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Exploring new perspectives for ceramics

Three projects at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin | school of art and design approaching ceramics from a design point of view

In summer term 2017, students of weißensee kunsthochschule berlin | school of art and design explored the architectural qualities of ceramics under the supervison of Prof. Barbara Schmidt. In the project “Ton Steine Erden – brick by brick”, they dealt with local materials and used the designs to shape spaces and create interior and exterior objects with modular character. The group started the project by examining what the local soil in the area east of Berlin is offering, how its ingredients have been used in the past, and which marks they have left on the local architecture to later take off to rethinking ceramics as a construction material.

The results of the project, ranging from radiant heating panels produced by extrusion, over 3D-printed fog fences for harvesting water from the atmosphere in dry regions, to luminescent bricks marking bicycle roads on the countryside, were presented at Days of Open Doors in Weißensee in July 2017. At Burg Beeskow, they will be shown in an exhibition, together with two other projects from the school, one of them offering sustainable solutions for mobility and supply of goods and services in rural areas, the other one rethinking the concept of the museum of local history on 30th September. All three are interlinked with each other and connected to the rural district southeast of Berlin between river Oder and Spree (administrative district Oder-Spree = LOS).

“Ton Steine Erden – brick by brick” is the third in a series of projects carried out in the context of Ceramics and its Dimensions at weißensee school of art and design.

The project table tools (winter term 2015/16) started with workshops on processing edible and non-edible materials – from fermentation and ancient ceramic techniques to 3D-scanning and 3D-printing – in order to develop new possible uses for ceramics in connection with food culture. The project resulted in the design of a whole dining experience including ceramic ingredients and recipes for the food which were developed by the students.

In summer term 2016, Ceramics off the table took the students on a journey through the wide spectrum of ceramic applications and production methods of today to find new ones for the future. The outcome of the project ranged from solutions for warming and lighting homes, over flexible plaster moulds for individualised production to interactive ceramic objects.

Project supervision: Prof. Barbara Schmidt

Project support:

  • Carolin Wachter, Sabine Selmke, ceramics workshop
  • Jörg Hugo, architect
  • Björn Bernt, CAD studio
  • Babette Wiezorek, ceramic 3D-print
  • Sarah Bräuner, tutor
  • Maria Braun, tutor
  • Laura Görs, tutor
  • Andreas Kallfelz, text coaching
  • Peter Kuchinke, glass blower
  • Barbara Ott, CAD
  • Michael Fesca, food experiments
  • Tainà Guedes, food curator

Project partners:

  • KAHLA/Thüringen Porzellan GmbH
  • Golem Kunst und Baukeramik GmbH

Exhibition: 30 September until 3 December 2017 at:

Burg Beeskow

Frankfurter Straße 23

15848 Beeskow