smart urban stage Berlin 2010
Stuttgart/ Berlin
Apr 30, 2010
smart urban stage: smart future minds award - curators and projects
>> MOVE - mobility
Dr. Thomas Weber (curator)
"The number of people living in big cities is growing by the day. Intelligent urban mobility solutions are thus becoming increasingly important. Twelve years ago, smart brought an entirely new concept to the streets. Now the innovative smart fortwo electric drive is ushering in a new era - the age of emission-free mobility."
Dr. Thomas Weber joined the Daimler management board on 1 January 2003, where since 1 May 2004 he has been responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. Following a technical apprenticeship at then Daimler-Benz AG he studied Engineering at the University of Stuttgart and received a degree as qualified engineer in 1980. He then served as a research assistant at the University of Stuttgart and at the Fraunhofer Institute. He was awarded a doctorate by the University of Stuttgart and in 1987 he started working at the former Daimler-Benz AG.
Project: car2go
Classic car-sharing schemes limit mobility because users are forced to commit to particular dates and times well in advance. car2go takes a new approach to this issue. It gives all urban dwellers access to a car within walking distance whenever they need one. There are no fixed car parks, no membership obligations, no minimum period of hire, no basic fees and no deposits.
The basic idea is to provide a spontaneous, efficient and flexible short-term car rental service. All drivers have to do is register once and get a car2go seal for their driving licence. They open the vehicles by scanning their driving licence, enter a pin number and drive off. Once customers have finished with the car2go, they simply leave it in any car park in the city. A qualified service team takes care of the refuelling and maintenance. Use is charged by the minute. Driving a car is thus as simple as using a mobile phone. It’s just a case of getting in and driving off.
The first pilot project started in March 2009 in Ulm and is tremendously successful: In the meantime almost 18,000 drivers had made use of car2go. A second pilot project in the Texas capital city of Austin has been under way since November 2009.
project: smart fortwo electric drive
In our age of dwindling resources and global warming, the automobile brand smart has set itself the task of finding alternative solutions to facilitate sustainable living in urban spaces. This gave rise to the new smart fortwo electric drive – a vehicle that is solely electrically powered and thus needs no fuel like petrol.
The smart fortwo electric drive is equipped with a highly efficient and innovative lithium-ion battery. Neatly fitted between the axles, it takes away no space at all in this intelligent two-seater coupé.
A 30 kW electric engine is stored in the rear. With 120 newton metres of torque available from the moment the engine is started, the car accelerates superbly and is very agile, in other words: lots of driving fun. Really special: the car can be charged from a standard household socket.
The fully charged battery offers enough power to drive approximately 135 kilometres, making it ideal for urban use. smart has made electric drive a particularly practical alternative for mobility with zero local emissions in urban areas.
>> BE – culture/society
Matthias Böttger (curator)
"We must break new cultural ground if we wish to come to grips with urgent issues of our time. These are issues of dignity, humanity and identity."
Matthias Böttger (b. 1974) studied architecture and urban planning in Karlsruhe and London. He has taught Art + Architecture at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich since 2007. In 2003, he established an office, "raumtaktik – räumliche Aufklärung und Intervention" (Spatial Tactics – Spatial Intelligence and Intervention). In connection with this venture, he was appointed general commissioner and curator of the German contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2008. Böttger works on an international level and is currently head of "aut – Architektur und Tirol", a centre for architecture, space and culture in Innsbruck.
Project: Jennifer Morone
Echoes of Man
The US-born, Berlin-based artist Jennifer Morone uses see-through plastic sellotape in her sculptures, a material that brings to mind transcendental qualities: lightness and transparency – both attributes that solid materials such as bronze and marble do not have, making them unable to depict the desired fragility. Her sculpture Echoes of Man is no bid for immortality; it is as fragile and fleeting as humanity itself.
