Berlin Lab

Last Week at the Lab

I’m stretching the parameters of “last week” a bit this time around, because these photos of transformed parking spaces just needed to be shared. On June 28, the Lab took to the streets–or at least, to the parking spaces–to act on the idea that space now devoted to vehicles might be repurposed for people. View the slide show above to see how a few feet of pavement became sociable spots–some with fetching, grass-green furniture.

Speaking of changing large cities one small space at a time, our blogger, Christine McLaren, ‏tweeted on July 4: “#BGLab‬ call 4 partners in Mumbai, NY + around the world to start a 1SQM House movement! Pass it on!” She was talking about Van Bo Le-Mentzel’s One-Sqm-House, a tiny structure that anyone can build using basic materials from the hardware store. Le-Mentzel and Lab Team member Corinne Rose, who hosted an all-day workshop to build the houses last Sunday, are calling on people around the world to build the houses in their own cities. If you’d like to create your own house like the one below, email Le-Menztel at

Van Bo Le-Mentzel putting finishing touches on a One-Sqm-House.

On July 8, Lab Team member Rachel Smith asked, “Are ‘Bubble Parties’ the future for community involvement?” On her blog, Smith explained just what Bubble Parties–including the one held on July 7 at the Lab–are about:

“You get to communicate your needs and you also get to jump into interesting conversations with strangers and friends alike with one simple solution: “the bubble.” Simply stick a label on your front with your name and a sticker on your back with what you need. For example I might say ‘I’m Rachel and I’m looking for someone to teach me how to fix my bike.'”

In other words, the Bubble Party, like the Lab, is about creating meaningful connections between people and ideas. We’ll see what new connections are made in the coming week.

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Photos of parking spaces: by Luke Abiol © 2012 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York; photo of One-Sqm-House: by Maria Nicanor