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Neighborhood Labs: Building urban communities through civic engagement

Andreas Unteidig; Florian Sametinger; Jennifer Schubert; Gesche Joost


This paper describes and critically reflects on the process of Neighborhood Labs Berlin, a design research project with a focus on Design for Social Sustainability (Cipolla & Peruccio, 2008) and Community Infrastructuring (drawing on Binder et al. 2011), which is best described as building flexible, open and re-configurable assemblages of social and material elements that give communities the capability of developing resilient actions. The problems faced by today’s urban citizens are dynamic, ever changing and often unsolvable. In light of this, we argue for creating infrastructures that do not mute, but rather enable the expression of conflicting interests, standpoints and beliefs in order to obtain new publics and negotiation processes (Dewey 2006).