Project: Nomadisch Grün (Nomadic Green)
Prinzessinnengärten (Princess Street Gardens)
In future, more people will live in cities than in rural areas. This fact
inspired Nomadisch Grün to take action. They set out their utopia, in which every available space in big cities around the world will be used to let green shoots sprout, shoots that local residents grow themselves and that produce fresh and healthy food. The result will boost biodiversity, reduce CO2 and improve microclimates.
Nomadisch Grün launched their pilot project in the summer of 2009. On a 6,000 square metre piece of wasteland in the Berlin district of Kreuzberg, they teamed up with friends, activists and neighbours to create the Prinzessinnengärten. Working together, they cleared the grounds of waste, built mobile organic vegetable patches and reaped the first fruits of their labour.
Alongside the ecological aims of the project, Nomadisch Grün also intends to offer people a new kind of urban facility.
>> CREATE - design
Prof. Hermann Weizenegger (curator)
"Innovation grows from a designer's creativity, when they succeed in combining specific knowledge from different social systems to create a single product. As an "emerging city", Berlin is the ideal place to develop models of the future that create new identities for both producers and consumers."
Hermann August Weizenegger has been a professor of Industrial Design at the University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam since 2004. He is the director of the HAW atelier and his ambitious work is currently on show in various
art exhibitions. One of Weizenegger’s first public installations is the "Fesenland" project (2010), which is on show at Berghain – Berlin’s world-famous techno club. Weizenegger’s projects have been shown all over the world and honoured with many awards.
Project: Elisa Strozyk
Wooden Textiles
Designer Elisa Strozyk has devised a unique material experiment that
attempts to determine the extent to which wood can assume textile properties. Her Wooden Textiles feel like wood yet they are as pliable as a piece of fabric and can be formed into three-dimensional shapes.
We live in a world where mass production and standardisation have radically curtailed the lifecycles of products. The consequences are burgeoning waste problems and a scarcity of resources. Strozyk aims to counter this trend by designing durable products that can age well.
Project: Studio 7.5
Setu Chair
The Berlin-based design team at Studio 7.5 has developed a piece of seating furniture that combines premium functionality, professional and aesthetic design, and an innovative sustainability concept in a single product. The central feature of the Setu concept is the Kinematic Spine™: The chair instantly moulds to fit the body of the sitter. This provides all-round support for the back yet remains flexible enough to ensure maximum freedom of movement and balanced weight distribution.
The design team also placed great emphasis on developing the chair's sturdy and corrosion-proof aluminium frame. It requires no finish, so there is no need for toxic finishing products. The Setu Chair is 93 percent recyclable.
>> EXCHANGE – media/IT
Prof. Boris Müller (curator)
"The great digital innovations of the coming years will be in design, not technology."
Since 2004 Boris Müller has been Professor of Interaction Design at the
University of Applied Sciences in Potsdam, where he is mainly concerned with developing the new course of studies in interface design. After studying at the Royal College of Art in London, Müller went on to work at MetaDesign in San Francisco, the Fraunhofer Institute for Media Communication and the Interaction Design Institute Ivrea. His projects have won many international design awards.
Project: Hanspeter Kadel and Myriel Milicevic
Energy Harvests
The Energy Harvests created by the Berlin-based duo Hanspeter Kadel and Myriel Milicevic are small objects that collect energy from energy leaks and store them in batteries.
The inefficiency of our energy cycle means that we are surrounded by leaking energy every day. This is where the Energy Harvests come in. They absorb light, sound, vibrations, water or air, and transform them such that they can be used to recharge batteries. There are different models of Energy Harvests, each adapted to specific energy types. Its suction pads mean it can easily be taken off and attached again somewhere else.
Project: Jonas Loh and Steffen Fiedler
The idea of a world without internet has become almost unimaginable. We use online communities like Flickr, Facebook and MySpace to forge virtual realities which are subject to a perpetual process of reinvention and redefinition. Parallel to the real world of real individuals, an artificial world has emerged whose heart beats in bits and bytes.
aims to make this disparity visible and show that digital worlds can be depicted in three-dimensional form. Web-crawler programs are used that automatically search the web and analyse particular pages. The accumulated information is stored in a database. The interpretation of these personal details gives each identity its unique form, fixed in a generated sculpture.
