The Faculty of Architecture at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences, under the direction of Professor Jochen Siegemund from the Master’s specialization in Corporate Architecture, organized an intensive workshop at the CUBITY of the Britta and Ulrich Findeisen Foundation for Art and Architecture in Merzenich from June 12 to 14, 2024. The workshop, which dealt with structural change and the transformation of regional identity, was attended by Master’s students from Cologne University of Applied Sciences under the direction of Professor Ketevan Kupatadze, ILIA State University in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Workshop University of Applied Sciences Cologne Cubity

Opening by Mayor Georg Gelhausen and Scientific Exchange

The workshop was ceremoniously opened by Georg Gelhausen, Mayor of Merzenich, who shared his perspectives on the region’s opportunities and priorities with the students. Professor Ketevan Kupatadze, who was invited as a university partner of ILIA State University in Tbilisi, gave a presentation on her research in Georgia on the evening of the first day. Her work deals with similar topics of structural change and identity transformation, which facilitated a valuable exchange between the students of both universities.

Georg Gelhausen Cubity Merzenich

Focus on Spatial Planning at the Hambach Open-Cast Mine

Not only cities are international, villages can be too. Many situations in rural areas are similar and comparable worldwide, which is why it is worth thinking about villages internationally. The central question of the workshop was: How does a region deal with the loss of identity and the disappearance of village characteristics? This is a problem that the university partners in Tbilisi are also grappling with. The aim of the workshop was to gather basic information and develop a concept for the Merzenich region. The focus here was on the scientific and content-related examination of spatial planning at the Hambach open-cast mine.

Reclaiming Merzenich Projects

Group Work and Presentations by the Students

During the workshop, the students worked in different groups and dealt with the local conditions. Over three days, the students were asked to develop and present content based on topics of their choice, which were then graded by a jury from the faculty. On the first day, the program included welcoming words and an introduction by the mayor, followed by discussions with the individual groups and a presentation by Professor Kupatadze.

University of Applied Sciences Cologne Reclaiming Merzenich Cubity

Overnight Stay in the CUBITY Atelier House

On the second day, field research was carried out on site and the findings were elaborated in group work. On the last day, the final presentation of the concepts developed took place in front of a jury. This international visit from Georgia and the Cologne University of Applied Sciences marked a special milestone for the foundation; it was the first group of students who were allowed to work and stay overnight in the CUBITY Atelier House in Merzenich.

Reclaiming Merzenich Workshop Cubity

We are grateful for the exciting results of this interdisciplinary and international workshop and would like to thank all participants for their support!