Published on 14.06.2023
ichbaumit – Urban development in practice
The architect Enrica Ferrucci designs building workshops for the building culture education project "ichbaumit". These are hands-on workshops for children, teens and adults - in museums, at schools, at cultural events and at civic participations. Architecture, design or art is paired with a practical activity: geometry, statics, joining, combining and spatial perception play a major role. In the "ichbaumit" workshop "Tape it" with Enrica Ferrucci at POP KUDAMM, everyone has the opportunity to make their visions of the future visible on a metre-long wooden wall.
Pop Kudamm:You are an architect and have been self-employed as a freelance building culture mediator with "Ichbaumit" since 2017. How did that come about?
Enrica Ferrucci:After many years of professional experience as an architect, I realised that I needed a new field of action. Looking back, it was not by chance that I first came across working with children in museums. There I began to develop spatial construction projects to match exhibitions and thus themes from architecture, design, art, ecology, which specifically transport content into the minds of others. In the workshop we build these projects together with children, teens and adults. The craftsmanship challenges, involves and consolidates information and makes the participants want to learn - about architecture, about the city, about more. And that's exactly what interests me: the process, the joint experimentation and design, the gain in self-confidence, suggestions and future goals of the participants. Circularity, everyday life, quality of life, sustainability, democracy, society: everything is connected and can be well (v)identified from building culture. The key to this is called: spatial perception. It automatically turns participants into co-creators of the city, society and the future. In the museum as elsewhere.
Pop Kudamm:What do you want to achieve with "ichbaumit"?
Enrica Ferrucci:It is important to me to generate interest and fun in building culture, especially in children and young people. And self-confidence. So that we all deal differently - more attentively - with our (built) environment in the future.
Pop Kudamm:At the workshop, the participants are to develop ideas for a sustainable city through tape art. What is special about visualising with tape?
Enrica Ferrucci:Working with the tapes is new at first, but everyone quickly finds their rhythm and methodology. We work together and yet each for ourselves, concentrated and usually without many words. The tapes speak for us and show our ideas, commonalities and differences in a very fitting way, which then grow together into a great whole. That is an event every time.
Pop Kudamm:How does working with children differ from working with adults? Who has the better ideas for a sustainable city?
Enrica Ferrucci:Children do not question themselves the way adults do: if they see a problem, they look for a solution. Children are also never too shy to find another solution if the first one didn't work. They don't fail, they search! And they have another super talent: patience. We adults sometimes need a bit more of a run-up to open up and move forward freely. We become self-critical more quickly and can learn a lot from children (again). In my view, good ideas of any kind - also for the future of cities - are not a matter of age, but of freedom of thought and openness.
Pop Kudamm:What makes your work so important? And what else would you like to do in the future?
Enrica Ferrucci:Building culture is part of our everyday life and the teaching of basic (urban) building knowledge, the experience of the interfaces of architecture with art, design, ecology or social issues is, in a way, shaping the future. Nevertheless, the question is too often asked: 'WHAT IS building culture education? In my view, more clarity is needed here. I intend to continue working (hard) on this. I want to invent many more projects, hold workshops, get to know and interest people, and one day sit by the sea, old and content, and write a book about it all.
Pop Kudamm:POP KUDAMM is a location consisting of 35 silver-plated overseas containers, planned and developed in collaboration with GRAFT Architects. What do you think about the conversion of such objects?
Enrica Ferrucci:My workshop in Munich is a disused, converted tram from the seventies and is located in the Bahnwärter Thiel, a disused railway area with stacked overseas containers, caravans, underground, suburban and tram trains, in which creative people have their studios - raised without an architect's hand. Now I'm very excited about the POP KUDAMM and I'm sure GRAFT Architects have worked their magic on you. So I'm looking forward to bringing architecture into architecture and discovering your location.
Pop Kudamm:POP KUDAMM is also a pop-up location, i.e. a temporary cultural venue. Pop Up Stores/Locations are becoming more and more popular. How important will such temporary locations be in the future?
Enrica Ferrucci:I think interim uses are a good signal. That there are gaps in the city system that are uncovered, occupied and brought to life by cultural actors. The question I always ask the children is: should these special places that enrich our cities so much continue to be created by private (non-public) initiative? The fact that we keep reinventing places with temporary uses is certainly part of our future. The point is whether it remains in the mode of exception or whether a system is set in motion. There is still a lot of room for improvement.
Pop Kudamm:The Kurfürstendamm is architecturally characterised by modern buildings with impressive glass façades that meet typical 19th century buildings. How important is the interplay between modern progress and the charm of old buildings?
Enrica Ferrucci: Diversity is more, also in architecture. If different buildings shape the face of the city, that's positive at first. The art, however, is to create coherences, a kind of design oversum that results in a coherent picture. You could argue about this on Kurfürstendamm, but you can do the same elsewhere (and that would be a good idea for a workshop). Almost more important: behind every building envelope is a specific building use - and this interplay is actually more essential for the city and its inhabitants, also and especially for our future.
Pop Kudamm:What do you wish for the future of the city of Berlin?
Enrica Ferrucci:That Berlin becomes even more liveable. For everyone, regardless of where they come from, their history, profession and wallet. And greener. The summers are getting hotter, and only trees can fix it for us.
ichbaumit turns spatial perception into hands on. It challenges, consolidates, involves. And makes you want more.
ichbaumit is a building culture education project by architect Enrica Ferrucci. Since 2017, she has been passionately on the road with her building workshops in a wide variety of places, designing participatory projects that generate curiosity and fun about building culture. And self-confidence. So that we all deal differently – more attentively – with our built environment in the future.