Spacial Design Concept for the Occupy Berlin at the BB7- Encounter #15M / #Occupy / #Arabspring 27apr-1jul


Development process

The design is based on the concept which Occupy Berlin developed for the BB7 on invitation by the curator, Artur Zmijewski. This concept reflects many of the camp experiences of the Occupy movement worldwide. Suggestions from the working groups and asambleas were integrated into the planning. The spacial planning evolved in response to the challenge of translating these experiences and wishes into a workable situation in a real room. It was necessary to create a bridge between the vision and reality. In the KW, We are guests and hosts, and these three dimensions create a living-space.

Group dynamic spacial design 

The space must fulfill many contradictory purposes. It must create communication, and therefore  movement and rest, concentration and relaxation, light and dark, silence and noise.  Everything for everyone – together, in groups and in moments of solitude.  All this would be simple if staged in succession, staged simultaneously it becomes interesting and a group dynamic process requiring much tolerance begins.


The spacial design is based on the principle of recycling.  This means primarily using the resouces which can be found on-site at the KW, supplemented by resources from industrial recycling, and finally by purchasing the small essentials. Bioenergy – part of the food supplies can be supplemented by donations.

The space

The middle of the space is left invitingly open, creating a free action space. This free space in center of the room symbolises that communication and discussion are at the centre of the message and content.

The functional areas radiate out from this point. Given the laws of the space, the visitor’s first impression is an overview. Next he or she receives background information. An infopoint is stationed at the entrance to the space backed up an information wall, which is constantly updated.

The room is still painted a fine silver grey from the previous exhibition. And so it should remain –   for every plotted contrast from a protest banner to a tent or piece of clothing will stand out impressively crisp and clear against these walls, as in a photo album a picture against the page.  As the room will be later transformed back into a neutral, white Art Box, we are free to use it it as the largest conceivable chalkboard.

The Camp character is quoted, not as a cliché, but because of its flexibility. Accordingly, the rooms create, as far as possible, a flexible multifunctional structure. Thematic focal points provide structural stability for intrinsically dynamic processes.  Examples: the infopoint, the IT Laboratory including Radio 99%, the rehearsal room including the small asamblea room, the library including workshop, the kitchen including canteen, the protest banner workshop, the livestream points, etc.


Art for art’s sake is not a feature of the BB7 concept. We are dealing with the grassroots questions of politics and culture, down to earth, with our feet on the ground floor.

There will be primarily social, political, documentary and/or creative art moments. These form an informational background to what has already happened and what is happening at this very moment. We can see photos by and about Occupy (includ. updates), video interviews, political posters, a historical cross-reference to the socially and state owned enterprise in the house in front of the KW and moments of philosophy and poetry in the Autonomous University Library. Free wall space will be provided for our guests’ ideas. When everything is up and alive and running, then it will become a socio-cultural Gesamtkunstwerk (total work of art) at the BB7.  Ascending up the building, the BB7 exhibition arises into view, surely also questionning the role of art as part of the system in crisis.


No In-form-ation without form – we imagine the impression created by the simplest constructural forms. What we experience is something between the style of a temporary warehouse and a poor man’s constructivism: A playful tribute to the agitation and propoganda stage-constructions of the 1920s and to the improvised character of a modern urban favela.

The Garden

Many kinds social-ecological initiatives have sprouted up inBerlinandBrandenburg.  One or several of them could set-up temporary local branches in the KW garden (plant containers), so that the Camp parcour can spread its sphere of activity and influence out into the open air for spring.  But in all that spring fever, please do not forget that environmental pollution comes in all forms – so Stop noise pollution! and don’t disturb the neighbours by ringing those bluebells.


A small amount of financial support has been kindly provided to cover basic essentials.

The simplest way to select and prioritise items is by social criteria:

First: We must first support the creation of the common working space for all

Secondly, we must provide general information materials

Next we should fund basic material supplies needed by all (e.g. Protest poster workshop)

Unfortunately, funding individual projects come last in the list of priorities.

Implementation –  Time Plan

The design plans will be handed over after increasingly intensive preparation – one month before the construction starts (this can be viewed as support for the KW). That leaves one month time to collect the equipment and to purchase the bare necessities (that is in itself a creative, social communication process, if it can be achieved), and two weeks are available for setting up and construction. This is not much time to create a small self-contained and funtional world.

Dangers and risks

Standard issues of institutional liability have not yet been resolved with the KW. The members of the Space Design Working Group cannot be held personally liable for accidents, mishaps and disasters which may occur in the room and therefore:

ATTENTION!  Structural and static issues, fire regulations, water damage, tripping hazards and circular saws cannot not be resolved in basis democratic discussions. Houses, kitchens and theatres function because someone gives instructions based on solid technical facts, founded on generations of training and experience. The language used on building sites is tough but fair.


Support for essential tasks requiring skilled labour to be carried out by KW technical staff, within certain time constraints, has been kindly promised to us. The working groups should plan how to use this valuable time carefully, and adapt their time schedules accordingly.

The following working groups would be needed for construction (minimum):

Activists for logistical transport (City team)

Wood and construction / Camp, Static and Structure (on-site team) in cooperation with the team Materials and Walls (minimal deco)

Kitchen team (in planning)

Installations should function self-sufficiently wherever possible, ie. without requiring technical input or supervision.

IT and KW media & Inhouse technical staff cooperate wherever it makes thematic sense.

All this and much more could be possible, the good thing is, nothing has to be. Whoever wants more, must do it him or herself.

Subject to change. There is room for creative interventions due to the open design concept.

So join us!

Yes we camp BB7

Rainer Görß and Ania Rudolph

09. March 2012

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: