• Cybermohalla Hub
    Cybermohalla Ensemble, Nikolaus Hirsch, and Michel Müller
    Shveta Sarda
    Sternberg Press, 2012
    Ankur Society for Alternatives in Education

Nikolaus Hirsch, Michel Müller in collaboration with Cybermohalla Ensemble: Cybermohalla Hub, 2008, multimedia installation, 300 x 600 x 500 cm. The structure shown in Vienna is a prototype of the Cybermohalla Hub constructed in Delhi in 2010. Photo: Andreas Praefcke.

Cybermohalla is a network of young researcher-practitioners working out of medialabs and studios in Delhi's neighborhoods. In 2006, one of these neighborhoods was demolished, and its residents were relocated to the barren landscape of Ghevra. Their practice of eight years, their dialogues with people around them, and the shrinkage of their spaces of intellectual/creative life propelled them to propose the Cybermohalla Hub in Ghevra in collaboration with architects Nikolaus Hirsch and Dr. Michel Müller (Frankfurt). The design takes the multiplicity of voices in Cybermohalla practices as its starting point, translating them into dynamic architectural elements. Constructed on a 6x3 m plot (the size of houses in Ghevra), Cybermohalla Hub will be a space that creates a body of work around the making of the neighborhood. Linking the cultural practice and the architectural project, the proposed book represents a crucial part of the process.

Nikolaus Hirsch is an architect, curator, and writer in Frankfurt, Germany. Together with his partner Michel Müller and the Cybermohalla Ensemble, he has developed the spatial concept for the Cybermohalla Hub. Since 2007, he has realized several 1:1 prototypes, shown at the Swedish Museum of Architecture, Manifesta 7 (Bolzano), and TBA-21 (Vienna). The Cybermohalla Hub is the most recent work in Hirsch's experimental institutional projects, which includes Bockenheimer Depot Theater in Frankfurt (with William Forsythe), the European Kunsthalle, Unitednationsnationsplaza (with Anton Vidokle), and currently a studio structure for Rirkrit Tiravanija’s The Land. Hirsch is professor at the Staedelschule (Frankfurt) and has held academic positions at the Architectural Association, and the University of Pennsylvania. He has curated ErsatzStadt: Representations of the Urban at Volksbühne Berlin and is a member of the Curating Architecture Program at Goldsmiths College (London). He is also the author of On Boundaries (Sternberg Press, 2007), Track 17 (2009), and Institution Building (2009).

Ankur was founded in 1983. For over two decades now, Ankur has been working in the field of experimental pedagogy with children, young people, women, and the community in underserved worker settlements in Delhi. Ankur is associated with many institutional collaborators, all working with a collective vision to build new dynamic spaces for companionable learning, and design sites for diverse and experimental practices of sharing and generating knowledge. In the process, Ankur has witnessed the emergence of new narratives and perspectives that would hitherto have been lost or unrecognized.