WE MEANS US (2015)

We, Amalia, Nuriye and Finn, are working together at the HFBK (Hochschule für bildende Künste Hamburg)

We are studying in a class that works as an open collective, practicing participatory projects. We have shifted between different contexts, continents and cities. Serbia, Norway, South Africa and Germany.

We are now looking for a new space to work here in Hamburg. Our dream is to start up an open collective in the city. Together with a diverse group of people we want to reimagine what an "open space" can be. We have been looking at houses, empty plots, and have even talked with city councils. We walked in circles.

To create a common space from scratch we need a place that comes with freedom. We have looked for cracks in the system—grey zones that allow for openness in building as well as using.

Water is everywhere in Hamburg. Most of it is under the jurisdiction of the Hamburg Port Authority, with a clear set of dos and don’ts. To us they are vast open areas that could be used as common spaces. To us there is no better place to address and work with the commons in Hamburg than on the water.

We want to build floating islands together, consisting of 6 massive rectangular metal pontoons, which measure 12,5m². The platforms altogether will be 75m². These modules will be put together through a simple connecting system, creating a movable organism that can adapt to host a diverse set of uses.

A drifting base which can explore the city and its ordinances by producing, by doing, and by falling into different situations. A moving structure that explores Hamburg from the water, a city in the city, an Archipelago.

The Islands are in relation to each other. They can float through the city. Different contexts will give different meanings to the Archipel. The activities on the islands are not thought up and curated by abstract concepts, but by the circumstances surrounding it, as well as those actors that enter into it. The platform, as well as its contents, will be built collectively.

This collective body will initiate the Archipelago. Are you we?