Young People Discover The Potential Inside Them.

The curtain is raised. Light on! Rashid, 23, from Iran, enters the room and, beaming with joy, presents the designer object he has invented to his family, friends and acquaintances who have gathered here.  It is a speaker made from a truncated glass bottle shaped into a horn as the output and a piece of copper pipe with a hole as the pickup. Dock your smartphone, put your music on and enjoy. Steve Jobs, eat your heart out.

Rashid is one of around 250 teenagers and young adults, who in the last eight years have passed through our Bildungsmanufaktur (‚education factory‘). They have included pupils from all types of schools in the school system. People with or without a migration background. Young people bursting with energy alongside those who don’t know what their next move is.

They all come here over a period of several months to meet each other and, with the help of experienced artists, craftspeople and designers, come up with design ideas and then actually make them. The formal term for it is ‚vocational guidance‘. We prefer to call it a personal journey of discovery. And by the end of it everyone knows what’s hidden inside them. And that’s what counts.

The role model: In the 1920s the artist Johannes Itten designed the ‚Bauhaus preliminary course‘. Anyone who wanted to train as an artist, architect or designer at the Bauhaus art school in Weimar was first required to pass this manual skill-oriented introductory course. Many art schools worldwide still take their inspiration for their basic vocational training programmes from the Bauhaus model.

The Bildungsmanufaktur was established in 2010 and was initially primarily geared towards young refugees. The idea is to help participants to get settled, to allow them to catch up on anything they may have missed out on, and to build up their trust and confidence in new surroundings. Every morning up to 60 youngsters come to S27 from their school gyms or temporary accommodation, from Monday to Friday, for seven months.

Each day begins with a one and a half hour German class. This is followed by four hours in the creative workshops, ‚die Kochinsel‘, ‚Clan B‘ or ‚die Macherei‘. There they practise working with wood, metal, glass, ceramic, textiles, plastic, paper and food – within the projects there’s always a new material for them to discover, try out, design and invent.

The workshops also offer the ideal surroundings to improve one’s linguistic and mathematical skills along the way, both of which are key requirements in order to enter the school or apprenticeship systems. Participants also get a certificate from the Chamber of Crafts (Handwerkskammer) for each module they complete.

Open doors. Make friends. Gain confidence. We go on visits to Berlin businesses to work towards achieving these goals. The participants cook, eat and have fun together, and at the end of each course they can proudly present their work to their family, friends and acquaintances.

Photo 1,2: Burkhard Peter & Michele Caliari // Photo 3: Yvonne Wadewitz // Photo 4: Michele Caliari // Photo 5: Luis Krummenacher // Photo 6,7: Milly Reid // Photo 8: Aris Kress-Kallidromitis // Photo 9-15:  Maximilian Dreusch, Federica Teti // Photo 16,17: Luis Krummenacher

CLAN B
We’re a group of young people from different countries who started an initiative in June 2018 to support people in need. We ourselves know difficult times and difficult situations in life, which is precisely why we want to be active and help others. We call ourselves “Clan B” – the name stands for alternative, sustainable forms of life and at the same time for friendship and support: We try out creative forms of backing that we want to offer ourselves and other young people in need.

TO BUILD
We work in workshops with professionals from the craft and design sectors; in the meantime, we have already built our own headquarters for our group. We are working on do-it-yourself strategies against dependence on the consumer world.

EXCHANGE STATION
Cooking, making music, discussing – that brings different scenes and cultures together. We are currently building a mobile kitchen to be present at parties and in public places.

HELP
Whether at the children’s party or in the homeless shelter, at the neighborhood party or in the retirement home – we like to lend a hand where support is needed.

More about the project HERE!

Photos: Milly Reid, Aris Kress-Kallidromitis, Alaa Hassan, Luis Krummenacher, Wesam Karema

DIE KOCHINSEL
We are an initiative of young people, who have traveled from all over the world, with many different talents and special knowledge. We are united by a passion: we dedicate ourselves to the art of cooking with curiosity and dedication!

DAILY MEETING POINT
We meet in the mornings around the large kitchen counter, right in the heart of the S27. We plan, cut, wash, stir, discuss, laugh and improve our German. We combine cooking with fresh, healthy and, if possible, seasonal ingredients. The result: healthy pleasures that bring guests and groups of the S27 to one table.

COOK TOGETHER – GROW TOGETHER
We remember our homeland and create something new! We exchange recipes, stories and traditions at the stove and experiment with visionary ideas of a world cuisine. We see ourselves as a sustainable and transcultural project with the goals of perspective development, professional orientation and a large portion of empowerment. A competent social team accompanies and advises us on our way into the future.

OUTSIDE WITH YOU: CATERING AND SOCIAL MEDIA
On request, other project teams, groups and companies can also enjoy our fusion kitchen – we design individual catering and finger food concepts. A cooking blog has been set up on Instagram to share our favorite recipes and experiences with you (@diekochinsel). Good Appetite!

DIE MACHEREI
The Macherei (‘The Makery’) is an experimental workshop and a place of learning at the same time. In our shop at Schlesische Straße 10/11, we develop and design surprising everyday objects, and we’re interested in ideas for living. The name »Die Macherei« stands for limitless desire to get started and try new things. We, the young MAKERS, come from all over the world: the creative approaches of the productions play with colours and shapes that we bring with us as creative impulses from our countries.

WORKSHOP OF POSSIBILITIES
The focus of our work is curiosity about craft experiments and the great appreciation of resources. We examine materials and traditional techniques and try out methods for creative processes. Our project is inspired by the old Bauhaus preliminary course, because here the handling of materials and basic design principles was learned in various studios.

INVITING
Again and again we open our doors and invite you to exchange ideas. We present our creations, talk about recycling, spin new ideas with our guests and are also available for small repairs. Neighbours, friends and interested parties can bring old, used, superfluous and beloved things to us – we continue to work with them and create new things.

The various course groups are separately funded by:

  • Berlin Senate Department for Education, Youth and Family (“Senatsverwaltung für Bildung, Jugend und Familie”)