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Creative Environment – A guide to art and sustainability initiatives in Berlin

Creative Environment – A guide to art and sustainability initiatives in Berlin

"Explorations of the borderlands of art and environmental sustainability in order to contribute – from a scientific, artistic and human perspective – to the constructive power and creativity that can emanate to the world from this particular area"

In December 2017 the publication "Creative Environment – a guide to art and sustainability initiatives in Berlin" was published by Ecologic Institute. The guide is the result of Ecologic Institute's inaugural Writer-in-Residence program. Curator Yasmine Ostendorf spent two months conducting interviews and researching initiatives in Berlin that are working in the shared spaces between art and sustainability.

The publication, which includes both English and German sections, highlights thirteen diverse ventures which make up part of the cultural landscape in the city of Berlin. The initiatives featured included housing projects, community gardens, galleries, music, cultural institutions and a bookshop, amongst others, showing the spectrum of engagement in this sphere.

In addition to describing the specific projects, Ostendorf, who is founder of the Green Art Lab Alliance (GALA), interviewed a variety of scientists, cultural visionaries, artists and members of academia in order to gather information on different aspects of the discourse on art and sustainability. The guide includes, amongst other things, a compilation of these insights, including motivations for working in this unique field, the perceived impact and inherent challenges, discourse on perceptions of the word sustainability as well as recommendations and ideas for systemic change.

This publication represents the first City Guide of this nature, following on from Ostendorf’s previous mapping of pioneering cultural organizations engaging with environmental issues across Asia. Previous publications in this series include mappings for Indonesia, Singapore, Korea and is soon to include Taiwan.

Ecologic Institute’s Writer in Residence program took place in cooperation with the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies and was supported by the Asia-Europe Foundation’s culture360 program. The project, including the production of the publication, was additionally sponsored by the Schweisfurth Foundation, the Andrea von Braun Foundation and the Bausch Foundation.

"Creative Environment" is available for purchase from Ecologic Institute for €5.

Order print version

A digital copy of the publication can be downloaded here.


Ostendorf, Yasmine 2017: Creative Environment. A guide to art and sustainability initiatives in Berlin. Berlin: Ecologic Institute.

English, German
Yasmine Ostendorf

Translation: Stefanie ALBRECHT
Comments on concept and content: Jennifer JOSENHANS and Camilla BAUSCH

92 pp.
Project ID
Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Noteworthy people and places in Berlin
    2.1 Directory of initiatives

  • anexact/K. Verlag
  • Art Laboratory Berlin
  • art objective – contemporary art collaborations
  • Entretempo Kitchen Gallery and The Food Art Week
  • Green Music Initiative
  • Haus der Kulturen der Welt (The House of the Cultures of the World)
  • id22 - the Institute for Creative Sustainability
  • Orchester des Wandels (Orchestra of Change)
  • Prinzessinnengärten (Princesses Gardens)
  • ufaFabrik - Internationales Kultur Centrum (International Cultural Centre)
  • und.Institut für Kunst, Kultur und Zukunftsfähigkeit (und.Institut for Art, Culture and Sustainability)
  • Zabriskie – Buchladen für Kultur und Natur (Bookshop for culture and nature)
  • ZK/U - Center for Art and Urbanistics

    2.2 Introducing the interviewees

3. Personal drivers
    3.1 A dedicated and meaningful life
    3.2 Communicating the urgency of climate change
    3.3 Childhood memories and aesthetic arrests
    3.4 A social starting point

4. Perceived Impact
    4.1Changing attitudes
    4.2 Low key sceptics
    4.3 Tangible impact
    4.4 Awareness and empowerment
    4.5 Inspiration and energy

5. The Art of Understanding
    5.1 The term sustainability
    5.2 Climate change
    5.3 Communication flaws and interdisciplinary collaboration
    5.4 Questioning the economic system

6. Recommendations and ideas
    6.1 A Change of Attitude
    6.2 Systemic change
    6.3 Artistic and sensory immersion
    6.4 Funding

Dr. Camilla Bausch, Yasmine Ostendorf, art, sustainability, Berlin, cities, transdisciplinary,