The Great Repair

The art of living on a damaged planet

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project description

Fifty years since the study “The Limits of Growth” was first published, the environmental crisis of today is no longer the exclusive domain of environmental activists. It directly affects each and every one of us. Yet the wasteful consumption of natural resources and the destruction of the environment continue unabated. One reason for this is the growth-oriented narratives of progress which favour free-market-oriented economic policies in what has become a practically unsolvable conflict between growth and climate protection. For example, some 400,000 new apartments are currently in planning in Germany alone – although the construction sector is responsible for approximately 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions and concrete comprises about one half of all human-made materials. The result of such large-scale, non-sustainable building projects is a massive loss of natural habitat and biodiversity.

The project “The Great Repair” by ARCH+ at the Academy of the Arts discusses the contradictions between growth and ecology based on the material culture of architecture. It presents approximately 25 works of art, architecture and other spatial practices, in which ‘repair’ is envisioned as a new design paradigm. In the arts, as well as the cultural and social scientific disciplines, there are increasing calls for new strategies that reduce resource consumption by preserving and repairing what already exists. The exhibition adopts a post-colonial, feminist and post-human perspective to examine to what extent the politics and aesthetics of repair can become a reasonable alternative. The project explores the key elements of sufficiency, durability, solidarity, reappropriation and care work for inclusion in a new canon of values in the areas of architecture, politics and urban development.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a discussion programme in which political stakeholders and experts from the fields of architecture and culture can engage in dialogue on conflicting objectives and develop viable solutions.


Artistic directors: Florian Hertweck, Christian Hiller, Markus Krieger, Alexandra Nehmer, Anh-Linh Ngo, Milica Topalović
Project administrator: ARCH+ gGmbH
Cooperation partners: Akademie der Künste, Berlin; Departement Architektur der ETH Zürich; Faculté des Sciences Humaines of the University of Luxembourg
Other partners and sponsors: Bauhaus der Erde; Hans Sauer Stiftung; LUCA Center for Architecture, Luxembourg; Pavillon de l’Arsenal, Paris; Wüstenrot Stiftung
Participants: Assemble Studio, Atelier Bow-Wow, Kader Attia, cave_bureau, Simryn Gill, Lacaton & Vassal, Sarah Nichols, Bas Princen, Paulo Tavares, ZAS* (Züricher Arbeitsgruppe für Städtebau) and others


ARCH+ Verlag GmbH

Friedrichstr. 23a
10969 Berlin

Fon: +49 30 340 467 19