Berlin as one of Europe's creative centres attracts a constant flux of newcomers. The challenges of a rapidly changing city manifest themselves in its neighbourhoods.

Take Moabit, an old working-class district where Shared Cities’ partner KUNSTrePUBLIK is based, facing challenges arising from the polarity of backgrounds of its inhabitants – from established ‘middle-class’ citizens, precarious first and second-generation migrants to the newly arriving refugees. As part of Shared Cities, KUNSTrePUBLIK initiated a debate about the economic exploitation of public space and urban furniture culminating in the Hacking Urban Furniture conference in April 2017.

Project Partner in Berlin


KUNSTrePUBLIK, a Berlin-based NGO founded in 2006, is the organisation behind ZK/U (Centre for Arts and Urbanistics) – a hub for urban research and artistic practice in a former cargo-station in Berlin Moabit. In the framework of Shared Cities, ZK/U showcased new prototypes of urban products at the experimental Hacking Urban Furniture exhibition in March 2018 or ran Güterverkehr, a public platform testing new cooperative forms of local production, and Food and Footage / Speisekino workshops. ZK/U was also a partner to various research studies and hosted the Shared Cities residency programme in Berlin in cooperation with reSITE.

Watch Berlin – Hacking Urban Furniture

Materials from Berlin


ZK/U has initiated a debate on urban furniture and outdoor advertising in Berlin where it’s based. How do the artists from ZK/U get people involved in caring about urban furniture? And have new concepts of urban sharing developed in Berlin? Find the answers in the interview with Matthias Einhoff, co-founder and artistic director of ZK/U and Miodrag Kuč, artist and urban theorist at ZK/U, Berlin, Germany.

Berlin Permanent link

Berlin – Hacking Urban Furniture

What about repurposing urban furniture for the public good and using them in more playful ways, like Zentrum für Kunst und Urbanistik did with “Hacking Urban Furniture”.

Berlin Permanent link


This residency was the fourth in a series of four curatorial-practice-oriented programmes: three workshops (publications, data, exhibitions) and one residency organised by the Curatorial Lab of Shared Cities: Creative Momentum. They explored innovative approaches to the sharing of knowledge in architecture, design and urban planning.

Berlin Permanent link

Hacking Urban Furniture: VIP Box, Re-Defining the Semi-Public

In the framework of the Hacking Urban Furniture research project, KUNSTrePUBLIK invited the artist-duo Adam Page and Eva Hertzsch to redesign their artwork Executive Box, originally made for documenta X (Kassel, 1997). The work has been re-contextualised asking important questions of ownership, privilege and the right-to-the-city in relation to shared infrastructures.

Berlin Permanent link

In Search of Collective Cultural Infrastructures. Belgrade-Prague. Shared Cities Diaries #8

It has been a while since cultural infrastructures were rethought beyond its institutional setup, including also informal cultural producers and to some extend local communities. This turn, together with growing interests of the authorities for the participation practices, was a starting point in thinking about accessibility as a precondition to shared and later eventually adopted as common.

Berlin Permanent link

Developing Cultural Formats Through a Community of Inquiry, Miodrag Kuč

The recent revival of 'communities’ has started to exert influence on the urban planning level, as evidenced in the striving for more inclusion and integration. It feels like a repetition of the old mantra of urban renewal, only this time in an over-accelerated society.

Berlin Permanent link

Normative properties of street furniture – Mary Dellenbaugh

Public space, in particular in cities, is an important backdrop for gatherings and everyday social life. The organization of public space and the objects in it, most notably street furniture such as benches, bus stop shelters, advertising pollards, and public restrooms, determine who will use them and help create and confirm norms about which people should use publioc space and how. In this essay, two aspects of the norming function of street furniture will be discussed: its provision by various entities (public authorities, private contractors and developers) and its physical structure and arrangement.

Berlin Permanent link

Post-Socialist Urban Furniture, Benjamin Cope

This text lays out some considerations regarding socialist urban furniture with a view to better understanding the context in which post-socialist urban furniture functions.

Berlin Permanent link

Curatorial Lab

Sharing information, know-how, governance and infrastructure has become a new imperative in architectural and cultural discourse.

Berlin Permanent link