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Documentary Movie Series: _Spaces

The movie series _Spaces by Felix Heisel amd Bisrat Kifle documents selected elements of Addis Ababa’s city fabric, which seem essential but could be lost for future generations soon due to the city’s current rapid transformation. This cinematic research aims to highlight objective values of the informal city through subjective story telling in combination with expert interviews, aiming to influence tomorrow’s decision making through today’s education.

Addis Ababa is in transformation. In 2011, the city administration announced to redevelop all “informal” and “unplanned” parts of the city by 2020. Therefore, that same year, Felix Heisel and Bisrat Kifle began the research initiative _Spaces to record a century-old way of living in Addis Ababa, following the strong believe that the informal sector can offer important lessons about the use and social role of architecture. The underlying social and cultural networks and their spatial fabric are the context that could and should be regarded as the starting point for the development of a sustainable future city. _Spaces addresses this context in what is now a six-movie series discussing housing and public space, rural-to-urban migration, conservation, recycling and landownership in the city of Addis Ababa and Ethiopia at large. However, many of the questions raised are applicable in developing territories with similar conditions around the world.

The series consists out of 6 documentary movies:
Disappearing, Emerging, Originating, Supporting, Recycling and Materializing Spaces.
More info directly on www.spacesmovie.com

 


Disappearing Spaces – a day in Addis Ababa’s informal city
Addis Ababa, unlike many other African cities, has a history and city fabric to learn from. Even if the physical conditions of the informal settlements are very poor, the social networks, as well as spatial and cultural values developed and embedded in these areas are worth the preservation and study. In fact, we believe that any new development should be based on the values routed and cultivated in exactly these parts of the city. The movie Disappearing Spaces is a cinematic documentary on the use of space in the informal parts of Ethiopia’s capital. Looking at one typical house for the duration of 24 hours, one can notice how a single room can serve for most daily functions. Interviews with the inhabitants and experts give further insight into the topic.

 


Emerging Spaces – a day in Addis Ababa’s condominiums
To date (2012), the AAHDPO completed around 100,000 units on more than 120 different sites – 2/3rd of them in expansion areas – out of which nearly 70,000 are handed over to end users so far. This grand housing program has increased density in several parts of the city, at the loss of traditional ground-floor networks. Emerging Spaces is a cinematic documentary on the use of space in the redeveloped parts of Addis Ababa. Looking at one typical condominium for the duration of 24 hours, one can notice how its inhabitants changed the spaces according to their accustomed needs and traditions. Interviews with the inhabitants and experts give further insight into the topic.

 


Originating Spaces – a day in rural Ethiopia
Addis Ababa is a city of migrants. Considering that Addis Ababa’s history reaches back only a century and most of the inhabitants of the informal areas of the city are rural migrants, the spatial arrangements of the traditional tukul actually forms part of Addis Ababa’s understanding of space. Based on the claim that traditional and cultural habits, religious and social patterns and income generating mechanisms should be the basis for new developments in Ethiopia’s capital, this movie tries to understand the origin of such conditions. The movie “Originating Spaces” is a cinematic documentary on the use of space in the rural areas of Ethiopia. Looking at one typical tukul for the duration of 24 hours, one can notice how a single room can serve for most daily functions. Interviews with the inhabitants and experts give further insight into the topic.

 


Supporting Spaces – a day on Addis Ababa’s streets
Small and micro businesses in Addis Ababa are start-ups for many inhabitants, especially migrants coming to the city. A ‘listro’ (shoe shiner) defines his business area by setting a shoe shining box down on the ground. He then brings a chair to claim the space. In time, a plastic shade covers the customer’s seat. As the space defines itself, side businesses emerge, like the selling of tobacco, candies, chewing gum and so on. At the streets of Addis, daily, public space turns into private and vice versa. The movie Supporting Spaces is a cinematic documentary on the use of street space in Ethiopia’s capital. Based on the life’s story and experience of one selected listro, this movie tries to tell a generic experience of thousands of migrants in Addis Ababa. Looking at one spot in the area of Piazza for the duration of 24 hours, one can notice the importance of micro economies as part of the public realm. Interviews with the listros and experts give further insight into the topic.

