umschichten (Germany)

Since 2008, studio umschichten has operated in the fields of architecture, art and sculpture, and focuses on the role of temporary installations in shaping urban space. With an environmentally conscious approach, we think that architecture can and should work by incorporating resources that already exist in an area, rather than creating more.

umschichten’s aim is to restructure, reconfigure and rearrange what is around us in an act of fluid architecture. This process roots a project in the place of its conception, and goes hand in hand with the idea of using available manpower. We believe in a collaborative effort between groups asa way of making space. Working on a personal level with the people that use architecture – rather than simply those who design it – allows everyone to have a go at making their ideal city into reality. With an emphasis on fast responses, a temporary installation is the natural expression of this. A benefit of this approach is a rejection of the idea of perfection found in longer term structures: temporary architecture allows for its participants to take more risks and express themselves more directly, without a need to distill ideas.

With our work locked into its space and time, the way we treat materials becomes another important factor in making our architecture. By using what already exists, it is possible to leave the smallest footprint possible, and by utilising pre-existing structures of renting, hiring,borrowing and sharing materials, umschichten fits into a open-source, responsive, multifunctional 21st century approach. Don’t hurt the material is a key phrase, we work with our own hands, trying to feel the materials’ weaknesses and strengths and to react to these in order to create work that is true to its context in every way.

Bus stations: Can we give this spatial resource to local communities? Are they a chance to bring back the culture of kiosk? How does a process of finding local qualities and responsibilities look like?