Transit Spaces

Bauhaus Kolleg V (2003/2004) – Transit Spaces

Transit spaces are places situated along the metropolitan corridor between Berlin, Moscow, St. Petersburg and Bratislava. The corridor not only ensures exchange between east-west markets, with the caravans of long-haul trucks rolling along its routes; but it also boasts train connections, functioning mobile phone systems, and Internet access. It is a chain of privileged places that are superimposed over the industrial space characterised by socialist modernisation, a space that is increasingly disintegrating in the course of transformation and global restructuring. Transit spaces are interfaces where provincial communities meet the world of Nike, Nokia and CNN. They are explosive urban places where the new inequalities and non-simultaneities in Eastern Europe become apparent.

The program was devoted to the particular dynamisms of urban transition in Eastern Europe. Selected places along this corridor were used as examples to demonstrate which contours and cracks these radically changing urban fabrics in Eastern Europe will incur. Bauhaus Kolleg included ethnographic studies, providing insights into the practices of urban space creation, artistic concepts, developing transitory models of post-socialist public, and urban design strategies, designing scenarios of transformation routes for eastern European urban spaces.

By bridging the gap between ethnography, the arts, and urban design, the Bauhaus Dessau Foundation intended to make a contribution to the international urbanist discourse by not conceiving urban spaces as containers to be shaped from outside, but awarding the cities an active role in the double sided transformation they are experiencing. This Kolleg gained insights into the restructuring of eastern European cities in the "global space of flows".