 


Recycling Spaces – a day in Addis Ababa’s merkato
Throughout the years, Addis Ababa, informally, developed a sophisticated recycling system in all parts of the city. “Kuré-Yalews” are roaming the streets in small neighborhoods, collecting anything that might still be useable from households. Sharing resources, they rent taxis collectively to transport their goods to Merkato’s “Minalesh Terra”, where different “workshops” immediately start to reuse and transform them. In the course of a few days, these items are returned into the cycle, being sold to the owners of small neighborhood shops as “new” products. This recycling process is not only the source of income for many families in the city, it also keeps Addis Ababa clean to a certain extend. Most importantly, this cycle also appropriated space for recycling in the city throughout the years, which is now endangered by the current transformation of Ethiopia’s capital. The movie Recycling Spaces is a cinematic documentary on the use of space allocated to this recycling cycle in Ethiopia’s capital. Based on the daily routine and experiences of one selected Kuré-Yalew, this movie tries to tell a generic experience of thousands of inhabitants in Addis Ababa. Interviews with the Kuré-Yalwes and experts give further insight into the topic.

 


Materializing Spaces – a day in Addis Ababa’s periphery
Informal housing construction in Addis Ababa features a very specific, “illegal” but common typology, the “chereka bet”. These houses are built on squatted land during one night, hence the name “moon-shine house”. Material collection and preparation might last for a few weeks before the specific night. Once everything is in place, neighbors and specialists help and erect the structure within a few hours. The movie “Materializing Spaces” is a cinematic documentary on the construction of such a chereka bet. The story is based on the erection of one specific structure, including the preparation in the days before the event. Interviews with the builders and the “owner” tell the story of such houses. National experts give additional information on the context.

 


The Book
A short teaser on the book Lessons of Informality: Architecture and Urban Planning for Emerging Territories – Concepts from Ethiopia, containing all 6 movies on DVD as well as further information on the topic of informality as a source of design.

       
 
 
 
Karlsruher Institut für Technologie
Fakultät für Architektur
Institut Entwerfen und Bautechnik

Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen
Englerstr. 11, Geb. 11.40, Raum 25
D-76131 Karlsruhe
 
 
 
Recent Publications:  
 

    Ohne verbindliche Recyclingquote geht es nicht

    July 16, 2018

    Geipel, Kaye (2018). Ohne verbindliche Recyclingquote geht es nicht, Bauwelt 14.2018(Recycelt): 24–31.

     
     

    Versuchsarchitektur

    June 11, 2018


    Pestalozzi, Manuel (2018). Versuchsarchitektur, DAB Deutsches Architektenblatt, 106/18, 16-20.

     
     

    Green Steel

    June 11, 2018


    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel and Alireza Javadian (2017). Green Steel, in Constellation.s: Inhabiting the World, arc en reve d’architecture, Michel Lussault, Francine Fort, Michel Jacques, Fabienne Brugere, and Guillaume le Blanc, 162–167. Bordeaux, France: ACTES SUD.

     
     

    Im Abfall wohnen

    June 11, 2018


    Schönwetter, Christian (2018). Im Afbfall Wohnen: Versuchsgebäude aus recycelten Materialien in Dübendorf, md INTERIOR DESIGN ARCHITECTURE, Zeitschrift, 06/18, 72-74.

     
     

    Addis Ababa Potato Plan

    June 10, 2018


    Heisel, Felix and Raphael Disler (2018). Addis Ababa, in The Potato Plan Collection: 40 Cities through the Lens of Patrick Abercrombie, 22–25. London, UK: nai010 publishers.

     
     

    Excerpts from Lessons of Informality

    April 17, 2018


    Wubshet, Berhanu and Felix Heisel (2018). Landownership and the Leasehold System in Ethiopia: The Formal-Informal Dialogue  in Landholding and Urban Development, COLLAGE – Zeitschrift für Planung, Umwelt und Städtebau 02/18: 21–25.

