University Life Campus Transferale: Thinking Innovative University from the Future

The Transfer_Hub team introduces itself and its projects - and invites you to participate

Festival "Transfer" on Alice Salomon square
ASH Berlin

Like many initiatives at ASH Berlin, Campus Transferale stands for departure and further development. In this project of the 2nd funding line "Innovative University" of the BMBF, the process of ASH Berlin on the way to a transfer-oriented educational campus will be researched and designed: Impulses from the social space can connect here sustainably with the changing structures at the university. In this article, the Transfer_Hub team introduces itself in an interview conversation that Susanna Eder started with her colleague Anja Hermann. Her colleagues Adam Page, Elène Misbach, Olaf Neumann and Bianca Dreyer joined in, so that the text provides insight into mutual processes of reflection on the project.


Susanna: Dear Anja, like me, you have been part of the Transfer_Hub since February and are the scientific coordinator in the team. Since our project was already introduced in the last alice, my first question to you: How would you explain the Transfer_Hub in three sentences to someone you meet in the elevator at ASH Berlin?

Anja: ASH Berlin has acquired a team of researchers who will build and operate a temporary network node between the university and the social space over the next 5 years. From the boulevard Kastanienallee we explore and promote transfer, cooperation, co-creation and mutual learning from and with each other. How we best fill these terms is something we will experiment with together with people outside and inside the university.

Susanna: When you talk about "we," who is behind it all?

Anja: Our project structure is actually somewhat complex, this is because we research and act as a network. Cooperation partners were already included in the application process, because that's the only way future-oriented transfer works. They are also part of the "we". The professors in management positions and the transfer officer are responsible for communication with the university and within the university.

In addition to the two pilot projects already planned, "Zwischenräume" and "Community Spaces", others may follow, which will then naturally become part of this "we". The second sub-project, the Service Agency Participatory Research, will also introduce itself in detail in one of the following issues of alice.

Susanna: Some of us are still new at ASH Berlin and in the district - what stands out, what are already relevant findings?

Hellersdorf is a district that lives with many attributions. But the district is much more diverse than the circulating clichés. Right from the first day, Adam from the nGbK art association, which has been active in Hellersdorf for many years with the "station urbaner kulturen," invited us to discover this diversity. Together with the nGbK, he published the book "Die Pampa lebt. Hellersdorf as a large housing estate yesterday, today and tomorrow", which allows us to dive step by step into the diverse positions in the district. Adam is part of the Transfer_Hub with the pilot project "Zwischenräume". Specialist literature, e.g. by the sociologist Steffen Mau about the large housing estate Lütten Klein on the outskirts of Rostock, which has certain similarities to Hellersdorf, also opens up for us to better understand the district and its inhabitants. Mau (2020) diagnoses a fractured society when he writes about "life in the East German transformation society". These fractures also exist in Hellersdorf. He emphasizes that he has made a diagnosis with his study, but does not give recommendations on how to deal with it. For the Transfer_Hub at ASH Berlin - a university of applied sciences in the SAGE area - this is an advantage.

Susanna: Why is there a need for a Transfer_Hub at ASH Berlin?

Anja: The university is growing and bursting at the seams. The new building at Kokoschkaplatz is on schedule. To revitalize the Helle Mitte is a concern for many. Based on existing cooperations, an educational campus of the future is to be created, which is oriented towards sustainable transfer and of which the residents are an immanent part. This process will be accompanied and researched in the Transfer_Hub. New formats will be created and tested. In this way, ASH Berlin, as an innovative university, is fulfilling its social mission: to open up further and to become a visible and connectable part of the ecosystem that surrounds it. Students learn in exchange with their environment, with the residents of the district, with local cooperation partners - and beyond. The point is to work together on ideas for a sustainable future, to develop new narratives that can be carried into the world. The role of the Transfer_Hub is to think and act analogously as well as digitally in order to be able to look beyond ASH Berlin and the district.

Susanna: What could this revitalization and mutual enrichment of campus and district look like in concrete terms? Perhaps you, Adam, who is responsible for the pilot project "Zwischenräume", could say something about this?

Adam: The goal is to bring the worlds of experience of ASH Berlin and those of the residents of the district into a dialogue. We want to think of them as a collective resource for the location and use them to sustainably revitalize the campus and the district. In formats such as exhibitions or film evenings, "Zwischenräume" wants to put the social transformations in the district in relation to those at ASH Berlin. Two overarching themes will be addressed: Educational and creative justice. All of these formats, interactions, and processes will be researched, and the findings can feed back into the Transfer_Hub. The research assistant, Miriam Pieschke, will then report on "Community Spaces" in one of the next alice issues.

Susanna: And how can other employees of ASH Berlin become part of the Transfer_Hub?

Anja: A project like this lives from the fact that it develops together. Our doors are - symbolically speaking - open.

Elène: We will also organize an annual transfer festival Transferale, which takes place in public space and invites to a professional and at the same time success celebrating dialogue. Students, cooperation partners and residents are explicitly addressed as participants and (co-)makers.

Adam: "Zwischenräume" will also be accompanied by a residents' advisory board. We are looking for residents of Hellersdorf who would like to support a rapprochement between the campus and the district. Here, too, residents of the district, students of ASH Berlin, and employees are particularly in demand.

Susanna: Would you be confident enough to formulate a kind of vision? What do we want to have achieved after 5 years?

Anja: The Transfer_Hub is a temporary travel companion. We are working on our own abolition during the five years. At the end of the project, we want to have achieved that transfer has become more visible and more connectable, both analogously and digitally, and that it is lived at ASH Berlin in a future-oriented way. We want to have achieved that open-ended experiments, spatially and in terms of content, have enriched, enlivened and sustainably influenced the understanding of transfer at ASH Berlin, in the district and beyond.


Literature: Mau, S. (2020), Lütten Klein. Life in the East German transformation society. Berlin: Suhrkamp Taschenbuch Verlag.


Further Information:

Team Transfer_Hub
Café Interfix, Stollberger Straße 63 (on the Boulevard Kastanienallee)
Contact: transfer_hub@