Legal Cities? Urban Renewal and Immigration in Berlin’s IBA 1984/87

On Monday, 23 January, architect and architectural historian Esra Akcan (2011-2012 Rechtskulturen Fellow at Humboldt University Law School) will talk in Recht im Kontext‘s Rechtskulturen Colloquium about Urban Renewal and Immigration in Berlin’s IBA 1984/87. Her paper deals with world cities at the wake of the twenty-first century and their ambivalent relation to legality. On the one hand, housing laws and regulations instituted by the city senates and municipalities play a significant role in determining the future of urban architecture, on the other hand, countless informal housing settlements around the world as well as the most exciting street art exist at a slippery slope between legality and illegality.

“This lecture will focus on Berlin-IBA 1984/87 that was justifiably one of the most important architectural events of the late 1970s and 80s, where major aesthetic and intellectual shifts of the period materialized as social housing in the historical city. IBA’s fresh formal ideals were complicated however by the under-discussed fact that it took place in the Turkish immigrant neighborhood of Berlin’s Kreuzberg. I will explore IBA 1984/87 as a micro cosmos of the history of urban housing, the postmodern and deconstructionist debates in architecture, and the relation between housing and immigration policies ...

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