>> EXPLORE - science
Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart (curator)
"Houses like trees and cities like forests –  from Bauhaus to the tree house, that's the future of the city!"
Dr Michael Braungart, a professor of process engineering and former head of the Greenpeace chemicals department, is the founder of EPEA Internationale Umweltforschung GmbH. The focus of its activities is the Cradle to Cradle (C2C) concept, which aims to create products that can be completely reintegrated into a biological or technical cycle. He also helped develop the environmental guidelines for EXPO 2000 in Hanover, and is head of research at the Hamburg Environmental Institute.
Project: Gunnar Hartmann & Christian Bandi
Beyond Sustainability
To ensure that future generations inherit liveable urban landscapes, our cities need to become sustainable. Our world is a living organism, and we should make practical use of the benefits of its diversity. One way of going about this is the project Beyond Sustainability.
In Nordhavnen, the former container port of Copenhagen, a business plan for such a city of the future is being introduced. It involves developing an entirely self-sustaining district for 40,000 residents that will coordinate water, materials and energy cycles – the rest of the city will also benefit from this innovative project.
The main aim of "Beyond Sustainability" is to create an urban area that is ecologically sound, promotes the well-being of the inhabitants and protects the environment for future generations. The cities of the future will use renewable energies from renewable sources, and waste will not be seen as rubbish, but as valuable raw materials that can feed back into the product cycle.
Project: Albrecht von Sydow
The use of biomass as a renewable energy source is the subject of much discussion today. Biomass is not a fossil fuel like oil, gas and coal; it is living and part of our daily lives. It comes in a great variety of forms, such as trees, seeds, manure, kitchen waste and seaweed.
Albrecht von Sydow’s mission is to encourage us not only to exploit the benefits of biomass but to optimise the way we use it as well. That is the only way we can ensure that nature will not be damaged, but protected and strengthened.
With this in mind, von Sydow founded the BEST-Initiative. Its aim is to promote the dissemination of information about the best technologies in the field of renewable energy.
>> LIVE – architecture/town planning
Dr. h.c. Kristin Feireiss (curator)
"Architecture and urban planning in the future can only be conceived, planned and implemented with a holistic approach. Architecture is responsible for the construction of human and ecological ideals, and is a catalyst for human interaction. As such, it must improve our quality of life, while fulfilling the highest aesthetic demands."
Kristin Feireiss is a journalist, curator and founder of the Aedes
Architecture Forum in Berlin. She has spent over 25 years mediating between university-based architecture research and an interdisciplinary international public. Feireiss plays an important role in deepening debates on architecture and urban development in Germany, and thereby exerts a lasting influence on the awareness of the cultural and economic significance of this art form around the world.
Project: Anton Markus Pasing
Natwalk II - walking tall
Sustainable cities must overcome the conflict between the urban and the natural. One possibility of bringing Nature back into the asphalt jungle is the Natwalk II project by Anton Markus Pasing. His suggestion is for intelligent machines to take charge of this work, appearing as mobile, ecologically "greened" skyscrapers wherever Nature is needed. It is a utopia where machines, which are like robots with human qualities, take over ecological tasks that also have a social and ethical purpose.
Project: feld72
Million Donkey Hotel - Learning from Prata Sannita
In contrast to many parts of the world where the population is increasing rapidly, Europe has a shrinking population, particularly in rural areas. The state of Brandenburg in Germany is one such example.
Million Donkey Hotel - Learning from Prata Sannita is an adaptation of a project that the artist/architect collective feld72 successfully implemented in Italy: The project involves working with the rural population to turn an abandoned property into a hotel, which then becomes a meeting point for different worlds and a place where people from the city can come and relax.
feld72 aims to revive rural areas in Brandenburg, too, overcoming borders between the urban and the rural.
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