Schering Stiftung


Rethinking urban mobility

Rethinking urban mobility

09.08.2012, Berlin | The Humboldt University Berlin will host the KOSMOS Summer University 2012 – Mobility from September 6 to September 19, 2012. The event addresses the interdisciplinary basic research and the expansion of an international network with Latin America as its focus. The aim of KOSMOS 2012 is the development of research strategies that combine natural sciences, techniques and engineering, the humanities and design disciplines in an experimental project focusing on mobility in an urban space. There are two cities that serve as scenarios of challenge for the interdisciplinary design of mobility concepts: Berlin is recently making a name for itself as a space where future-oriented urban mobility is created, and Buenos Aires is one of the dynamic metropolises of South America.

KOSMOS 2012 will take place in the Pergamon Palais, Institute of Cultural History and Theory of the Humboldt University Berlin. 18 renowned experts and 30 participants (doctoral candidates and postdocs) from Latin America and Berlin will be invited to jointly develop innovative mobility concepts for Berlin and Buenos Aires.

To this end the KOSMOS 2012 does not gather classic mobility researchers but tries to think and design mobility anew in a way that is unconventional and at the same time fundamental. In the process the metropolis is apprehended as a space of encounters and collisions. As contrasted with a destructive accident, collisions represent the productive moments of communication in a dynamic system.

The Schering Stiftung supports one of the five topics “Urban Metabolism”. Time and urban circulatory processes of moved elements, their energy, their trajectories, and their sound (information, goods, food chains, etc.) have been compared to the integrated processes of the human body throughout history since it consists of a network of circulator flows and filters as well.

Thus, different mobilities that are developed and designed within the individual project groups are to be subsequently integrated into a joint dynamic model of circulations. To achieve this, our newly introduced models on the fields of chemistry, material science, sound studies and spatial analysis are applied to examine the relations between moving objects and urban space. In contrast to classic anatomical and physiocratic models new visualizations of fundamental cycles will arise. Incorporating the problems of the individual project groups, the goal is to develop forms of expression and solution strategies, how to design such novel urban metabolisms energy-efficiently and dynamically, e.g. by intelligent collisions, circulations and recycling.

Experimental scenarios will be developed within a broad spectrum of mobility problems of metropolises to evolve innovative questions as well as solutions. Concentration – which distinguishes urban space from the rural area – is to be designed as an intense but accident-free space of collision to generate intelligent and low-energy types of operation that correspond with metropolitan life forms. Thus, accident-free spaces are the tangible vision of KOSMOS 2012. The collaborative work with designers tackling problems of mobility not only enables a change of perspective in the research process but offers the translation of solution strategies into creative interventions.

The outcomes of KOSMOS 2012 will be presented to the Berlin audience at the closing event at the Pergamon Palais, location of the Institute of Cultural History and Theory.

Application for participation

Until August 14, 2012, please see: Call for Proposals


September 6 until September 19, 2012
Pergamon Palais

Institute of Cultural History and Theory
Humboldt University Berlin
Georgenstraße 47
10117 Berlin


Deborah Zehnder

Alisa Jachnowitsch
Institute of Cultural History and Theory
Georgenstr. 47, R. 4.16

Tel.: +49-30-20 93-66 256

Photo: Sandra Schramke


Contact & social networks

Schering Stiftung

Unter den Linden 32-34
10117 Berlin

Telefon: +49 - 30 - 20 62 29 65

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Thursday to Monday: 1 pm - 7 pm
Saturday to Sunday: 11 am - 7 pm
free entrance

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