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The City and the Political II

Organizing Committee:


The City and the Political is an ongoing open class and research group at The Public School, Berlin, that invites anyone to join in discussions between theories and spatial practices of "the city" and "the political."

The city is home to modern man. This class begins at the scale of the city in order to open up all levels of discourse on spatial production. What is space? What is public vs. private space? What is democratic vs. controlled (neoliberal) space? How should architects, urbanists, politicians, developers create space? How should the people take back space?

The political hints to a wide range of concepts regarding man's relation to one another, institutional formations, and potentially radical acts of protest. The spatial production of our cities cannot be divorced from a serious theoretical understanding of our contemporary politics, as representative democracy, the social movements within our cities, and strategies of radical political emancipation.

The first rendition of this class consisted of fruitful, but perhaps distracted, conversations wherein architects and philosophers disagreed about definitions, strategies, and pedagogy. The second rendition of the class hopes to more rigorously define the terms within the texts, so as to come to some group understanding of definitions, and only then to unpack, critique, and mobilize the concepts towards new concepts or spatial practices.

The readings will be announced weekly. An open bibliography is listed below. If you're interested to become more involved in the facilitation of the course, please let us know. We also hope to move beyond conversation by developing a research group that can organize events or develop textual and digital output to articulate positions and further discussion on the city and the political.


1. Henri Lefebvre, "The Right to the City," Writings on Cities, page 147-159. Found here:

2. Samuel Mockbee, "The Rural Studio," 1998,

3. Jacques Ranciére, "Ten Theses on Politics." 

4. ... 

5. ... (we're open to suggestions)


Additional bibliography can be found on our blog:



Hi folks, Tomorrow night (18.10.12) we're showing RECLAIMING THE CITY, which is a recent documentary film about Berlin, at Altez Finanzamt, 20. Info here:

A new proposal has been made which picks up some of the threads of the City and the Political in relation to Berlin, check it out at:

Hello All,

Hope everyone is enjoying their summer.  I recall there being a number of architects that were a part of The City & the Political class. I am currently co-curating an exhibition at District in Schöneberg (, and looking for an exhibition designer/architect to design the installation plan.  If anyone here might be interested - or know someone that might be interested - please be in touch!   Best contact is via email:


Kind regards,

Megan Steinman

Hi folks,
Some of us wanted to screen the film RECLAIMING THE CITY by Stefan Rusu—see great preview below. So we're doing it on August 10th, at 20.00, at Altes Finanzamt, Schönstedtstraße 7, in Neukölln…

The film is ”an investigative documentary and a quest through dramatic socio-economic restructuring processes, the physical transformation of the city of Berlin.”

hey all, this class is finished, further interesting links and other communication will be posted here:

hey guys, teddy cruz tonight at the BMW Gug Lab, I think at 20 - ring me if you have subversive questions to ask. cheers, k

Hey, I'm interested in follow-ups to this series. I'm arriving to Berlin next Tuesday, the 31st. Last summer was here from NYC with the Red Channels collective: Am also part of an NYC reading group, "Our Lives Are Not Negotiable": Any interest or ideas, write me: mjjvckp[at]gmail

Hello all!

As a part of the last (and final) CP2 class, we discussed how a new class could take shape. The result of that and some further thoughts can all be found here:

Be interested!

Have a great summer,

Hi Everyone,

Message from Till about the cuvrystraße-void:
"the cuvrystraße-void has been inhabited by people living in tents
and a bar (Nico mentioned it the last class). now they got the
eviction-order by the owner of the area, so there is the call for
solidarity today and tommorow - acompanied by a party in the small bar."

I'll be there at some point...

Reading today's Berliner Zeitung I came across a report on some of the discussion about the Liegenschaftsfonds (state agency selling off public land) at the BMW/Guggenheim Lab last friday.

The article contained a link to the following site mapping some of the sales which I thought was pretty interesting:

Also an example of what a research based form to C&P could take on.



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