Berlin is marked by the contrast, turmoil, and energy of its past and present. Oversize statues of Marx and Engels sit next to the Neo-Classicism of Karl Friedrich Schinkel’s Altes Museum. In Potsdamer Platz, fragments of the Berlin Wall sit among new commercial/retail constructions by Renzo Piano and Arata Isozaki. The ‘pioneer fields’ at Tempelhof juxtapose citizen DIY playfulness within a Nazi-era airport.

Very few other cities experience such highly politicized and controversial past and current dialogues regarding public projects, from the decade-long debate over the reconstruction of the Museum Island’s baroque City Palace as the Humboldt Forum to recent proposals for creating a public swimming pool adjacent to the most heavily visited museums. It is a city with exemplary urban artifacts to explore and current players/actors/experts to engage.


Instructors: Christopher Falliers, Antje Steinmüller
SF campus orientations sessions: May 7-10
Berlin: May 23–June 12, 2018

Housing check-in: Wednesday, May 23
Housing check out: Tuesday, June 12

Interested students should contact Christopher Falliers ( and Antje Steinmüller ( to start the approval process for registration. 


Innovative public forms, whether works of architecture or art, re-formed landscapes, or temporary events, are the result of a productive synthesis of creative, professional, commercial, and political processes. From citizen-activated to world-class cultural production, innovation arguably comes when working in dialogue with and transforming the ambient historical, environmental, and social forces existing within a city.

As the nature of urban public spaces and forms has been undergoing considerable change over the past two decades, so have the mechanisms for their formation and activation. Community leaders collaborate with city government, multi-disciplinary professional teams, and institutional and/or corporate support to re-form urban sites, and most recently, large urban buildings, as multivalent collective spaces that challenge our notions of interiority/exteriority and public/private.

Berlin Multiplicities unpacks and directly engages the influences, actors, and sites of public form production through research, on-site observation, and active participation. Specifically, the studio focuses on public and collective afterlives for extra-large urban buildings that have outlived their original purpose. The studio develops two lines of work:

  • Students create a visual catalog describing the spatial, social, and political characteristics underlying the production of extra-large buildings, including the organizational mechanisms behind some of Berlin’s public ’interior’ spaces. The results of this research become a ‘set of instructions’ for the production of public space.
  • Working with Berlin partners, students construct a collective drawing project as a tool for engagement that promotes public dialogue about the community potential for a contested, city-owned building. The future of the vacant Soviet-era Haus der Statistik and the underused Nazi-era Tempelhof Airport Terminal are currently under public debate. The instructors and Berlin partners are assessing which will offer the best opportunity for student engagement.

About the Instructors

This is the third in a series of Berlin studios with a focus on multidisciplinary public space production that Antje Steinmuller and Chris Falliers have taught together.

A native of Germany, Antje Steinmüller received part of her architecture education at the Technical University of Berlin. She has connections with several organizations/collectives that work in the area of alternative public space formations across Europe. Antje has taught two ENGAGE courses on the topic of models for participatory urbanism, and three summer studios on the subject of urban public space: one in Berlin (Formations, summer 2013), one in Vienna and Madrid (Urban Act(ivat)ors, summer 2015), and another Berlin Studio (Mechanisms, summer 2016). Her research on the topic has been published in the journal “Participatory Urbanisms”, and through national and international conferences.

For more information on Antje Steinmüller »

Chris Fallier’s area of academic research and professional production focuses on the theory and practice of constructed public artifacts. Graduate seminars and advanced architectural studios have looked at the relationship between contemporary theory and media in the descriptions of ‘city’, syntheses of public art and architecture, hybridization of ‘parks’, and the use of branding tactics in neighborhood revitalization. Part of professional practice centers architectural design as the link between art and urban/infrastructural design.

Jointly, Antje and Chris previously collaborated with raumlaborberlin, the main partner for this studio. Also, partnering in practice through ideal x design, Antje and Chris explore the development of deployable architectures in support of the evolving temporary public space initiatives.

For more information on Christopher Falliers »


raumlaborberlin is an experimental architectural practice, working at the intersection of architecture, city planning, art and urban intervention. It is a network, a collective of 9 trained architects who have come together in a collaborative work-structure. Focusing on difficult urban locations that are torn between different systems, time periods or planning ideologies, raumlabor activates places that are abandoned, left over or in transition and creates new perspectives for alternative usage patterns, collective ideals, urban diversity and difference.

Initiative Haus der Statistik is a federation of different Berlin organizations, combining social and cultural non-profits, artist collectives, architects, and foundations. Their core group has formed a cooperative (ZUsammenKUNFT Berlin eG) dedicated to participatory urban development.

The Floating University Berlin (FUB) is a laboratory in which international students and professors, but also artists and all interested people research and learn together in free formats. FUB sees itself as a fictitious, independent public institution, a gathering of individuals working together on a common idea, an educational experiment.


Architecture Undergraduate Students: successful completion of Architecture Studio 4 and instructor approval
Interior Design Students: successful completion of Studio 4 and instructor approval
Undergraduate Students from other majors: with instructor approval, this course is also open to Community Arts and Graduate Fine Arts Students (Social Practice emphasis), and any student with an interest in public engagement.
Architecture Graduate Students: successful completion of Architecture Studio 2 and instructor approval

In addition, all students must be in good academic, conduct, and financial standing for the 2017-18 academic year. Students who are on probation in fall 2017 are not eligible to enroll in a 2018 summer study-abroad program.

Course Satisfies

Architecture Undergraduate Students: this course satisfies 3-unit equivalent to one half of an Advanced Architecture Studio or one 3-unit Architecture or Studio Elective.
Interior Design Students: this course satisfies an Advanced Interdisciplinary Studio.
Architecture Graduate Students: this course satisfies one 3-unit Elective.
Undergraduate and Graduate Students from other majors: this course satisfies a Studio Elective for undergraduates or Grad-wide Elective for graduates.

Program Fee

$5,200 + $50 registration fee

Included in program fee
3 credits, housing, some meals, local transportation, guest artists, field trips, entrance fees and travel/health insurance.

Not included in Program fee
Airfare to and from Germany, ground transportation to and from airport in Berlin, most meals

Related Topics
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