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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

Professur Nachhaltiges Bauen
Englerstr. 11, Geb. 11.40, Raum 25
D-76131 Karlsruhe
 
Tel: +49 (0)721/608-42167
 
 
 
Recent Publications:  
 

    Interview: ‘Mycelium power for the construction industry’

    June 10, 2024

    Rubel, Maike, and Patricia Leuchtenberger. Interview: “Pilzpower für die Bauindustrie.” competitionline, 7 June 2024, https://www.competitionline.com/de/news/schwerpunkt/pilzpower-fuer-die-bauindustrie-7283.html.

     
     

    ‘Future building materials: mushroom, hemp and algae’ in neubau kompass

    May 27, 2024

    Müller, Janek. “Baumaterialien der Zukunft: Pilze, Hanf und Algen.” neubau kompass – Neubauprojekte in Deutschland, May 3, 2024. https://www.neubaukompass.de/premium-magazin/.

     
     

    Interview: ‘We have disposed of valuable materials’

    May 7, 2024

    Sören, S. Sgries. “Interview: ‘Wir haben wertvolle Materialien weggeworfen.’” Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, April 27, 2024, SÜDWEST I 28 edition, sec. Sinsheimer Nachrichten.

     
     

    Built on mushroom

    April 24, 2024

    Schweikle, Johannes. “Auf Pilz gebaut.” Stuttgarter Zeitung, April 23, 2024, sec. Die Reportage.

     
     

    Organic Architecture – Fungus mycelium and flax as materials for the ecological building transition

    February 13, 2024

    Klaaßen, Lars. “Organische Architektur – Pilzmyzel und Flachs als Materialien für die ökologische Bauwende.” In Deutsches Architektur Jahrbuch 2024, edited by Peter Schmal Cachola, Yorck Förster, and Christina Gräwe, 198–209. Berlin, Germany: DOM publishers, 2024.

     
     

    Circular construction – Circulation instead of demolition in “BUND-Jahrbuch 2024”

    January 18, 2024

    Streiff, Peter. “Zirkuläres Bauen – Kreislauf statt Abriss.” BUND-Jahrbuch – Ökologisch Bauen & Renovieren 2024, January 2024.

     
     

    Redesigned Material Library at KIT in ‘Mitteilungsblatt des VDB-Regionalverbands Südwest’

    January 8, 2024

    Mönnich, Michael, and Sandra Böhm. “Neu gestaltete Materialbibliothek am KIT.” Südwest-Info: Mitteilungsblatt des VDB-Regionalverbands Südwest Nr. 36 (2023), 2023.

     
     

    RoofKIT Wuppertal, Germany; Interview with Prof. Dirk Hebel

    November 20, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “RoofKIT Wuppertal, Germany; Interview with Prof. Dirk Hebel: The aim is clear, we must forge the path ourselves.” In Sustainable Architecture & Design 2023/ 2024, edited by Andrea Herold, Tina Kammerer, and InteriorPark., 46–55. Stuttgart, Germany: av edition GmbH, 2023.

     
     

    The existing building stock is the future resource

    November 16, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Der Bestand ist die künftige Ressource – Den linearen Umgang mit Baumaterialien schnellstmöglich stoppen.” Planerin – Mitgliederfachzeitschrift für Stadt-, Regional- und Landesplanung, Oktober 2023.

     
     

    Article: Investigation of mechanical, physical and thermoacoustic properties of a novel light-weight dense wall panels made of bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusides

    October 30, 2023

    Gholizadeh, Parham, Hamid Zarea Hosseinabadi, Dirk E. Hebel, and Alireza Javadian. “Investigation of Mechanical, Physical and Thermoacoustic Properties of a Novel Light-Weight Dense Wall Panels Made of Bamboo Phyllostachys Bambusides.” Nature Sientific Reports 13 (October 26, 2023). https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-023-45515-3

     
     

    Building Better – Less – Different: Clean Energy Transition and Digital Transformation

    October 16, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E., Felix Heisel, Andreas Wagner, und Moritz Dörstelmann, Hrsg. Besser Weniger Anders Bauen – Energiewende und digitale Transformation. Besser Weniger Anders Bauen 2. Basel: Birkhäuser Verlag GmbH, 2023.

     
     

    From hunting, breeding and harvesting future building materials

    September 27, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Vom Jagen, Züchten Und Ernten Zukünftiger Baumaterialien.” Baukultur Nordrhein Westfalen, September 2023.

     
     

    Building Circular

    September 21, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E., Ludwig Wappner, Katharina Blümke, Valerio Calavetta, Steffen Bytomski, Lisa Häberle, Peter Hoffmann, Paula Holtmann, Hanna Hoss, Daniel Lenz and Falk Schneemann, eds. Sortenrein Bauen – Methode Material Konstruktion. Edition DETAIL. München: DETAIL Business Information GmbH, 2023.

     
     

    Fungi

    September 18, 2023

    Schweikle, Johannes. “Fungi.” In Earthlike, 1:70–75, 2023.

