Borders and Territories: Identity in Place


An Enquiry Programme examining new spatial, geopolitical and cultural concepts of dividing and connecting

Borders and Territories: Identity in Place examines the spatial consequences of geopolitical, socio-cultural, economic and ecological aspects of home, displacement, migration and identity in a transdisciplinary dialogue. In this discourse, we consider identity as a spatial problem caught between territorial claims and today’s global dynamics. Concepts of dividing and connecting are vital to address the question what is or what makes territories that are defined (1) physically/politically, (2) by culture and ways of thinking and (3) by common interests such as economy. What type of physical, infrastructural and political basis have to be established to meet the various ideas of home and 'Heimat' of societies that are increasingly culturally diverse and socially divided? How can we use their potential? This includes the investigation of borders of different qualities – from physical divisions, 'rurban' situations and political frontiers of countries and states to invisible boundaries between disciplines and social or cultural borders – or those in our minds. In the course of this process, new strategies of perceiving, evaluating and designing space may be generated and subsequently their creative, social and political relevance can be investigated and tested. Knowledge and spatial experience is critical to the appreciation and understanding of the interdependencies of spaces. We will also ask how the less quantifiable aspects of perception and heritage of place, including narrative, memory and the transit space of the border itself, might be interpreted and reflected.

Therefore, the focus relating to the architecture of borders and subsequent typologies along those border lines provides a thread to be woven in with questions what architecture and (urban) planning can contribute to define, connect and open spaces or spatial possibilities. The shift towards a definition of 'corridors' and 'translocalities' becomes obvious in the development of a new silk road and global 'closure' as promoted by many populist governments around the world. This also touches on the issue how indigenous rights of land and territories can exist within an occupant/colonial state. Another aspect deals with the interrelation of architecture and repression.

On a formal level, cultural and artistic interventions will also be included along the architectural, political and design aspects mentioned above. The programme enables investigations based on different methodologies, practices and objectives from art and science into creative, behavioural and cultural science positions and processes. By crossing the 'border' to various disciplines the programme aims to stimulate a discourse on the evaluation of space and its political and social dimensions. Considering the rise of the internet, social media and connectivity, digital spaces, as places without (physical) borders, will also be taken into account.

In Transit with ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg; Austrian Cultural Forum, Berlin; Norwegian Embassy, Berlin; Danish Embassy, Berlin
Dialogue Series: November 2020 – March 2021. Video Recording

Ursula Schulz-Dornburg / Martin Zimmermann: Die Teilung der Welt
Exhibition and Book Presentation: 12 September 2020. Video Recording

Transit Spaces:(Dis)Connections and the Fluid Places In-Between with ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg
Lab Talk: 7 November 2019. Video Recording

Reimagining the Region with Tatiana Bilbao, Mexico City and CEMEX Deutschland AG
Symposium: 16 March 2019. Video Recording

Borders and Territories II: Spatial Representations of Connections and Disconnections with ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg
Lab Talk: 27 September 2018. Video Recording

Science. Fiction. Politics. Visible and Invisible Borders with Bucerius Summer School/ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg
Workshop: 18 August 2018

Borders and Territories: Identity in Place
Lab Talk: 22 March 2018. Video Recording



Concept Paper

Miriam Mlecek
[email protected]


ANCB Partners

© ANCB, Berlin