bergisch.project 2013

urban summer school

„reading the urban“

Excited about the invitation to interdisciplinary summer school at Birker Bad in Solingen, we arrived from all over Germany to present our project Hidden Borough. In summer 2012 we occupied a vacant warehouse in London, which has been abandoned for 25 years. We proclaimed Hidden Borough, a forgotten district. It is about creating a new context for unused resources, potentials and vacancies to challenge commercial urban development. We were curious how far our work would be relevant for bergisch.project and came to Solingen with an open mind. The region „Bergische Land“ was quite unknown to most of us, but its reputation as economically underdeveloped region could not be overlooked.
Eventually the following 10 days should bring us faster than we could have imagined to an important quintessence of Hidden Borough before we could lecture about it. The huge lack of funds and plenty of vacancies were obvious problems of the „Bergische Land“. Especially the cultural and creative milieu suffers most on these circumstances. Nevertheless it seems that aside official channels a self-organized, sub-cultural network is establishing.
It was inspiring to see in what way different protagonists were seeking to work as independent designers and artists in such an environment. That for they also created a very special relation to their home, the “Bergische Land”. It is to say that not anybody could really explain or determine the assumed “bergisch” identity, but it is maybe even for this reason a huge unused potential for economic growth in future. Therefore the foundation for bergisch.project considering the financial situation is probably the expansion of the powerful and already existing social network.


  • Sophie Fetten
  • Anja Fritz
  • Tobias Hattendorff
  • Benedikt Stoll


  • 24 september 2013
  • Birker Bad