Berlin Lab

Last Week at the Lab

What are your "speculations" about the future of urban life?

The title of this post carries a new meaning this week: this is, in fact, the last week at the Lab. It’s difficult to believe, given how much has happened since we opened in June, but it’s true—July 29 will be the final day of the Lab’s Berlin sojourn. If you’re in Berlin, please come by and help us celebrate!

Among the many recent events worth noting from the last few days was a discussion on July 21 that delved into the future of cities. In this workshop, as Rachel Smith notes on her blog, four groups of people came up with “speculations” about what cities will be like in 2050. According to Smith, the most “popular speculations” were as follows: “1) More cycling and new infrastructure in the form of Bicycle Bahns or Cycling Super Highways; 2) Shareable cities – lives that are based on more ‘access to’ than ‘ownership of’ the things we need.” She adds, “Interestingly, from my observations, everyone felt far more comfortable identifying what could be improved in our existing cities in the future as oppose to creating a frivolous utopia.” That could be seen as cause enough to be hopeful for our cities’ future.

How we look at our cities could have a great impact on how we see that future. Could viewing your environment through a camera you built yourself affect how you approach it? Participants in one recent workshop had the chance to find out, as they created cameras using their own two hands—and Lego blocks. Wondering what a Lego camera looks like? Flip through the slide show below and find out.

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Photos: by Lena Grasss, 2012 (top) and Luke Abiol © 2012 Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York (bottom).