Borders and Territories: Identity in Place


An Enquiry Programme examining new spatial, geopolitical and cultural concepts of dividing and connecting

Borders and Territories: Identity in Place aims at examining new spatial, geopolitical and cultural possibilities related to nations and people on our globe. In this discourse, we consider identity as a spatial problem caught between territorial claims and today’s global dynamics. Concepts of dividing and connecting are vital to address the question what is or what makes territories, that are defined (1) physically/politically, (2) by culture and ways of thinking and (3) by common interests such as economy. What type of physical, infrastructural and political basis have to be established to meet the various ideas of home and 'Heimat' of societies that are increasingly culturally diverse and socially divided? How can we use their potential? This includes the investigation of borders of different qualities – from physical divisions, 'rurban' situations and political frontiers of countries and states to invisible boundaries between disciplines and social or cultural borders. In the course of this process, new strategies of perceiving, evaluating, and designing space may be generated and subsequently their creative, social and political relevance can be investigated and tested. Knowledge and spatial experience is critical to the appreciation and understanding of the interdependencies of spaces. We will also ask how the less quantifiable aspects of perception and heritage of place, including narrative, memory and the transit space of the border itself, might be interpreted and reflected.

Therefore, the focus relating to the architecture of borders and subsequent typologies along those border lines provides a thread to be woven in with questions what architecture and (urban) planning can contribute to define, connect and open spaces or spatial possibilities. The shift towards a definition of 'corridors' and 'translocalities' becomes obvious in the development of a new silk road and global 'closure' as promoted by many populist governments around the world. This also touches on the issue how indigenous rights of land and territories can exist within an occupant/ colonial state. Another aspect deals with the interrelation of architecture and repression.

On a formal level, cultural and artistic interventions will also be included along the architectural, political and design aspects mentioned above. The programme enables investigations based on different methodologies, practices and objectives from art and science into creative, behavioural and cultural science positions and processes. By crossing the 'border' to various disciplines the programme aims to stimulate a discourse on the evaluation of space and its political and social dimensions. Considering the rise of the internet, social media and connectivity, digital spaces, as places without (physical) borders, will also be taken into account.

Dialogue Series. In Transit with ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg; Austrian Cultural Forum, Berlin; Norwegian Embassy, Berlin; Danish
Embassy, Berlin
November 2020-February 2021

Exhibition, Book Presentation and Lecture. Ursula Schulz-Dornburg / Martin Zimmermann: Die Teilung der Welt
12 September 2020
Video Recording

Lab Talk. Transit Spaces:(Dis)Connections and the Fluid Places In-Between with ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg
7 November 2019
Video Recording

Symposium. Reimagining the Region with Tatiana Bilbao, Mexico City and CEMEX Deutschland AG
16 March 2019
Video Recording

Lab Talk. Borders and Territories II: Spatial Representations of Connections and Disconnections with ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg
27 September 2018
Video Recording

Workshop. Science. Fiction. Politics. Visible and Invisible Borders with Bucerius Summer School/ZEIT-Stiftung, Hamburg
18 August 2018

Lab Talk. Borders and Territories: Identity in Place
22 March 2018
Video Recording



Concept Paper

Miriam Mlecek
[email protected]


ANCB Partners 2020

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