    The April edition of Swiss magazine COLLAGE is featuring excerpts of Lessons of Informality: Architecture and Urban Planning for Emerging Territories – Concepts from Ethiopia (Felix Heisel and Bisrat Kifle, Birkhäuser, 2016).

     
     

    Urban Mining and Recycling in TEC21

    January 8, 2018

    Knüsel, Paul (2017). Ein Meister darf Normen brechen, TEC21 51-52(Gebäudetechnik-Kongress: Können Planer alles?): 20–25.

     
     

    Reservoir Building: Towards an Idea of Abundant Pertinence

    September 20, 2017


    Hebel, Dirk E. (2017). Reservoir Building: Towards an Idea of Abundant Pertinence, in Embodied Energy and Design: Making Architecture Between Metrics and Narratives, ed. David Benjamin, 107–116. New York, N.Y, USA and Zürich, Switzerland: Columbia University GSAPP, Lars Müller Publishers.

     
     

    Beyond Mining – Urban Growth: The Architectural Innovation of Cultivated Resources through Appropriate Engineering

    September 10, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Philippe Block, Felix Heisel and Tomas Mendez Echenagucia (2017). Beyond Mining – Urban Growth: The Architectural Innovation of Cultivated Resources through Appropriate Engineering, in IMMINENT COMMONS: THE EXPANDED CITY, 116–127. Seoul, South Korea: Actar Publishers, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017.

     
     

    Alternative Baumaterialien

    August 9, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel and Aurel von Richthofen (2017). Alternative Baumaterialien, in BodenSchätzeWerte: Unser Umgang mit Rohstoffen, focusTerra, ed. focusTerra, 214–217. Zürich, Switzerland: vdf Hochschulverlag.

     
     

    Building from Waste – the Waste Vault

    August 8, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Marta H. Wisniewska and Felix Heisel (2017). Building from Waste – the Waste Vault, in IMMINENT COMMONS: Urban Questions for the Near Future, eds. Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Hyungmin Pai, and urbanNext. Seoul, South Korea: Actar Publishers, Seoul Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism 2017.

     
     

    Shifting Paradigms: From Excavation to Cultivation

    August 8, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Nikita Aigner, Dustin Fleck, Felix Heisel, Alireza Javadian, Simon Lee, Philipp Müller, Aurel von Richthofen, Karsten Schlesier and Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). Shifting Paradigms: From Excavation to Cultivation, in Future Cities Laboratory: Indicia 01, 191–199. Singapore-ETH Centre, Signapore: Lars Müller Publishers.

     
     

    Circular Economy Pedagogical Methods

    June 13, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Patrick Chladek, Amelie Fibicher, Felix Heisel, Philippe Jorisch, Hans-Christian Rufer and Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). Circular Economy Pedagogical Methods, by Professor Dirk Hebel,: in The Re-Use Atlas: A Designer’s Guide towards a Circular Economy, ed. Duncan Baker-Brown, 110–113. London, UK: RIBA Publishing.

     
     

    Cultivated Building Materials: Industrialized Natural Resources for Architecture and Construction

    June 12, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E. and Felix Heisel (2017). Cultivated Building Materials: Industrialized Natural Resources for Architecture and Construction. Birkhäuser: Berlin.

    The 21st century will face a radical paradigm change in how we produce construction materials – a shift towards cultivating, breeding, raising, farming, or growing future resources. The book presents innovative cultivated building materials, like cement grown by bacteria or bamboo fibers as reinforcement for concrete. The book aims to build a bridge from scientific research to product development and application.

     
     

    Die Zukunft ist aus Bambus

    June 11, 2017

    Reimann, Milena (2017). Die Zukunft ist aus Bambus. Rheinische Post: Düsseldorf.

    Aus dem holzähnlichen Gras werden immer mehr Produkte gefertigt – vom Fahrrad übers Kleid bis zum Toilettenpapier. Jetzt wollen Forscher sogar moderne Häuser aus dem Werkstoff bauen. … Auch Dirk Hebel ist begeistert von dem Rohstoff. Er ist Architekturprofessor mit dem Schwerpunkt “Nachhaltiges Bauen” am Karlsruher Institut für Technologie. Statt wie bisher Häuser aus Stein und Stahl zu errichten, wollen er und sein Team Gebäude aus gepressten Bambusfasern bauen. More information here.

