In September 2018, IDEM 22 (International Design Education Meeting) was taking place at Prora on the Island of Rügen, hosted by the Folkwang University of the Arts, Germany.
The topic „The Self and the Other“ addresses the problem of selfindulgence and separative tendencies towards people who are different, which are arising in our society today. It deals with new tendencies towards racism, antisemitism and populistic forms of propaganda, accelerated, nowadays through social media. This choice of topic certainly is a reaction to the location, which is a sore reminder of Germanys Nazi history and later on of the regime of the GDR, when Germany was separated due to the aftermath of WW II.
Prora was conceived by leaders of Nazi Germany as a colossal beach resort on the island of Rügen. Built in 1936–1939 after designs by architect Clemens Klotz, this was a part of the sections Kraft durch Freude organized by the DAF Deutsche Arbeitsfront ,which was a substitute for the previous worker unions. The slogan Strength through Joy (in translation) meant that people would vitalize their body and empower their souls for the upcoming wartime. Prora was designed to house 20,000 vacationists at the same time , but the site was never completed as planned, due to WW II.
For the six day IDEM 22 workshop approx. fifty students and twenty professionals came together from all over the world – from Holon/Israel, Lund/Sweden, Genk&Gent/Belgium, Essen and Dortmund/Germany, but also from Norway, Brazil, and the USA. Deriving from a multitude of different cultural backgrounds, the topic and the location provoke jolt experiments and investigations of all kinds, likfe f.e. alienation from nature, architectural interpretations or interventions, selfie culture, digitalization and propaganda, the Foucault concept of „Heterotopia“ etc.
Stéfane Riethauser – Director of the movie Prora
Ale Dumbsky – Lecture: Gentrifizierung und Paranoia