Protest / Architecture

Barricades, Camps, Superglue

Project description

Protest movements shape public space not only by the messages they convey, but also the (mostly temporary) structures they create. This claim is the focus of the exhibition project “Protest/Architecture” by the German Architecture Museum (DAM), which draws on numerous examples from the past 200 years. It is the first exhibition of its kind to systematically compare various forms of demonstration from an architectural perspective, including the barricades of the revolution of 1848, the stilted structures built by the nuclear power opponents of the “Free Republic of Wendland” in Gorleben, the tent cities of the Arab Spring, the tree houses in Hambacher and Dannenröder Forests, and the fluid, laser-pointer rendered rooms of light created by demonstrators in Hong Kong. The project aims to present protest in all its many facets along with all of its ambivalence. It poses the question to what extent protest architecture can serve as an indicator for the success (or lack thereof) of a movement.

During a preliminary research phase, DAM will team up with the Museum of Applied Arts in Vienna to systematise the various forms, objects and structures of protest, the results of which will be compiled into an international encyclopaedia of protest.

The exhibition is made of recycling materials and aims to self-critically draw attention to the waste produced by exhibitions. The results are documented in a comprehensive catalogue which will contain both journalistic and activist perspectives on the topic, as well as the previously developed encyclopaedia.


Director: Oliver Elser
Curators: Oliver Elser (DAM), Anna-Maria Mayerhofer (DAM), Sebastian Hackenschmidt (MAK), Jennifer Dyck (DAM)
Correspondents: Ihor Poshyvailo, (Majdan-Museum, Kyjiw); Julia Ramírez Blanco (Universidad Complutense, Madrid); Aatika Singh (Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi); Ahmed Zaazaa (Researcher and Urban Planner, Cairo)
Design: Something Fantastic

Exhibition: Deutsches Architekturmuseum, Frankfurt am Main: 16 Sep. 2023 – 14 Jan. 2024; MAK – Museum of Applied Arts, Vienna: February - June 2024


Deutsches Architekturmuseum (DAM)

Schaumainkai 43
60596 Frankfurt am Main