From Palace to Forum: Designing Histories in Berlin’s Urban Space

Seminar, University of Europe for Applied Sciences, Arts & Design Department

The seminar provides basic knowledge on theories of art and design in public space and urban sociology by taking the recently rebuilt Berlin City Palace as an example. Treating it as a neoliberal symbolic urban reconstruction, intrinsically related to redefining the new capital of reunited Germany, the seminar questions and discusses the significance and the implications of resurrecting such building design for the contemporary public space of Berlin. This is especially viewed in terms of Berlin’s post-socialist urbanisations and the postcolonial critique directed at the Humboldt Forum, which the reconstructed palace houses. Considering the history of the site and consulting relevant literature the students engage critically with the symbolically revived Berlin City Palace. In contrast to signature buildings and heritage sites the seminar embraces the contemporary urban locality of Berlin in which plurality of identities and cultures are represented.