Susanne Feldt Laura Jungmann Katerina Sonntagova

# temporary spaces

Uncountable amounts of bulky waste are disposed of in many western countries every year. It is usually picked up regularly from the streets or pavements. In Karlsruhe and various other German cities bulky waste is collected virtually all year – every day in another street, five days a week, each household twice a year. A certain amount of bulky waste is picked up by scavengers before it is collected but most of it remains on the streets until it is picked up in the morning.
What happens to this waste at night, brought out from private into public space, lying in mountains on the street and awaiting its pickup?
Some items might find a new owner but most will end up in piles. For us, these piles of trash still hold unseen treasures, objects that tell personal and day-to-day stories. It is these stories that we collected and put together to form new spaces, which we inspirited for an evening, for a few hours. By collecting and arranging pieces of furniture, plumbing fixtures and smaller items such as dishes and books, we created different rooms which together form an imaginary apartment – consisting of a kitchen, a bathroom, a home office, a living room and a bedroom. The apartment that was created is a sort of sociogram of our throwaway society, a composition or a puzzle, or even a mirror of our wealth, created in Karlsruhe, in five nights. We documented these spaces in a series of five pictures, using and celebrating the objects for the last time with an air of irony. The pictures don’t claim to be professional photographs but rather traces or documentations of a performative act. So far there are only five pictures of five temporary rooms, but we are planning to continue the project in the near future and to publish the “results” in a book or catalogue.
As design-students the project confronted us with the short lifespan of design-objects and we realized how fast items and furniture are discarded as worthless and replaced by new ones. Whether to take part in this vortex of innovation or not remains a major decision every designer has to make for himself. Thus the Photographs not only mirror our throwaway society but also depict the limits and problems of current and future design.

ZKM Scholarship 2010