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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
 
Tel: +49 (0)721/608-42167
 
 
 
Recent Publications:  
 

    From the circulating, sowing and harvesting of future building materials

    August 26, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Vom Zirkulieren, Säen und Ernten zukünftiger Baumaterialien, in: Bauen im Wandel. Zukunft Bau Kongress 2019, BBSR. p. 74-79. Bonn, Germany

     
     

    Tremendous possibilities

    August 26, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Ungeheure Möglichkeiten, in: der architekt. material der stadt. 4/2020 (Bund Deutscher Architekten BDA), Berlin, Germany

     
     

    Constructed from mycelium

    July 21, 2020

    Klaaßen, Lars (2020). Aus Pilz gebaut, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung. 18.07.2020, München, Germany

     
     

    The opportunities of the urban mine

    July 7, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Die Chancen der urbanen Mine. Wie ein kreislaufgerechtes Bauen die Ressourcenfrage der Zukunft decken kann, in: PLANERIN. Mitgliederfachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung, p. 21-24. 3_20, Berlin, Germany

     
     

    Strark wie Stahl

    July 2, 2020

    Beck, Gabriela (2020). Stark wie Stahl, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung s.41, Nr.90, Bauen und Wohnen, 18./19.04.2020. München , Germany

     
     

    Changing Paradigms!

    March 19, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E., Werner Sobek (2020). Changing Paradigms: Materials for a World Not Yet Built, in: The Materials Book, 139-141. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel (2020). Culitvated Building Materials: The Fourth Industrial Revolution?, in: The Materials Book, 145-149. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

    Heisel, Felix (2020). Reuse and Recycling: Materializing a Circular Construction, in: The Materials Book, 156-160. Berlin, Germany: Ruby Press

     
     

    Pavilion made of recycled materials

    March 19, 2020

    KIT Karlsruhe (2020). Pavillon aus Recycling-Materilaien, in: Neuland, Innovation am KIT 2019, 2020. 40

     
     

    House building for the heirs

    March 19, 2020

    Hebel, Dirk E. (2020). Hausbau für die Erben, in: Südzeit, March 2020: no. 84, 8-9

     
     

    Showering as a school subject

    March 19, 2020

    Wüthrich, Christa (2020). Duschen als Schulfach, in: Bildung Schweiz, March 2020: no. 2, 29-32

     
     

    We’re running out of sand!

    March 19, 2020

    Prof. Dirk E. Hebel talks about the shortage of sand.

    Sakowitz, Sven (2020). Uns geht der Sand aus, in: HÖRZU Wissen, 19 th March 2020, No.2, 64-69.

     
     

    Build Sustainably and Act Future-Oriented

    February 25, 2020

    Interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel (2020). Build Sustainably and Act Future-Oriented. (Interview about his research as the head of the Department of Sustainable Building at KIT, specific challenges facing the construction industry concerning the reuse of materials and their sustainability and about the KIT being part of the SBM Summit taking place at Karlsruhe Trade Fair Centre on 18 and 19 June 2020.), in: stories, 01/2020: 22-24

     
     

    Die Stadt wird zum riesigen Rohstofflager

    February 19, 2020

    Ulrich Coenen (2020). Die Stadt wird zum riesigen Rohstofflager. (Second part of an interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel about the practice of urban mining, the energetic redevelopment of existing buildings and the establishment of new building materials and future energy efficient technologies.), in: Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 18th February 2020: no. 40, 17

     
     

    Diskrepanz zwischen Anspruch und Realität ist groß

    February 12, 2020

    Ulrich Coenen (2020). Diskrepanz zwischen Anspruch und Realität ist groß. (First part of an interview with Prof. Dirk E. Hebel about Sustainable Thinking, Acting and Building, technical and biological circulations, unmixed and pure construction methods and the application of urban mining.), in: Badische Neueste Nachrichten, 11th February 2020: no. 34, 17

     
     

    Kreislaufgerechtes Bauen – Kultivierte Baumaterialien: UMAR & MycoTree

    February 5, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel (2020). Kreislaufgerechtes Bauen – Kultivierte Baumaterialien, in: H2O – Das Kundenmagazin von Keramik Laufen und Similor, January 2020: 22-23

     
     

    Second-hand is on Trend: Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR)

    February 5, 2020

    Sabina Strambu (2020). Second-hand is on Trend, in: DETAIL selectionSpecial Publication Products 2020. Recycling – Materials, Systems, Concepts: 4-6

     
     

    Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR) and Research Seminar ‘Bau auf!’

