Workshop howto: wandel_stadt_modell – mifactori

Workshop HowTo: Wandel_Stadt_Modell


In this workshop we build a model of a sustainable city. And we are sustainable ourselves. Our model consists exclusively of reusable parts and materials! 100% modular and convertible (“choppable”). So we think about creative city (um) design.

Sequence / modules:

The workshop was developed and carried out in the context of “Palace of the projects – the ecological future city” in the Fichtelgebirge primary school Berlin. Documented is an implementation with 24 children between 6 and 9 years (1-3 class), 3 adults (2 artists, 1 teacher * in) over 3 days with 3 to 3.5 hours working time for the children (8: 00-12: 00). Here we present the sequence in chronological order.

(Documentation written down quickly, no proofreading)

Introduction: “Modularity, interoperability and reuse”

We start the project with a longer introduction to sustainability and then move from there to modularity and interoperability and also explain pre-use. What if the whole city was Lego? Would you still have garbage? Etc.

Highlight nuts and bolts – a city hacking idea.

Building material and construction phases

We show our brought building material and go through it piece by piece. We have a total of 10 different things.

  1. Mason jars
  2. rubbers
  3. A big sack with M4 bolts and nuts
  4. wooden skewers
  5. A large compilation of eitech toys
  6. A large compilation Baufix toy
  7. A big box with wooden blocks
  8. Wire, pre-cut
  9. A bag of plastic parts, mainly plastic lids
  10. Wooden beads and Hama pearls
  11. (Later, when it comes to plants, paper was added)

There is a drilling, where you can drill holes in selected things to increase the interoperability between the materials (for example, in plastic lids or sometimes wooden blocks, which thereby only gain opportunities, but do not lose).

We give one Bauregel from: Each building must combine at least 3 different materials! The first material was randomly decided by cube. Each material had a number and the children have diced.

We have three construction phases performed with a different topic. Each topic is preceded by a detailed introduction: What does the topic have to do with sustainability in the city, or what could it have to do with it? We have a discussion in class, look at pictures online or even a short video. In our case, we were able to rely a lot on the results of the Palace of Projects, e.g. to the already documented workshop on car-free city. Our 3 topics were:


Each construction phase concluded with a detailed presentation of the built works. Who liked, could say something to his work and we discuss the ideas presented and develop them in the conversation together further: “Yes, how would it be, if across the city cable cars went?” Etc.

A race!

At the end of the construction phase on mobility, we are going to race. The vehicles move by cube. The strips of floor parquet are our playing fields. The cargo bike wins just before the wagon!


On the second day, we set up mobile boards throughout the school building, where we will promote our exhibition for the next day. In the middle of the third day we build the exhibition or our complete city model in the classroom. There are some classes coming by. We show them the model and answer their questions.

Then we document our model in detail with videos and photos.


Then comes the most important part. Every child is looking for a building which should also be exhibited longer in the Palace of Projects. We’ll build the rest back. Our modular city model decays back into its original components. Everything is sorted back into our boxes, the wires bent straight back, the screws loosened, and so on. When we’re done, we reflect on that together with the class – that’s how garbage works! Or well, almost garbage-free crafting. Our trash can is not completely empty. There is some paper in it. What happens to the paper afterwards? It is recyclable. Not too bad. But you could not leave it out?

Then we say goodbye.


A project from the eco-city.

The workshop was developed and carried out in the context of “Palace of the projects – the ecological future city” in the Fichtelgebirge primary school Berlin.


The text as well as all pictures on this page are under an open license (CC-BY). So you are free to use. What you have to pay attention to is here.

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Christina Cherry
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