22 February 2016

DEMO:POLIS – The Right to Public Space
Academy Exhibition on Design Possibilities for Public Space through Civil Intervention

Press preview on 11 March; exhibition: 12 March – 29 May 2016

The exhibition DEMO:POLIS – The Right to Public Space presents options that the public has to shape its own cities. Increasingly critical citizens are demanding the right to have a say in decisions that affect public space. Following previous main emphases on the relationships between city and landscape as well as city and culture, the Academy is now concentrating on public space as a venue for working through processes of democratic transformation. The anonymous, virtual public space of the Internet and real streets and squares are both the places for the interests and concerns of the people and the subject of their rights to freedom. The exhibition is curated by Wilfried Wang, an architect and member of the Akademie der Künste.

Incorporating plans and models, photographs and films, DEMO:POLIS illustrates how architects, city planners, artists and the general public design and use public space. Examples range from Brooklyn Bridge Park in New York, to the Campo de Cebada in Madrid, to the Tempelhofer Feld in Berlin. The exhibition shows spatial designs that affect both small squares as well as entire strips of coast. It displays documentation from demonstrations and critical art interventions and gives insights into the work of successful bottom-up initiatives for safeguarding public spaces. Viewers are invited to take part in interactive discussion events to co-create the cities of the future. On display are works by Barkow & Leibinger, Foster + Partners, Hans Haacke, Seán Harrington and A2 Architects, Reinhild Hoffmann, Kleihues + Kleihues, Lacaton & Vassal, Andrés Mignucci, Elfi Mikesch, Rozana Montiel, Michael Najjar, Michael Ruetz, Stih & Schnock, Sadar + Vuga, Michael van Valkenburgh, Wermke/Leinkauf, Zuloark, et al. An extensive catalogue, edited by Barbara Hoidn, is published in an English and a German edition by Park Books, Zurich.

A diverse event programme during the course of the exhibition continues the debates it activates. At the symposium, marking the opening on 11 and 12 March, talks will be given by Andrew Keen, Blanca Zúñiga, Wermke/Leinkauf, Seán Harrington, Peter Carroll, representatives of 100% Tempelhofer Feld, et al. Every Tuesday the “Urban Parliament” opens a forum for debates, in which, among other aims, activists from city initiatives and visitors will prepare the “Berlin Urban Rights Charta”. Academy fellows present their projects for the exhibition in a programme night of events. “Decentralized Music” introduces musical models of communitarisation through concerts and actions. During the 36-hour conference “Public Space: Fights and Fictions”, a cooperation with the Goethe-Institut, participants from around the world will discuss the developments and threats to public space.

An Akademie der Künste exhibition with the kind support of the University of Texas at Austin, School of Architecture, and the Society of Friends of the Academy of Arts.

DEMO:POLIS – The Right to Public Space
12 March – 29 May 2016. Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg 10, 10557 Berlin
Press conference 11 March 2016, 11 am, Opening 11 March 2016, 6 pm (symposium), 20 pm (exhibition)
Further Information www.adk.de/demopolis
Press contact on behalf of the Akademie der Künste: Bureau N, Julia Albani, julia.albani@bureau-n.de and Gudrun Landl, gudrun.landl@bureau-n.de, Tel. + 49 (0)30 627 36 104