentation.

Weiterlesen »

nicest tradition I ever saw

05. Mai 2016 | von


For some few days ago i noticed some strange behaviour among the people. I saw many of them carrying trees. The very first thought i had was if any big three fell down and people were them collecting parts of it. But my supposition still seemed funny. Later i saw a very big tree in a car! After that scene i knew something really strange was about to happen, who knows if this would be an announcing for the upcoming zombies apocalipse…

Therefore my only choice was to ask my beloved google.

I so i learned one of the most beautiful stories and traditions i ever knew! Weiterlesen »

about the tidying up art

03. Mai 2016 | von

a tourist in your own city

23. April 2016 | von



Have you ever have been a tourist in your own city?

It is true that we rarely visit the sightseeing spots from where we live…

But actually this is not my point…

My question relies more about if you ever walked through your city with foreigner eyes, not seeing the places with those already established point of views and qualifications. Have you ever walked through a neighborhood without having a destination? Simply letting your curiosity lead the way…?

Weiterlesen »

germinating sprouds

14. April 2016 | von



Maybe influenced by the spring, and these very beautiful sunny days I started germinating some seeds, mostly for fun, but it turned out to be something one of the best things I am doing lately.


Geminating seeds can be fun because is generating a life. Day by day you can track the plants development, and somehow it make us, humans, really happy to see a life starting (at least it makes me really happy). And it is also a noble habit, since you are growing your own nourishment. Yes, that’s it! It is totally possible to eat those germinated seeds furthermore it is absolutely healthy! Weiterlesen »

resuming the holidays

10. April 2016 | von

city loves you 5


And so starts the summer semester!

I hope everybody is fit for the beginning of the upcoming semester. And that you all could rest, travel and for at least some days, not think about any responsibility and enjoy this beautiful time our lives: the student-life.


In my case I can barely remember that I had some holidays. After and stressful architecture-end of semester I got strongly ill and spent uncountable days in bed. When I finally got better, it was already time for being back to the uni. Weiterlesen »