    January 22, 2020

    Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel (2020). Urban Mining and Recycling (UMAR), and Dirk E. Hebel, Sandra Böhm (2020). Bau auf! Kreislaufgerechte Architektur in der Lehre, in: BAUART – Architektur und Kultur, inspiriert durch Heimat, Ausgabe 03/2020

     
     

    MICMAC – Micro Macro Michael Hosch, Competition for Modern Expansion and Lightweight Construction

    December 20, 2019

    Hochschulinitiative “Moderner Aus- und Leichtbau” (2019). MICMAC – Micro Macro, in: Wettbewerb 2018/2019 Moderner Aus- und Leichtbau

     
     

    Sustainable construction should not be an option!

    December 20, 2019

    Krämer, Lisa, Simon Sommer, Katna Wiese, Sophie Welter, Philipp Staab (2019). Nachhaltig bauen, sollte keine Option sein, in: DBZ Der Entwurf , November 2019

     
     

    Ein Gespräch über das Wieder- und Weiterverwenden von Baustoffen

    October 15, 2019

    Isopp, Anne and Felix Heisel (2019). Ein Gespräch über das Wieder- und Weiterverwenden von Baustoffen, in: zuschnitt 19(75): 16–19.

     
     

    Zukunft braucht Kreislauf! Mehr.WERT Pavillon, UMAR & MycoTree in db Deutsche Bauzeitung

    October 11, 2019

    Scharf, Armin (2019). Zukunft braucht Kreislauf. db deutsche bauzeitung, 152. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 09.2019, S.68-70

     
     

    Besser – Anders – Weniger!

    October 10, 2019

    Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen, Professur Dirk E. Hebel (2019). Besser – Anders – Weniger!, Strategien für suffizienten Wohnungsbau im Bestand. KIT Karlsruhe

     
     

    Was die Natur so bietet

    October 10, 2019

    Hans-Christoph Neidlein (2019). Was die Natur so bietet. (Pilzmyzelium und Bambus, Forschung nach alternativen Baustoffen am Fachgebiet Nachhaltiges Bauen). Süddeutsche Zeitung, Nr. 206, 6. September 2019, 23

     
     

    Calculation and Evaluation of Circularity Indicators for the Built Environment Using the Case Studies of UMAR and Madaster

    October 9, 2019

    Heisel, Felix and Sabine Rau-Oberhuber (2019). Calculation and Evaluation of Circularity Indicators for the Built Environment Using the Case Studies of UMAR and Madaster, in Journal of Cleaner Production 243 (SI Urban Mining): 118482. DOI:10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118482

     
     

    Materials In Progress

    September 11, 2019

    Peters, Sascha, Diana Drewes, Dirk E. Hebel, Felix Heisel (2019). Waste Vault Pavillon & MycoTree. In Materials in Progress – Innovationen für Designer und Architekten, 62 & 102. Basel, Schweiz: Birkhäuser Verlag

     
     

    Pioneering Construction Materials through Prototypological Research

    August 22, 2019

    Heisel, Felix and Dirk E. Hebel (2019). Pioneering Construction Materials through Prototypological ResearchBiomimetics4(3): 56.

     
     

    Strukturelle Bauteile, gewachsen aus Pilz

    July 1, 2019

    Schütz, Robert (2019). Struktuerelle Bauteile, gewachsen aus Pilz. Recycling MAGAZIN, 74. Jahrgang, Ausgabe 06, S.36-37

     
     

    Bild des Monats

    June 6, 2019

    Braun, Zooey (2019). Bild des MonatsBadische Neueste Nachrichten: 16, 04.06.2019

     
     

    Mit Weniger Mehr Bauen

    June 6, 2019

    Eberhard, Simon (2019). Mit Weniger Mehr BauenHaustech 32 (Mit weniger mehr bauen): 8–13.

     
     

    Verständnis für globale Dimensionen und lokale Auswirkungen

    June 4, 2019

    Hans Fuchs (2019). ‚Begrijp de mondiale dimensies én de lokale effecten‘. In stedebouw & architectuur, 04 2019, 32-35. HB Zwolle, Niederlande: Acquire Publishing bv.

     
     

    Das Raumlabor – UMAR

    April 29, 2019

    Melanie Schlegel (2019) Das Raumlabor. In Garten und Landschaft, 04 2019, 46-49. Münschen, Deutschland: Georg D.W. Callwey GmbH & Co. KG.