Kesselberg: an intentional community

Like any self-respecting architect, the utopian ambitions of the intentional community or commune are ever intriguing, as has been previously documented here.

Last weekend I had to the chance to visit the community of Kesselberg, in Brandenburg outside of Berlin. It wasn't really appropriate to take lots of photos, and most of the ones I did take were of their neat plant-based landscape water treatment system.  However, a few notes of general interest:

Kesselberg is at the eastern end of the S-Bahn + regional bus service. You exit at this landfill and proceed into the woods.


My German is still coming along, but basically Kesselberg was a GDR-era Military communication base that went up for auction post-unification.  It changed hands a couple times but despite the efforts of the mayor of a neighboring village, the current group acquired the property 8 years ago. It seemed as though there are explicitly no rules, and the taxes on the land are paid by leasing the rights to a cell phone antenna on the property. 

There are a few windmills for electricity but the heat is mostly wood, which with the January Brandenburg  temperatures, and drying sheep skins strung up between trees (no joke), only increased the heavy medieval vibe. So far the community is about 50 people, including some children who have been born in Kesselberg. 

They've established facilities such as artisan metal and wood shops, a dance hall with a stage and a bunch of instruments (drums, guitars, synths, etc), a kitchen, a free store for clothes, and room for dry goods storage. Informal relationships with a  wholesale and retailers in the area provide a lot of expired food. Interestingly enough, it seemed like the general consensus was to eschew all forms of government, including assistance from the German Welfare State. Also of note, everyone I met there was European, although there was some mention of a Cuban national living there.

I guess thats it for now. Perhaps a more indepth analysis of the water cleaning system woud be in order, but its probably more interesting in warmer weather anyway, when the water is flowing and my German is better. Also, Vernal Equinox Rave.

Parametrics con't

The struggle to develop increasingly complex associative geometries and make parametric modeling relevant is the same struggle.

For rhetorical purposes, I'll momentarily concentrate on the former. A few images from an exercise this fall/winter with Lisl Kotheimer (David Mah)...

I'll be spending the next year in Berlin trying to figure out the latter....

The video
(music from Cool Water by Maximillion Dunbar)

Some photos of the model we constructed in the video:

so....what are the possibilities? (up next)