Christa Müller

Photo of Christa Müller

Christa Müller (Germany) is a sociologist and committed to research on postmaterial lifestyles and on sustainable concepts of prosperity. She was awarded a PhD in sociology by the University of Bielefeld and received the Schweisfurth Research Award for Ecological Economics. She has undertaken fieldwork in Costa Rica, Mexico and Germany. Currently she is director of the joint foundation anstiftung in Munich. She teaches at different Universities. Her most recent books (in German): “Urban Gardening” and Stadt der Commonisten. Neue urbane Räume des Do it yourself (together with Andrea Baier and Karin Werner).

What is the doing doing to urban activists and their surroundings?

Like many of the new DIY / commons / open source movements, the Urban Gardening movement is characterized by a high relevance for action. Whereas previous political movements placed an emphasis on ideologies / utopias and the power of words, today the doing/making is in the foreground: Doing things together, changing places, creating access for all, reclaiming the cities and the public spaces: All this is meaning and purpose of the “practical turn”, which can be observed particularly in major cities. This form of urban design from bottom up and their architectures today instruct the notions of a city of tomorrow. Practice in self-built laboratories such as urban community gardens differs from industrial work in factories or offices. What is the doing doing to urban activists and their surroundings?

Recommended readings

Statements / Questions

  • Which emergent design practice(s) are triggering system(ic) change?

  • Agreement, agonism and/or antagonism – which design strategy would you choose for transition?

  • How do designers tackle embedded power- and infra-structures which are against change?