     
     

    Recent Contributions in “wohnen”

    September 18, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Die Stadt als Rohstofflager.” wohnen – Zeitschrift der Wohnungswirtschaft Bayern, August 2023.

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Das RoofKIT-Gebäude der KIT Fakultät für Architektur – Gewinner des Solar Decathlon 2021/22 in Wuppertal.” wohnen – Zeitschrift der Wohnungswirtschaft Bayern, August 2023.

     
     

    The City as Materials Storage

    July 14, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Die Stadt Als Rohstofflager.” Aktuell – Das Magazin Der Wohnung- Und Immobilienwirtschaft in Baden-Württemberg, 2023.

     
     

    Building-Circle instead of One-Way-Economy

    June 30, 2023

    Ellinghaus, Tanja. “Bau-Kreislauf Statt Einweg-Wirtschaft.” Transition – Das Energiewendemagazin Der Dena, 2023.

     
     

    Pure construction methods – circularity-based self-conception in architecture

    June 14, 2023

    Hebel, Dirk E. “Sortenreines Konstruieren – Kreislaufbasiertes Selbstverständnis in der Architektur.” Baumit, 2023. https://www.calameo.com/read/0011023184a57c4715124.

     
     

    Building as a Project of Circularity

    June 14, 2023

    Reddy, Anita. “Bauen Als Kreislaufprojekt.” Engagement Global GGmbH, October 20, 2020. https://www.faz.net/aktuell/rhein-main/frankfurt/frankfurt-setzt-auf-recycling-nach-abriss-stadt-wird-baustofflager-18707619.html.

     
     

    Vivid Cycles: Reopening of RoofKIT on the KIT Campus

    May 17, 2023

    Lux, Katharina. “Anschauliche Kreisläufe: Wiedereröffnung Des RoofKIT Auf Dem KIT Campus.” Baunetz CAMPUS(blog), May 16, 2023. https://www.baunetz-campus.de/news/anschauliche-kreislaeufe-wiedereroeffnung-des-roofkit-auf-dem-campus-8235818.

     
     

    Solar and Circular Construction

    May 15, 2023

    Wagner, Prof. Andreas, Nicolás Carbonare, Regina Gebauer, Prof. Dirk E. Hebel, Katharina Knoop, and Michelle Montnacher, eds. “RoofKIT.” In Solares und kreislaufgerechtes Bauen, 186–213. Wuppertal: PinguinDruck, 2023.

     
     

    The built environment as a Resource

    April 5, 2023

    Blümke, Katharina, Elena Boerman, Daniel Lenz, and Riklef Rambow. “Die gebaute Umwelt als Ressource – Mit RoofKIT vom linearen zum zirkulären Verständnis des Bauens.” ASF Journal, March 28, 2023.

     
     

    Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22

    March 29, 2023

    Voss, Karsten, and Katharina Simon, editors. Solar Decathlon Europe 21/22: Competition Source Book. 2023.

     
     

    Mushrooms as a promising building material of the future

    February 1, 2023

    Wenk, Holger. “Pilze Als Vielversprechender Baustoff Der Zukunft.” BG Bau Aktuell – Arbeitsschutz Für Unternehmen, vol. 04/22, no. Rohbau, Sept. 2022, pp. 12–13.

     
     

    Go into the mushrooms

    December 20, 2022

    Jeroch, Theresa. “In Die Pilze Gehen.” Die Architekt, November 2022.

     
     

    How we build in the future

    December 15, 2022

    Niederstadt, Jenny. “Wie Wir in Zukunft Bauen.” Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, December 12, 2022. https://www.helmholtz.de/newsroom/artikel/wie-wir-in-zukunft-bauen/.

     
     

    The RoofKIT project as a demonstrator of solutions for today and tomorrow

    December 15, 2022

    RoofKIT, Karlsruhe. “Le Projet RoofKIT Comme Démonstrateur de Solutions Pour Aujourd’hui et Demain.” Translated by Régis Bigot. NEOMAG, December 2022.

     
     

    Interview: Will we be building houses from mycelium in the future?

    December 14, 2022

    Niederstadt, Jenny, and Dirk E. Hebel. Bauen wir künftig Häuser aus Pilz? Helmholtz-Gemeinschaft, December 12, 2022. https://www.helmholtz.de/newsroom/artikel/bauen-wir-kuenftig-haeuser-aus-pilz/.

     
     

    Where fungi become building materials

    December 14, 2022

    Blaue, Carsten. “Wo Pilze Zu Baustoffen Werden.” Rhein-Neckar-Zeitung, December 6, 2022, Nr. 282 edition. https://www.rnz.de/region/metropolregion-mannheim_artikel,-karlsruher-kit-wo-pilze-zu-baustoffen-werden-_arid,1015503.html.

     
     

    RoofKIT: Award-winning vision from Karlsruhe

    November 16, 2022

    Baden-Württemberg Stiftung GmbH. “RoofKIT: Preisgekrönte Vision aus Karlsruhe.” PERSPEKTIVEN, October 2022.