Berlin Seminar – Contemporary Practices and Sustainable Futures
Since 2012, Required seminar for Landscape Arch. and Architecture students as part of
the study abroad program from the Northeastern University Boston, Berlin
Instructor: Jan Otaktar Fischer
Teaching Fellow: Jan Schreiber
Berlin, like much of Germany, is a leading center of innovative design and sustainable architecture.
A strong societal and political will to promote high-performing, energy-efficient architecture and urban
planning has produced a body of contemporary precedents that has become a benchmark for European
and global sustainable design. Significantly, this architectural and urban design culture has proven
to be a positive symbol for a newly reunified Germany as a progressive, responsible, and prosperous state.
The Berlin Seminar will focus on the more important architectural, urban, and infrastructural developments
that have emerged in Germany over the past twenty years, but it will also focus on the political mandate
for sustainable thinking and its impact on contemporary design.
Accordingly, students will study sustainable design at multiple scales: the micro-scale of architectural
details and integrated technical systems; the architectural scale of efficient and passive energy buildings;
the urban scale of architectural intervention in the metropolitan context; the regional scale of open space
and transportation networks; and the macro-scale of political