raumlaborberlin is Roland prizewinner 2021

The Roland Prize for Art in Public Space 2021 is awarded to raumlaborberlin.

Raumlaborberlin is an architectural collective founded in 1999 in Berlin, operating at the intersection of architecture, urban planning, art, and urbanism. With over 20 years of experience, Raumlaborberlin has consistently regarded the convergence of architectural and visual arts media as a political endeavor, emphasizing the link of artistic and architectural endeavors with social engagement. Rather than adhering to hierarchical structures, Raumlaborberlin operates democratically, placing significant emphasis on participation—actively involving users and visitors in the planning, execution, and utilization of their projects. The collective describes its approach as follows:
“For each project, we assemble a tailored team of experts. We view city residents as experts as well, as nobody understands their respective environments better than those who interact with them daily. This allows us to gather invaluable insights into the narratives, anxieties, aspirations, fundamental needs, and shortcomings that permeate every spatial context like an invisible web. We infuse this amassed knowledge with imagination. Recognizing that the future begins now, we forge collaborative alliances between local stakeholders and external specialists. Through this collaboration, we uncover new areas for action that we explore collectively and evaluate for their future viability. This approach, which we term ‘research-based design,’ involves engaging directly with the site, discovering and utilizing its inherent conditions. Through active intervention and shaping, we not only deepen our understanding of our field but also develop novel methodologies to enrich existing environments and facilitate processes of appropriation. Rather than solving problems, we initiate processes that empower stakeholders to navigate their circumstances, enabling them to recognize, comprehend, and utilize the city and its dynamics, along with its potential.
This year, the jury for the Roland Prize made a deliberate decision to award the prize not to an individual artist for their lifetime achievements, but to a collective that embodies collaborative and democratic action as both an artistic and social vision for the future.”