• Imagining Participatory Design
    Mathias Heyden & Ines Schaber

Participatory Design seeks to develop a visual method of working appropriate to self-determined and participatory design in the United States. Taking up research by Mathias Heyden on community design that uncovered significant questions about the politics of image making, this project aims to develop a form for visual research that could become part of the future of such architecture/planning. However, the work does not suggest a simple game of catch up and the  documentation "overlooked" projects: instead, it reflects upon the making of particular community design projects in dialogue with those involved, considering usage and appropriation over time. Based on those reflections, the method draws on correlated work over the past years to renegotiate the relationship between bottom-up driven architecture/planning and image politics. Through careful observation of built forms, it will address their spatial as well as social qualities in relation to the processes of their inception and appropriation.

Mathias Heyden is an architect, and cofounder of the community project K 77. He is currently assistant professor at the Institute of Architecture, Technical University, Berlin. His work focuses on a just, directly democratic, sustainable, and holistic production and use of the built environment; on self-determined and collective-based architecture for housing, culture, education, and work; and on participatory design in Europe and North-America. He cocurated the event and published the book Under Construction. Strategies of Participatory Design and Spatial Appropriation (with Jesko Fezer, 2003–04), and curated the exhibition and magazine publication An Architektur 19-21: Community Design: Involvement and Architecture in the US since 1963 (with An Architektur, 2008).

Ines Schaber is an artist, photographer, and author living in Berlin, Germany. Her work addresses the relation of spatial and image politics. In movers and shapers (2001), a project in collaboration with the architect Jörg Stollmann, she investigated the visual politics of planned communities in Arizona; in picture mining (2006), she explored the relation of historical labor photography to a photographic archive in a former limestone mine below an abandoned landscape.