In the last few months I’ve been working with social scientist, Christine Prieser here in Berlin who’s work focuses on the function of bouncers (Türsteher) in the world of the night. Her work is extremely interesting and I was of course interested in getting involved in some way.
Together we dreamed up 168 Hours Berlin-Friedrichshain. In this project we sought to examine the nature of time in the city. Our ultimate goal would be to show how the city morphs through time, and that the space of the city is never constant. We starting on this exploration by examining what spaces could be entered and accessed from public space through a typical week.
In order to do this, we collected data on all of the street-level building uses throughout a section of the Berlin neighbourhood of Friedrichshain. Going door to door, we coded the each entrance to see what spaces could be entered. We collected information about the use, opening times, and form of entrance and then used this data to show how Friedrichshain opens and closes through 168 hours (the number of hours in a week). In cases where opening times were not displayed, we estimated them based on similar uses. Below are a sample of maps at selected times of the week, showing where one can enter, where each dot is an enterable space.
This is an ongoing project, and we hope to hone our analysis in the near future. Particularly important is the question of access, since access is different for different people. A space may be open, but it may not be welcoming, and certain spaces are selective to certain groups of people. Central to our analysis are critiques of the dichotomy of ‘day and night’, as well as the overarching focus of the disciplines of Planning, Geography and Civil Engineering on general daily patterns (i.e., the 9-5 work day).