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Queering the Map of Berlin

A participatory exhibition concept on queer urban experience and spatial perception

Projekttitel auf regenbogenfarbener Karte von Berlin
© Sebastian Oft
Forming Society
Organisational Unit:

Following Ece Canlıs call for a "queer turn" in design practice, "Queering the Map of Berlin" explores queer perceptions of space in Berlin and aims to make visible the unique urban experiences of this often neglected and marginalised group.

In the research project, six hypotheses about queer urban experiences and perceptions of space were formulated, divided into three constituent themes: Safety, Visibility and Utopia. Using cultural probes as a participatory-experimental empirical practice, applied insights into queer spatial strategies were gained, on the basis of which five of the six hypotheses were selected for a design implementation.

This is a participatory exhibition concept that visualises urban queer experiences in and perspectives on Berlin in five thematically different media stations using maps. Through the (design) method of mapping, the content of these stations and the maps of the city depicted in them are created by the visitors themselves. This approach is meant to empower the community to "queer" the map of Berlin and thus to gain new perspectives on their own positioning in the heteronormatively dominated (urban) space, to question it in a power-critical way and to appropriate this space.

More about this project, its approach and the design of the individual media stations can be found under the following link:
Project documentation

Master thesis by Sebastian Oft

Prof. Franziska Morlok & Dr. Julia Meer