Ecopolis München: Ecopolis Night

“A Student Exhibition on Munich’s Environmental Histories”

All photographs courtesy of Florin Prună.

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In late July, students of the RCC’s Environmental Studies Certificate Program organized Ecopolis München: Umweltgeschichten einer Stadt. This interactive multimedia exhibition showcased Munich’s environmental histories through the students’ final projects, and was curated by doctoral candidate Sasha Gora, research assistant Raphaela Holzer, and the Deutsches Museum’s exhibitions curator Nina Möllers.

Over 200 people attended the special evening, among them prominent guests including professors from various universities, city representatives, journalists, Selbach Umwelt Stiftung founder Karl Heinrich Selbach, and Green party leader Margarete Bause.

The evening opened with an informal welcome from RCC director Christof Mauch and a number of students involved in the organization of the exhibition. President of LMU Munich Bernd Huber then gave the official opening address, remarking on the fantastic work the students had done.

Held in the Lichthof of the LMU main building, the Ecopolis night fully came alive with a student slam that introduced the exhibition. Students from 12 disciplines showcased the results of their hard work completed during the program. The exhibition brought together a variety of creative elements, allowing the public to engage with text, videos, audio clips, and interactive displays. Guests could stroll through a maze of information and activities, enriching their knowledge of Munich and its hidden histories. In addition to the final projects, posters were on display including those of LMUGrün and the university’s sustainability initiatives. There was also a satellite exhibition featuring the work of those students who have not yet completed their studies.

Later that evening, Mr. Selbach and Markus Vogt, a Selbach foundation board member and chair of Christian Social Ethics at LMU Munich, handed out the Selbach Stiftung’s sustainability awards for 2017. The recipients, recognized for the best PhD dissertation, master’s thesis, and bachelor’s thesis respectively were: Sebastian Kistler (LMU Munich), Matan Dahan (TUM), and Lydia English (Hochschule Muenchen). This is the third time the sustainability prizes have been awarded as part of the Münchner Hochschultage.

Humboldt fellow and Carson visiting scholar Daniel Barber then led a roundtable discussion on Architecture and Environmental Futures. The discussion formed part of the workshop Environmental Histories of Architecture, which concluded the following day.

Finally, 14 students took to the stage to introduce their final projects in an eco-slam. Their stories asked: Who do urban environments belong to and how do we envision them in the future? Each project offered a glimpse into Munich’s intriguing (and often surprising) history—from Fröttmaning’s garbage mountain, now a green playground for children, to the mushroom tunnels and beer cellars of underground Munich.

The evening event was a great success and celebrations continued well into the night. Although the Ecopolis exhibition ran for just three days, there will soon be a publication featuring the process of its production. You can also visit the Ecopolis Virtual Exhibition at The Environment & Society Portal!

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