Current "Community Now?" Activities

Arson attack on the Max Rayne Yad Be Yad Jerusalem School

The bilingual school Hand in Hand serves 600 Arab and Jewish students in Jerusalem and is a partner within the’Community Now?’ project. Last Saturday it became victim of an arson attack. In the aftermath, there was an enormous support from citizens, neighbors and public figures in Israel and around the world. Our partners from the Bezalel Academy Jerusalem and us are expressing our solidarity and are looking forward to continue our work. Since the last Gaza War, the challenges are growing for community oriented projects for social participation, but the current mobilization in opposition to racism gives us confidence. Read More

Interview with Efrat Meyer/Yad Be Yad Jerusalem

We are glad to share an interview with Efrat Meyer, who will be one of the speakers at the Community Now Symposium in February. Efrat will talk about her work and challenges as a community organizer at the Jewish-Arab School Yad Be Yad in Jerusalem – also regarding the changes due to the last war in July and August 2014. During our kick off trip to Israel, Efrat gave us an introduction to the school and the neighborhoods we are working with in the project. Please have a look at the video!
Read More

Symposium and Exhibition

We are happy to invite you to the concluding symposium and exhibition of the project Community Now? project, taking place in Berlin from 19th – 21st Feb 2015. More details can be found here.

Pinpointing Mehringplatz

These days several meetings with inhabitants of the Mehringplatz neighborhood will take place. With a new application prototype we will first stroll through the neighborhood photographing and describing positive, negative and alterable places or situations. After the walk all inhabitants are going to meet in our Neighborhood Lab and talk about their experiences. Thus a cross-generational discussion about the neighborhood and its issues should emerge. After the meetings all entries are gathered in a public projection which can be seen from all inhabitants passing by. The projection invites all neighbors for adding comments and pictures. Thus a broader participation should be triggered.

/// Feel free to visit us and join the discussions!
/// Community Now Neighborhood Lab at Mehringplatz 8, Berlin-Kreuzberg

Students exchange and Long Table Event

In June, our partners from the Bezalel Academy visited us in Berlin, where we had several workshops, a rich program and a Long Table Event. There where project presentations, discussions and workshops on concepts of Living Lab. With guests from different disciplines as ethnology, urban planning, social studies. The event aimed to focus on a concept of Living Lab that we integrate in our research work, as part of our bilateral project “Community Now?”.

Special guests: Jens Adam, Sarah Auslander, Manuela Bojadzije, Birgit Cleuvers, Michal Eitan, Jesko Fezer, Sabine Foraita, Matthias Held, David Spectre, Kathleen Ziemann, Denis Weil

Hybrid Letter Box at Cumulus

Last week we had the chance to present the Hybrid Letter Box at the Aveiro Cumulus Conference . 2014 placed at the Universidade de Aveiro. We had great discussions, could answer questions and got inspiration for the further development of the box.

UdK Semester Course “Community Now Living Lab”

The idea of a Living Lab – as a working space, where designers develop processes and products in a participatory process with the neighborhood – became more and more attractive for Social Design Projects. But what exactly describes a Living Lab? What are the requirements, challenges and potentials of such an approach? In this semester course we develop and implement concepts for Living Labs. The results will serve as an open source blueprint for Living Labs. The course is part of the “Community Now?” bilateral project with the Bezalel Academy Jerusalem. In June 2014, the partner students will visit us in Berlin. The class results will be presented at the symposium & exhibition in February 2015, in cooperation with the Jewish Museum Berlin.

Cultural probe

During the last study trip, the students gathered with a new cultural probe tool unexpected insights and a good basis for discussion, analyses and research. The results will be discussed in a follow up and presented at the exhibition and symposium of “Community Now?” at the beginning of 2015.

Study trip to Israel

An exchange study trip with our students from the Community Now Semester Course at the UdK took place from 18th to 25th February 2014. We had amazing days and great time with our partner students and researchers from the master’s degree program at Hansen Center, Bezalel Academy. We did mapping exercises, tested our new tools like the De-Routing App, gathered insights and material, got to know several neighborhoods in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and had a lot of work and fun together!

