Tiergarten - This Obscure Object of Desire [Seminar]

Final Presentation and Exhibition of the Students’ Work


The seminar documents with a cartographic work Berlin‘s Tiergarten as a public place, whose parallel history ultimately provides the story of the city as a whole: Originally a vast forest for royal hunting, it was re-planned in the 19th century by Peter Joseph Lenné  into a forest with landscape-park character, to then be transformed during the Third Reich as a stage for parades with large trafficked roads. A battlefield during World War II, its forest was chopped for fire-wood during the hardest winters of 1946 and 1947. Reconstructed by Willy Alverdes in the post-war years as the green lung and recreational asset of the city, it is currently under a new wave of reconstruction. Its ecologies of the wild and the social are changing along with it.

Through the Tiergarten it is possible to understand the life and use of the city, where the realm of inhabitants comprises a larger community of human, animal and vegetal nature. Recent plans by the municipality are raising many questions: 400 years ago the Kurfürst Friedrich II (“Eisenzahn”) put a fence around this forest in order to go hunting in the proximity of his residency. Now, without a Kurfürst, the fence is back when the Strasse der 17. Juni is leased as the “Fanmeile” of football game events. Under this current development, what does this public place mean for the managing municipality? Furthermore there are plans to increase security in the Tiergarten to support the coming large events: What kind of transformations does this new program entail for the Tiergarten‘s inhabitants and local users?

The experts, in chronological order, who lead the excursions throughout the semester:
Derk Ehlert, Wildtierreferent des Landes Berlin
Maria-Sofie Rohner, Landschaftsplanerin mit Schwerpunkt Botanik und Naturschutz
Jürgen Götte, Tiergarten-Inspektorenleiter Bezirksamt Mitte
Jens Scharon, Referent für Artenschutz beim NABU Berlin
“Steppengarten” Arbeitskreis: Dr. Gabriele Holst, Landschaftsarchitektin und Steffi Kiebacks, Landschaftsarchitektin
Angela von Lührte, Biologin mit Schwerpunkt Waldökologie
Jan Uhlig, Fachbereichsleiter Pfaueninsel

Guest Critics:
Silvan Linden, Architect (Büro für Konstruktivismus)
Ines Schaber, Artist and Writer (documenta 13)

Students: Anne Marie Arera, Paul Achter, Tobias Birkefeld, Nora Brinkmann, Frederik Eilers, Ortal Gazit, Dorothee Hahn, Tabea Hilse, Georg Hubmann, Kristina Ilieva, Leon Jank, Jessica McInally, Daniela Mehlich, Tim Nebert, Anna Papageorgiou, Anita Wagner, Franziska Wich