STUDY VISIT IX: ‘KLUNKER KRANICH’

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“We are a platform of ideas trying to be idealised.” – Klunker Kranich

Our last Study Visit was our beloved rooftop restaurant/club, Klunker Kranich! This particular organisation started first as a cultural cellar with a club, a scene for poetry slams and further cultural events. It got so successful and popular that eventually they decided to change its locale. Currently, it is housed on the roof of a mall in Neukölln and commands a gorgeous view of its surrounding city.

Klunker Kranich is separated into two parts: the Garden and the Restaurant/Bar/Club. The Garden is tended to by different groups and there is no fee when one wishes to visit it, the main Bar on the other hand is reachable only after paying a small entry fee. The whole operation is a constant work in progress with no end date manned by them and any volunteers that wish to assist them. They believe though that in about 2 years they will be finished with the infrastructure.

And this visit brought us to a lovely close of a lovely day. We hung around, we drank, we enjoyed the view and we fooled around!

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou

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STUDY VISIT VIII: ‘AGORA’

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Agora started four and a half years ago as a secret bar. Since then it has blossomed into a collective that promotes the Arts and Circular Economy, with Circular Economy being a model to create more value out of existing things leading to a sustainable business. A telling example of their investment in Circular Economy is the Agora Kitchen; everyday waste from Bio supermarkets is collected and the chefs need to improvise a menu with whatever they have available.

Admittedly, the collective is a bubble of well-educated people in the midst of a poor and badly educated area, but the team of Agora knows this and is trying to change that by offering internships and having a number of events that are available to the public. As a small recognition of their services Agora was voted ‘Best co-working space’ more than once in 2015.

As the collective has been very successful over the years they are currently expanding their grounds by adding a part of what used to be the old Kindl Brewery in Neukölln. Here again they are careful to apply the principles of Circular Economy by trying to reuse any material found on spot. To bring though their project to fruition they utilised multi-source funding as a means to finance themselves and are currently looking to officially open the gates of their new space on the 9th of June 2016, during their ‘OC days’.

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou

STUDY VISIT VII: ‘coopolis’

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“Unused land or building cost money. Unused talent too.” – coopolis

coopolis is a town development office located in Berlin, Neukölln and our first study visit while in the German capital. With an aim to develop a sustainable culture of the use of space, it instigated ‘Temporary Use’ as a method of cooperation between owners and space seekers.

Neukölln is a low-income, industrial housing area. In order to raise the living level of the area they started by doing a vacancy mapping with a description of their environment plus qualitative rating. They then subdivided everything into micro-sites and started communicating their vision through www.quartier-beleben.de Parallel to this they set out educating the land owners on the economic and social situation of the neighbourhood, on what could be considered realistic rent expectations, on what their potential new users could look like and on the fact that Property equals Responsibility. After the project started taking off, they also started organising moderated tours of potential spaces to rent and mediated the assigning of new tenants.

For coopolis though, ‘Temporary Use’ is merely a marketing tool. Their real goal was to inspire people to come and invest in this poor area, to create favourable starting conditions for start-ups, culture clubs etc. and to stabilise new creative industries on location. In succeeding with their long term goals they succeeded in raising the living level of the whole neighbourhood and one can see their efforts baring fruits at the Kreativnetz Neukölln site: www.KNNL.de

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou

STUDY VISITS! STUDY VISITS EVERYWHERE!!

If you thought a normal entry is in order, you are mistaken. Our first day in Berlin was exclusively taken by Study Visits so be sure to check the designated chapter for them!

BUT!! One should not forget the incredible end of the day where we ate at the lovely Indian Restaurant. Laughter, eagerness and food were readily shared amongst all!

by Artemis Nikolaidou-Vichou