New Berlin


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Beatriz Colomina once said: “The enemy is in the street, in public spaces, in mass transit. The houses are presumably the safe space.” The problem is, the modernist aesthetic has become shorthand for good taste, rehashed by West Elm and minimalist life-style influencers; our homes and offices have been designed as so many blank, empty boxes. We’ve gone, Colomina said, “from hospital architecture to living in a place like a hospital,” and suddenly, in the pandemic, that template seems less useful.⠀

Although the current aesthetic has led us to often design sterile living environments, my bubble was filled with possible little explorations. The pandemic —and related joblessness— provided a great opportunity to spend more time in Berlin. Here, I could explore the contradictory relationship of my safety bubble, my girlfriend’s apartment, and the increasingly hostile, outside world.⠀

This exploration has provided a better understanding of ‘home’ and created a deepened relationship between me, the apartment and Berlin. Being able to explore space, from in and outside, without time constraints, builds a sense of ownership and belonging. We no longer are on the outside looking in but become part of the local environment. The strange turns familiar and becomes part of a newly formed identity tied to space.⠀