Berlin Studio 2015
Winter Semester 2015, Faculty of Architecture
(ED4, M1)
Architecture / Interior Design / City Planning / Landscape Architecture (M1) /
Interior Environments / L+U Option (ED4)

Instructors: Ralph Stern & Kim Wiese

Themes and Emphasis:

The Berlin Studio 2015 will continue with, and expand upon, the design and research agendas of the Berlin Studio 2014. The general theme of the Studio will be “Stadt am Wasser” or, “City at the Waterfront”, in this case the river Spree. There will be a broad range of issues that will be addressed: history of the site, infrastructure (transportation linkages, waterfront access, green networks, etc.), scalar range (urban, landscape, architectural, interior), appropriate structural and material systems, social issues (gentrification versus social diversity), and cultural integration. The sties addressed this year will differ from those of last year; collectively, however, it is intended that these projects will articulate a differentiated approach to riverfront development along the Spree and will set the stage for comparative design approaches with other waterfront cities, including Winnipeg. As such, emphasis will be placed on a comprehensive approach to, and understanding of, built intervention in historically and culturally significant urban areas. A scalar range in design from the urban to detail is expected, as is the ability to develop a “program” appropriate for the site. Much of the information and instruction provided during the Berlin Field Trip will serve as a basis for project analysis and development.


As Berlin has challenged an array of design and planning disciplines over the past century, the studio is intended as a vertical and interdisciplinary, engaging all disciplines in the Faculty of Architecture. The studio is a one-semester, intensive, vertical studio requiring a modicum of advance preparation in the Fall. It will also involve a field trip to Berlin early in the winter semester. The ability to work constructively in groups is a pre-requisite.
      The aim of the Interdisciplinary Studio is to give students the opportunity to work within an expanded definition and understanding of design, addressing urban, landscape, architectural, and interior spaces from an interdisciplinary perspective, exploring alternative approaches to design and creative practice, and situating work in a broad urban, social, historical and cultural context. The students will be asked to consider how identity, cultural values, economic and environmental concerns shape and are shaped by the built environment.
      The intention of the interdisciplinary studio is to provide a course which supports students in the pursuit and development of their own creative and critical voice, encouraging them to continually refine and criticize their chosen methods of spatial creation, organization, and representation in a considered, critical, and reflective dialogue with their colleagues.


January – April 2015, with a modicum of preparation in the fall of 2014. A reader will be provided in the Fall Term. A Berlin Film Series will also take place during the Fall Term (Thursday evenings, in the Partners Office)


There will be a 10-day travel and tour to Berlin from early to mid-January (exact dates to be determined). Budget, flight and accommodation information will be provided to the students.

Architecture Thesis (M2):

There is potentially opportunity for 3 M2 Architecture Thesis students to participate. If you are interested, please contact Ralph Stern directly at the email address below.

Further Information:
Please contact either Ralph Stern ( or Kim Wiese (


August 22, 2014


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berlin 4

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Images by R. Stern©


click here to see images from the
2014 Berlin Studio Final Reviews