I was invited by ASA-FF & “Marxmobil” to create a participative project to foster a discussion around alternative mobility. “Sonnenberg” is an area of Chemnitz hit particularly hard by the exodus of people after the fall of the GDR, with lots of beautiful old Gründerzeit-era buildings empty and in decay. One big problem of Sonnenberg is the heavy traffic: The main roads are busy with cars.
To invite a discussion about that traffic and alternative ways to move through the city and experience the beautiful architecture, i created the „Skilift Sonnenberg“, a company with the plan to create 2 ski lifts running up the most affected streets crossing the Sonnenberg hill. I set up a a planning office, inviting the locals to visit and give their feedback on the plans: If a Ski lift is not the right answer, what is?
The vision: a ski lift in the city center
Visualisation of what the streets could look like without cars, but with a ski lift.
To get the attention of the Chemnitz residents, i created a website, Facebook page and a viral sticker campaign against the Skilift („NO SKI LIFT AT THE SONNENBERG“).
My background of growing up in West-Germany also offered me a chance to play into the stereotype of patronising „Wessis“ (Germans from the BRD) coming to the Ex-GDR and telling the people there how to „run things“ in a capitalistic context, often ignoring local talents.
The planning office
The planning office was divided in two parts: In the front, my „vision“ for the ski lift was presented, in the back room visitors were invited to draw their own vision of the future of Sonnenberg on large-scale maps.
Event: The laying of the foundation stone
Michael Milow performing the laying the foundation stone (a marshmallow).
Very special thanks to Nino Micklich (MarxMobil) and Michael Milow.