Urban Catalyst

Group – Berlin, Germany

2001 – 2003


Urban Catalyst was a European research project based in Berlin during 2001-2003 that explored strategies for the temporary use of left-over sites in urban areas. Founded by Phillipp Misselwitz, Phillipp Oswalt and Klaus Overmeyer the project was organised as an interdisciplinary platform for research and public interventions in order to stimulate discussion amongst architects and planners about the use of void spaces in the city. The project took as its topic the various unplanned and informal uses of these spaces, which operate within informal economies and fall outside the remit of traditional urban planning. Using the city of Berlin as their site, Urban Catalyst organised a series of events, exhibitions, publications and workshops, in order to develop strategies for integrating such processes into the urban design of contemporary cities. They research explored new forms of urban development where citizens would be the initiators rather than professional developers.

Other Work

Philipp Misselwitz, Philipp Oswalt and Hans-Ulrich Obrist, Fun Palace 200X, Der Berliner Schloss platz. Abriss, Neubau oder grüne Wiese? (Berlin: Martin-Schmitz-Verlag, 2005).

Philipp Misselwitz and Philipp Oswalt, 'Palast der Republik: Architects as Agents', in Verb Connection: Architecture Boogazine (Barcelona: Actar, 2004).


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