Neues Arbeiten & Wohnen

Dr. Michael LaFond

Berlin, City of Singles AND Berlin, City of Cooperatives.
These days it’s not about either or but AND.
Berlin is about living with difference and diversity:
Berliners are fighting for their collective rights to the city AND their individual rights to expression. Berlin identities encompass both being creative individuals AND being collectives. Both DIY AND DIT are fine and good, as we can see in an increasing number of Berlin projects. CoWorking is infrastructure for independent startups AND is economic cooperation. Community Gardening is motivation for a lot of green thumbs AND is space for communication. CoHousing is space for personal participation AND is collaboration.

Berlin is about contrast and complexity, expressed in project combinations like Spreefeld-Spreeacker-TeePee Land, interweaving Community Gardening, CoWorking and CoHousing. New forms of living and working are being explored here - socially and architecturally speaking. Private spaces, individually created, offer room for retreat and recovery, and community spaces, cooperatively planned and managed, encourage exchange. The interesting thing is that they actually complement each other well:  DIY AND DIT.

What’s the next level? What to look for and support?

new mixes of cohousing, coworking and coliving options for increasingly diverse and engaged urban populations, working for individual expression and against trends towards societal isolation
- projects effectively meeting emerging societal needs and demonstrating successful strategies for the self-design and management of housing and neighborhoods, contributing to further democratizations of urban planning and development
- initiatives increasing social inclusion and gender equality, especially concerning lower income groups and immigrant populations in collaborative projects.
- work for open and communicative neighborhoods and against gated communities
- non-profit housing and ground ownership strategies such as land trusts, cooperatives and long-term lease agreements working for affordability and against gentrification and speculation
- new forms of cooperation!

Dr. Michael LaFond wurde 1961 in den USA geboren. Von 1979 bis 1984 studierte er Architektur und Kunst an der Washington State University. Anschließend studierte er Urban Design und Planning an der Technischen Universität Berlin und der University of Washington, wo er 1999 seinen Doktor machte. Zwischen 2000 und 2010 war er als Lehrbeauftragter bzw. Dozent an verschiedenen deutschen Universitäten wie der Technischen Universität Berlin, der Universität Lüneburg und der Kunsthochschule Weißensee tätig. Seit 2000 ist er außerdem im Vorstand von id22: Institut für kreative Nachhaltigkeit, das sich für eine Kultur der nachhaltigen Stadtentwicklung einsetzt.