University of Technology Sydney
5 - 16 November 2018

Ghosts of Berlin

Berlin is a city of ghosts. Berlin is literally haunted by the past; traces of the Cold War division, the Second World War, the National Socialist regime, and more, dot the urban landscape keeping the past alive in the present. Because of those ghosts, the city is haunted by memory, with hundreds of museums, monuments, and memorials designed and constructed to mitigate the myriad, often competing, memories. In fact, there has been an explosion of museum design and construction in Berlin and worldwide over the last 30 years.
Along with their critical role to conserve, present, and foster discussion about culture and cultural values, museums are social and education centres.

Today, they are enlarging their mission from focusing on local issues to national and global ones. While the traditional museum functions of representation and education still prevail, the 21st century’s global, digital and demographic challenges have added more functions for the museum: globalisation and digitalisation have left their marks on both exhibition and reception habits, fostering a service-oriented profile with more consumerist and entertaining functions. There is a new focus on the role of the museum as one of cultural story-telling and situating that story in the context of a physical place. What does this mean for the design of museums today and into the future? Do we need to imagine new kinds of program with new spaces? A totally different building type? Or something else entirely?

Studio Coordinator: Deborah Ascher Barnstone


Enquiry Programme


ANCB Partners

© ANCB, Berlin