Design Studio Staub

The hinterlands of production

Supervisor: Peter Staub 

Assistant: Georgia Papathanasiou

Sufficiency is an attitude that cannot be embodied without understanding the bigger picture. During the Winter Semester 2015–16 Studio Staub was on a mission to reveal the often hidden processes and forces that shape our consumer society and the spatial consequences our actions provoked and provoke still.

The production of goods and its associated production of space are often linked to specific times, places and demands. Productive industries go out of business when the goods they produce are no longer in demand. Spaces of production and manufacturing become obsolete due to economic, political or natural changes and events. What is left are spaces, infrastructures and synthetic landscapes, no longer used for what they were built and shaped for, but now derelict and abandoned, lifeless.

In a primary research phase students traced, studied and documented dozens of abandoned and derelict production sites around Europe, before selecting nine for further investigation. Thereafter, during an intensive seminar week, students travelled to their chosen sites (in Berlin, Sardinia, Lake Garda, Prora on the Island Rügen, Sevilla, Dresden, Charleroi in Belgium, Sweden and the Netherlands) mapped and documented them from close-up, found real or imagined traces and clues for how the site could be resurrected, reinvented, reimagined.

The final visionary proposals challenged the preconceptions of what we imagine as productive infrastructures today and provoked intriguing discussions about a post-industrial, post-consumerist society of the future. The projects carefully responded to each of the different specific cultural, socio-political and geographic conditions, promoting new values in accordance with sufficiency and thus new forms of communal co-existence.