photo credits: Viviana Carlos
2018 marks the 28th anniversary of the fall of the inner German border wall and with it the point at which the Wall has been gone for exactly as long as it existed. The German Pavilion at the 16th Architecture Biennale in Venice, curated by GRAFT and Marianne Birthler, takes this parallel as an opportunity to explore the topic of “UNBUILDING WALLS”. The exhibition examines the unique spatial phenomenon of the void of the border zone and the projects that have since attempted to recode and reinhabit the former death strip in different ways. 28 projects illustrate how a range of approaches, typologies, interests and experiences of the Wall have given rise to a correspondingly broad spectrum of solutions and architectural debates. Alongside Germany’s experiences of unbuilding walls, the exhibition also examines current barriers, fences and walls around the world. Rising populism has brought questions of identity, protectionism and border defences back into the centre of politics and society and presents new challenges for architects, philosophers and social researchers.
Following on from the UNBUILDING WALLS exhibition at the 16th Architecture Biennale in Venice, the curators have announced the awarding of two UNBUILDING WALLS Travel Fellowships with a value of 3000 € each. The prize money supports an educational or project excursion, on-site research and the implementation of the results in concrete projects.
Eligible projects should be concerned with built, physical or strategic interventions aimed at overcoming barriers and can take the form of a concrete project or be of a political nature. Research work conducted as part of such projects should have a transformative artistic or creative aspect, i.e. be more than merely documentary in nature. These transformation processes can be presented in the form of models, designs, media installations, animations, photographic works or other similar formats. Applicants should specify the medium they intend to use as part of their project in the application.
Projects should examine the respective physical as well as mental barriers and ways to overcome them. They can focus on urban and architectural questions as well as social and political aspects. Inspired by the exhibition UNBUILDING WALLS, projects may examine current debates on nations, protectionism and border demarcation as well as other barriers not necessarily related to nationalist perspectives. They might be concerned with social segregation and other “walls in the mind” and should incorporate and integrate social and sociological components as part of an overall holistic approach.
Reflecting the spirit of collaboration between the politician Marianne Birthler and GRAFT architecture office, the fellowship is aimed particularly at applicants who address not only the topic of overcoming walls and boundaries but also its means of implementation from an interdisciplinary perspective. Especially welcome are collaborative projects that consider their topic in a broader socio-political context and bring together different approaches, backgrounds and strategies to leverage their full potential.
The funding provided by the fellowship should be used to cover travel costs arising in conjunction with research on the topic and with experiencing the subject of study in question, as well as for completing the work conducted and its presentation.
The work that the fellowship will fund must be completed by October 2019. The results will be presented in November 2019.
Eligible applicants are
Bachelor, Master’s or diploma students around the world as well as graduates who completed their studies within the last two years
Master’s and Diploma graduates (completing their studies after 31 December 2018)
Group applications are permissible providing all members of the group meet the conditions for participation. The fellowship funding of 3000 € is independent of the number of participants.
All submitted documents must bear the names of the applicants.
Please submit the following documents:
Application form, completed and signed (group applications: supply a separate form for each member of the group)
Certificate detailing enrolment as a student or doctoral student / diploma, bachelor, or master’s degree certificate or comparable document (group applications: supply certificates for each member of the group)
Curriculum Vitae, max. 1 page (group applications: supply a CV for each member of the group)
Portfolio of past work, max. 8 A4 pages, 10 MB (group applications: supply portfolios for all members of the group)
Presentation of the concept/idea and the media format of the proposed result in the form of a short written description (max. 1 page) and sketch.
Plan of proposed travel requirements
Approximate breakdown of the project budget and proposed use of fellowship funding
Applicants should submit their concept idea and proposed use of fellowship funding in a form of their choosing in writing and digitally (pdf). Submissions should be written in English using metric units.
Each application should cover a single project only.
AWARDING OF THE FELLOWSHIP
The selection committee, comprising the politician Marianne Birthler (former Federal Commissioner for the Records of the State Security Service of the former German Democratic Republic) and the three founding partners of GRAFT architecture office, Lars Krückeberg, Wolfram Putz and Thomas Willemeit, will decide jointly on the awarding of the fellowship based on the documents submitted by the applicants.
Fellowship funding will be paid in two instalments: 50% after the awarding of the fellowship and 50% on completion of the project.
SUBMISSION AND PRESENTATION OF THE RESULTS OF THE TRAVEL FELLOWSHIP
The results of the project must take the form of an artistic/creative work. The format in which they are submitted and presented can be chosen by the application. The subject or topic of the project should be communicated in a clear, presentable form suitable for exhibiting or presenting to the public. The scholarship holders commit themselves to a representative presentation of the objects and works that adequately meets the needs of an exhibition context. This applies just as much to architectural and urban designs and concepts as to artistic objects, animations and performance, film or photographic works.
Applicants agree to document their research trip in writing and pictures in the form of a booklet and to prepare this accordingly for presentation on completion of the project.
The project results should be presented in English using metric units. The booklet must also be submitted as digital file.
GRAFT Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH and Marianne Birthler
Heidestrasse 50, 10557 Berlin, Germany
T +49-30-30645103-0 F +49-30-30645103-34
The selection procedure is not anonymous. The selection committee’s decision is final.
Marianne Birthler, curator of UNBUILDING WALLS
Lars Krückeberg, curator of UNBUILDING WALLS, CEO and founding partner of GRAFT Architects
Wolfram Putz, curator of UNBUILDING WALLS, CEO and founding partner of GRAFT Architects
Thomas Willemeit, curator of UNBUILDING WALLS, CEO and founding partner of GRAFT Architects
GRAFT and Marianne Birthler will announce the awarding of the fellowship in mid-January 2019 on the company website www.graftlab.com/news.
GRAFT and Marianne Birthler will handle all submitted documents with due care but cannot take responsibility for any loss or damage of documents.
RETURN OF APPLICATION DOCUMENTS
Application documents will be retained up to a set date for collection on prior request. After such time, the organisers will dispose of the application documents and cannot guarantee their continued availability.
The applicant(s) agree to confer GRAFT GmbH the right to publish and publicise the results of all project work made possible with the help of the fellowship funding free of charge.
DATES AND DEADLINES
Announcement of the travel fellowship: 3 October 2018
Application deadline: 31 December 2018
Selection committee meets to decide and announce the awarding of the fellowship: mid-January 2019
Submission of project work: October 2019
Presentation of the results: 9 November 2019