     
     

    Wie Sand am Meer?

    June 1, 2017

    Hellge, Anna (2017). Wie Sand Am Meer?, in: natur (07/17): 44 – 49.

    Nicht nur Wüstensand aus Mauretanien macht beim Bauen oder im Küstenschutz Probleme. Dirk Hebel, Professor für nachhaltiges Bauen an der Uni­versität Karlsruhe, erklärt das Phänomen: ,,Zwar ist Sand genau die Zutat, die der Beton benötigt – aber Sand aus der Wüste eignet sich nicht zur herkömmli­chen Betonproduktion.” Stattdessen sind dafür Sän­de aus Meeren, Seen oder Flüssen nötig. Der Grund dafür liegt im Detail: ,,Sie müssen sich diese Sande nur einmal unter der Lupe anschauen”, sagt Hebel. „Sie werden feststellen, dass die Körner, welche durch Bäche und Flüsse in unsere Meere getragen wurden, scharfkantig und gebrochen sind.” Nur die­se kantigen Körnchen können durch hohe Reibungs­widerstände Druckkräfte aufnehmen und weiterlei­ten und machen -salopp gesagt -Beton überhaupt erst belastbar. In der Wüste schmirgeln sich die Sandkörner dagegen glatt und sind zur Betonherstel­lung so nicht brauchbar. ,,Wüstensand verhält sich wie eine Hand voll Murmeln”, erklärt Hebel.

     
     

    ADDIS 5000 – Design Studio Publication

    May 12, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Patrick Chladek, Amelie Fibicher, Philippe Jorisch, Felix Heisel, Sophie Nash, Hans Rufer, Gian Salis, Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). ADDIS 5000, Design Studio Publication Fall 2014, 01/05, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

    Addis 5000 proposes the creation of 5000 new living units in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa in close collaboration with the city administration. Faced with an increasing unavailability of globally-favoured and expensive building materials and construction methods, the city government is in desperate need of alternative housing solutions that embody the country’s long and complex history, the immense cultural identity, and the unique characteristics of a society under transformation.

     
     

    Ressource Schweiz – Design Studio Publication

    May 12, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Patrick Chladek, Amelie Fibicher, Philippe Jorisch, Felix Heisel, Sophie Nash, Hans Rufer, Gian Salis, Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). Ressource Schweiz, Design Studio Publication Spring 2015, 02/05, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

    Ressource Schweiz applies the fundamental principle of exploring local possibilities and opportunities within the territory of Switzerland. Students are partnered with a Swiss craftsperson specializing in a distinct craft utilizing a unique local building material. Intensive visits to the craftsperson and associated region are required to gain an understanding of the material’s application and manufacture as well as to establish a dialogue between the craftsperson, the site, the material and the student.

     
     

    Village School Project Cambodia – Design Studio Publication

    May 12, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Patrick Chladek, Amelie Fibicher, Philippe Jorisch, Felix Heisel, Sophie Nash, Hans Rufer, Gian Salis, Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). Village School Project Cambodia, Design Studio Publication Fall 2015, 03/05, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

    Village School Project Cambodia operates within one of the most crucial fields of sustainable action: the education sector in developing territories. Based on a thorough understanding of an appropriate pedagogical model developed in collaboration with the Pedagogical University of Applied Science in Zürich, students are asked to design an educational facility for 1000 students in a rural area, just north of the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh.

     
     

    Building for Disassembly – Design Studio Publication

    May 12, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Patrick Chladek, Amelie Fibicher, Philippe Jorisch, Felix Heisel, Sophie Nash, Hans Rufer, Gian Salis, Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). Building for Disassembly, Design Studio Publication Spring 2016, 04/05, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

    Building for Disassembly, aims to produce a paradigm shift within the construction industry. Instead of working within a linear system of “produce-use-discard”, students are asked to develop new construction methods and principles which follow the concept of a circular economy. Designing for disassembly is perceived as a proactive solution to both the shortage of resources and the minimization of waste. Cities can therefore be simultaneously consumers and suppliers of resources and use themselves for their own reproduction.

