“Authenticity and artifice, remembrance and concealment, hyperbole and banality: twenty years after German reunification, the piece of land once defined by the Berlin Wall’s notorious Death Strip is a landscape of paradoxes. Once the frontline of the Cold War, now a supercharged historical signifier, the Strip is facing up to a perplexing semiotic challenge: normality.” In 2010 Oliver Miller, Ian Warner and Dan Schwaag of Slab Magazine began a journey with the mission to discover and critically examine the transformation of the entire Death Strip. The outcome of their research is a flamboyant book entitled “The New Death Strip”, a bestseller of the Disko series (akademie c/o Architektur und Stadtforschung AdbK Nürnberg, Hrsg. Arno Brandlhuber und Silvan Linden). Oliver Miller and Ian Warner will talk about their research and introduce us to their unique heuristic approach.
Oliver Miller comes from San Francisco California, holds architecture degrees from University of Virginia and Princeton. After undergraduate studies, moved to San Francisco, worked for Interim Office of Architecture. First came to Germany in 1998 with art team TABI from his home town Santa Fe, NM. Masters thesis entitled Recreating Recreation addressed urban blight in Trenton, New Jersey. Concepts from this project further developed with founding of Dr. Pong, a popular table tennis bar in Berlin that he continues to own and run.
Ian Warner is from England and holds a BA in Communication Design, University of Portsmouth, UK. Stalked Potsdamer Platz for the first time in 1994: the start of an enduring engagement with all things urban. BA thesis on Berlin as modern myth; associated project work explored the history and post-reunification development of Potsdamer Platz as an interactive presentation. Emigrated to Berlin 1996, worked as a freelance graphic designer for Grappa Blotto, MetaDesign and others. From 2000 to 2013 he was partner at Blotto Design. He is founding member and partner of State. Ian is furthermore founder of Slab Magazine together with Oliver Miller.
(fig: Gewerbestrasse located on former Death Strip, Ian Warner)