Diasporic Atmospheres

Tonderai Koschke
Diasporic Atmospheres

Seminar, English/Deutsch, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Mondays, 14-18 h, 7 sessions:

22.04, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 110
NEW: 06.05 - Meeting at 14:30 at Neptunbrunnen in Mitte
13.05 - HKW visit
[27.05 cancelled!]
03.06 - Wedding visit
NEW: 10.06 - Treptower Park and Museum visit
[17.06. cancelled]
NEW: 24.06. - Preussenpark visit
NEW: 1.7. - Hardenbergstr. 33, room 151

Cities are formed by design of centrality, out of architectures invested in validating the idea of the centrality of power, capital, knowledge, and culture. The spaces, boundaries and visual representations defined by these architectures are designed to determine not only what matters, but also who matters. Control is exerted over what histories are remembered, and how they are remembered. At the same time, centuries of infiltration and subversion have resulted in rich repertoires of refusal, resistance and re-making by different communities within urban infrastructures. Thus, cities have also become centres of cosmopolitanism infused with the atmospheres of various diasporas and imbued with the multiplexity that allow them to be perceived as exciting and attractive places where anything is possible.

This seminar sits between Critical Theory and Spatial Strategy, reconsidering the notion of architecture in the city and the methods of space-making and memory-making that already take place, or could take place in the future.

The course combines reading, watching, listening and discussion (seminar-based learning) with walks in the city and writing/practice exercises. It aims to help students develop a better understanding and personal response to Berlin as a postcolonial city, situated in the here and now, yet governed by racialized and other associated hierarchies endemic to global capitalist systems that span various time- and geographic zones. In doing so, it will continuously establish connections between the present time and place, and various urban spaces globally and historically.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: Regular attendance and an output. Outputs from the seminar may be in written or project form, and either critical, speculative, or both.

Tonderai Koschke is an architectural researcher and educator currently living in Berlin where she lectures and helps organize in the department of Spatial Srategies at the Weissensee School of Art. Having completed architectural studies at the Technical University of Munich, the EPFL Lausanne, and at the Harvard GSAS and GSD, she holds an M.A. in architecture. She has worked in project management at Architangle publishers in Berlin (2020- 2022), practiced at Boltshauser Architekten in Zürich (2018- 2019) and worked as curatorial assistant at the Architecture Museum of the Technical University of Munich (2018). She is also co-creator of the pan-African collective Isusu Ffena, which hosts discussions, events, and festivals in Berlin. Her research interest within the interdisciplinary fields she engages in is in post-colonial identities and power dynamics.