Efrat Meyer from Yad Be Yad gave us an introduction to the neighborhoods we are working with in the joint project, at the Symposium we got to know several initiatives and projects that are relevant for our research, we listened to the singer Shaanan Streett from Hadag Nahash, visited Idan’s Kibbutz up in the north, enjoyed the Muslala Humus & Arts Tour with Oron, dipped into the Dead Sea and much more! With the new cultural probe, the students gathered unexpected inspiration and a good basis for discussion, analyses and research. Looking very much forward to the trip of the Bezalel students to Berlin, end of May. See also: Master’s degree program at Bezalel

Analog Digital Letter Box at Mehringplatz

We will present the letter box on Friday evening, December 20, from 5 to 7 pm – at the Neighborhood Event ‘Winterfest’ at Mehringplatz, pedestrian area.

The letter box allows neighbors to write analog postcards to their neighborhood and send them as projection during the event and as blog entry. The digitized statements will be projected, a discussion feature allows to reply via text message. If you are in town: come over and see!

Presentations and Round Table

Together with Sarah Auslander and David Spectre from the Bezalel Academy Jerusalem, we had a two days intensive class with interim presentations and a round table in the Community Now Neighborhood Lab; with great feedback also from our guests Dr. Michael Jansen, president of the DIZF board, and Dr. Andreas Eberhardt, director of the DIZF, our research associates Michelle Christensen and Florian Conradi and Candy Hartmann, director of the Quartiersmanagement Mehrinplatz.

Worksession in Tel Aviv

Right before having a successful presentation for the board of the Future Forum Foundation at Ber Sheva we had a great meeting – once again in this wonderful garden in Tel Aviv. We se the students tandem details and are looking very much forward to presenting the students work at Hansen Center in February 2014!

Mapping Workshop at Bezalel Academy

On November 13th we had a workshop at the Hansen Center, the new building of Bezalel University of Art and Design Jerusalem. We presented the interim results of our collaboration project ‘Community Now?’, had interesting inputs by Hagit Keysar from Ben Gurion University and a Community Organizer working in Jerusalem. We did a mapping and research question exercise and had a very interesting afternoon with the Bezalel students and our research team!

New Neighborhood Lab: Mehringplatz Berlin

The launch of our new “Community Now” workspace at MadaMe (Mehringplatz 8/9) with the Workshop De-Routing, lead by Michelle Christensen and Florian Conradi. “Community Now?” is supported by: Deutsch-Israelisches Zukunftsforum (DIZF) and
MadaMe am Mehringlatz/Globale eV
A project led by: UdK Berlin/Design Research Lab, DGTF, Bezalel Academy
Partners: Goethe-Institut Tel Aviv, Jüdisches Museum Berlin

“Community Now” – Kick-Off Meeting in Israel


ast week, we visited Israel for the Kick-Off of our joint project “Community Now?“.
It was an amazing research trip, full of wonderful encounters and insights. Together with our partners from the Bezalel Academy, we worked on issues in the particular neighborhoods, discussed joint approaches, methods and research questions.

We visited the sculptor and farmer Uri Sigal-Galkin in his Moshav Amikam, plotted plans with the Goethe Institut Tel Aviv, spoke with Eyal Danon at the Digital Art Center Holon, visited the Yad Be Yad (Hand in Hand) School in Beit Safafa, the exhibition space Hensen Center for Design at the former hospital – and of course the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design on Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

Project Overview


hat does intercultural Community Building mean today? How can we connect engaged communities from Jerusalem and Berlin? The aim of the project is to develop, together with existing civic initiatives, design tools and strategies that strengthen the structures of the communities and give them a new public. Through digital formats and local interventions like Living Labs, “Community Now?” develops alternative ways of empowerment and political participation. Beyond the familiar themes of diplomatic relations between Israel and Germany, we are interested in the understanding of individual citizens and in their commitment.

A project funded by the German-Israeli Future Forum Foundation (DIZF)