     
     

    Living Lab Zakynthos – Design Studio Publication

    May 12, 2017

    Hebel, Dirk E., Patrick Chladek, Amelie Fibicher, Philippe Jorisch, Felix Heisel, Sophie Nash, Hans Rufer, Gian Salis, Marta H. Wisniewska (2017). Living Lab Zakynthos, Design Studio Publication Fall 2016, 05/05, ETH Zürich, Switzerland.

    Living Lab Zakynthos asks the students the most obvious and yet most difficult question operating in the field of sustainable construction: how to define their own and individual hypothesis of the theme. Seeking clarity in this definition, students are asked to design a hotel complex on the west coast of the Greek island of Zakynthos, on a site sloping down towards the Ionic Sea.

     
     

    Neformálnosť v knihe i krajine

    April 3, 2017

    Czafík, Michal (2017). Neformálnosť v knihe i krajine, ARCH Magazine 1-2/2017(Architektúra a bývanie): 59–60.

    Book Review of Lessons of Informality in Slovakian Magazine ARCH:
    Who would I recommend the book to? All who have the desire to indirectly find their way into life in a country that is still covered with a riddle of mystery. Urban designer, architect, sociologist, cultural scientist, anthropologist … I could continue to name myself. This confirms only one fact, that architecture has long been not only a mono-, but a multidisciplinary issue.

    We say thank you!

     
     

    Fantastic materials – and where to find them

    March 7, 2017

    Buxton, Pamella (2017). Fantastic Materials – and Where to Find Them, RIBA Journal Magazine.

    Scientists are developing super materials from some most unlikely beginnings. Could spider silk ever be a useful (human) building material? How about transparent wood, ‘printed’ sandstone, or a bio-plastic derived from crabs hells? These and plenty more seemingly fantastical notions will be explored from February at The Building Centre’s SuperMaterial exhibition. (…) Architect Dirk Hebel has developed a new material made from bamboo fibres and resin that could be used to replace steel rebar.

     
     

    Pull-Out Test for Bamboo Composite Reinforcement at the Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory

    January 18, 2017

    Bildschirmfoto 2017-01-18 um 09.13.44
    National Environmental Agency Singapore (2016). Pull-Out Test for Bamboo Composite Reinforcement at the Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory, in Singapore’s Second Biennal Update Report 2016 – Under The United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change, 23. Singapore: National Environmental Agency Singapore.

    The first research programme under the Singapore-ETH Centre, the Future Cities Laboratory (FCL), combines science and design to develop new knowledge, technologies, and approaches for a sustainable urban future with an Asian perspective. In addressing the challenges of rapid urbanisation, the FCL research team has developed innovative urban solutions in areas including urban design, mobility and transportation, low-energy cooling systems, and sustainable construction materials, among others.

     
     

    Ein Holz für alle Fälle

    December 4, 2016

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    Laukenmann, Joachim (2016). Ein Holz für alle Fälle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 3./4. December 2016: 36–37

    Bambus ist eigentlich gar kein Holz im engeren Sinne, sondem gehört zur Familie der Süßgraser. Auf der Basis von Bambusfasern und verschiedenen Harzen wurde zusammen mit der Firma Rehau und dem Future Cities Lab der ETH Zürich ein neues Komposit-Material hergestellt. Dieses Material weist äußerst hohe Festigkeitswerte auf und ist aufgrund der Witterungs-beständigkeit gut für Außen-anwendungen geeignet.

     
     

    Der Materialmann

    October 18, 2016

    hochparterre-dirk

    Herzog, Andres (2016). Der Materialmann, Hochparterre 10/16(Dirk Hebel: von der Expo-Wolke zum Pilzstein): 12–15.

