UCL Urban Laboratory


Between Art and Science: Responses to Urban Nature in Berlin

British Academy

Professor Matthew Gandy

In this research project, funded by a grant from the British Academy, Matthew Gandy will examine cultural and scientific responses to urban nature focusing on spontaneous forms of nature in postwar Berlin.  Unplanned spaces of nature such as wastelands were very extensive in the postwar era but have also proliferated over the last twenty years as a result of German unification and industrial restructuring.  The research has two aims: firstly, a focus on artistic responses to urban nature through the work of two artists, Paul Armand-Gette and Ulrike Mohr, who have explored different facets to the spontaneous landscapes of Berlin; and secondly, a consideration of the role of the city itself, as an experimental space for the development of urban ecology.