FUTURE THINKING: Living with Country
How to plan and build with traditional knowledge

Thursday, 9 November 2023, 18:30

A Lab Talk in collaboration with the University of Sydney and the Australian Embassy Berlin

The second Lab Talk of the series Future Thinking, entitled Living with Country will centre around the focus topic of climate change response through traditional knowledge of landscape, craft and place. Australia is one of the few places on the planet with pockets of native habitation left and Australia's Indigenous First Nations Communities have one of the oldest continuous cultures on Earth with invaluable knowledge to share. In times of crisis, this knowledge might help us design more sustainable buildings and resilient places. Indigenous peoples have a way of relating to the world that does not separate living from non-living, human from environment. Although architectural challenges are similar all over the world, design propositions are usually site specific. This Lab Talk aims to examine questions of dealing with past and memory, concepts of 'Country' and how to think of a place; as well as how to use these questions and strategies to extract parameters for a sustainable design. Not through technology or building codes, but by applying ancient knowledge to the challenges of today. This also refers to existing buildings and reusing them according to their history and heritage.


Miriam Mlecek, Programme Manager, Aedes Metropolitan Laboratory, Berlin
Deborah Ascher Barnstone, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Sydney

Kate Luxford, Chargé d'Affaires, Australian Embassy Berlin
Elisabeth Kaiser, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry for Housing, Urban Development and Building, Berlin

Michael Mossman, Associate Dean Indigenous Strategy and Services, University of Sydney
Anja Schwarz, Chair of British Cultural Studies, University of Potsdam
Christoph Hesse, Director Christoph Hesse Architects, Berlin/Korbach
Almut Grüntuch-Ernst, Director Grüntuch Ernst Architects, Berlin; Professor for Design and Architectural Strategies, TU Braunschweig

Panel Discussion with speakers, peers and the audience 
moderated by Miriam Mlecek and Deborah Ascher Barnstone

A Design Studio at Aedes with students from the University of Sydney will be accompanying the Lab Talk. As a transferable model for sustainable building, the students will design a centre for the repatriation of indigenous art and cultural objects on the site of Berlin's Park am Nordbahnhof. The results will be exhibited at the Australian Embassy in Berlin from 23 November 2023. 


The programme Future Thinking examines strategies for planners and designers, but also politicians, academics and industry partners to form new networks that draft a map for sustainability and resilience for our urban and rural spaces. Enabling a broad dialogue, the series focusses on different strategies to extract general valid parameters and local mitigation and adaptation factors. Future Thinking explores ways in which architecture can help create a better future using a comparative approach, a close study of German and Australian examples of an architecture prepared for future challenges.

Generously supported by the Australian Embassy Berlin
© Images: Erik-Jan Ouwerkerk


ANCB Partners

© ANCB, Berlin