    Seit der Expo-Wolke erforscht der Architekt Dirk Hebel, wie wir mit Wasser, Pilzen oder Bambus bauen könnten. «Ich möchte aus Pilzen ein Haus wachsen lassen», sagt Dirk Hebel mit einem selbstverständlichen Grinsen auf dem Gesicht, als wäre die Rede von Backsteinen. Der ETH-Professor steht in seiner Wunderkammer im kühlen HIT-Gebäude auf dem Hönggerberg in Zürich. Im Gestell hinter ihm lagert Hebel die Materialien, die er derzeit auf der Architekturbiennale Venedig im Rahmen der Ausstellungsreihe «Time Space Existence» zeigt: Gemahlener Bauschutt, der mit gewachsenem Kalkstein zusammengehalten wird. Stühle, gepresst aus Altpapier. Beton, der sich dank eingelagerten Bakterien selber heilt, wenn sich Risse bilden. «Reporting from the front», so das Thema der diesjährigen Biennale, heisst bei Hebel: die Front von morgen.

     
     

    Elsevier: Bond-behavior study of newly developed bamboo-composite reinforcement in concrete

    August 17, 2016

    Elsivier Bond Behavier
    Javadian, Alireza, Dirk E. Hebel, Ian F.C. Smith, Mateusz Wielopolski (2016). Bond-behavior study of newly developed bamboo-composite reinforcement in concrete, Elsevier, Volume 122, 30 September 2016, London, Pages 110–117

    Bamboo is a rapid growing, affordable and available natural resource in many developing countries. It is potentially superior to timber and to construction steel in terms of its weight to strength ratio. A new technology has been developed in this research to preserve the mechanical properties of bamboo and to enhance physical characteristics through composite action for application in structural concrete. The goal of present work is to investigate the bonding properties of a newly developed bamboo-composite reinforcement in concrete through pull-out testing. Various coatings are applied to determine bonding behavior between concrete and newly developed bamboo-composite reinforcement. The results of this study demonstrate that bamboo-composite reinforcement without coating develops adequate bonding with the concrete matrix. However an epoxy based coating with sand particles could provide extra protection without loss of bond strength.

     

     
     

    Waste Vault ETH Zürich Pavilion

    August 8, 2016

    a&c423

    Heisel, Felix and Choi Mi-Ho(2016). Waste Vault ETH Zürich Pavilion, A&C Architecture and Culture Upcycling(423): 102–113.

    For the IDEAS CITY Festival in New York City in May 2015, a team of ETH Zürich’s Professorships Dirk E. Hebel and Philippe Block constructed a 90m2 pavilion made from recycled beverage packaging, aiming to show the immense potential of waste for the construction sector. The article includes an interview with project architect Felix Heisel.

     

     
     

    Engineering bamboo – a green alternative under basic research Part 3

    July 1, 2016

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    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel, Alireza Javadian, Mateusz Wielopolski, Simon Lee, Philipp Müller, Karsten Schlesier (2016). Engineering bamboo – a green alternative under basic research Part 3, in: a+u 550, Feature: Vo Trong Nghia Architects, 2016:07, Japan Architecture and Urbanism, Tokyo, Japan

    Essay Series: Engineering bamboo – a green alternative under basic research Part 3, Professorship of Architecture and Construction Dirk E. Hebel: The Advanced Fibre Composite Laboratory in Singapore investigates new methods and procedures to produce a high-strength building material out of natural bamboo fibres. If successful, the research could provide a starting point for the introduction of new and adapted technologies that take a widespread natural resource as their basic premise and give reason for people who live in the tropical belt to foster one of the most common plants in the sub-tropical climate zone.

     

     
     

    Der Sandkrieg hat begonnen

    June 13, 2016


    Knellwolf, Bruno (2016). Der Sandkrieg hat begonnen, in St. Galler Tagblatt: 19–20

    Wider Erwarten wird Sand immer mehr zum raren Gut. Bereits spricht man vom Sandkrieg und der Sandmafia, die den Handel mit dem knapper werdenden Baustoff betreibt. Dirk E. Hebel und Felix Heisel zeigen an der Biennale in Venedig Alternativen.