Mall Anders

Open Learning Lab for Science and Society

Mall Anders was an unprecedented, innovative teaching and learning lab for science in Berlin: a true pioneer! Over a period of eight months from December 2021 until June 2022, Berlin’s Freie Universität, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Technische Universität Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin used a 380-square meter space in the WILMA shopping mall in Charlottenburg to explore new paths in science communication and the co-production of knowledge at the interface of university and society.
A total of 250 events were staged, making Mall Anders a true mirror of the diversity in our university and knowledge culture. The topics covered ranged from urban development and mobility to brain research, linguistics and mathematics to pop music research and classical studies. The formats and methods used were no less broad in scope and included talks, exhibitions and panel discussions as well as science slams, workshops, artistic interventions, open stages and repair cafés and other forms of knowledge sharing.

More to read

Thorsten Philipp / Katarina Marej / Leo Fenster Didaktische Experimente im Spielfeld zwischen Universität und Gesellschaft: Ein transdisziplinäres Lernlabor im Einkaufszentrum
In: Transferwissenschaften – Mode oder Mehrwert? Hg. von Konstantin Kiprijanov,Thorsten Philipp und Thorsten Roelcke (unter gleicher Beteiligung). Frankfurt am Main:Peter Lang, 2023 (im Erscheinen).

Aims and target groups

Given the complexity of the problems they address, universities and scientific institutions are faced with the increasingly urgent task of using new learning spaces to enable and facilitate dialog, encounters and systematic collaboration with business, politics, culture and civil society. Mall Anders was an attempt to establish an interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning lab for working on key research topics in urban space. Its location in a shopping mall provided an accessible meeting space for everyone and was thus not limited by campus boundaries and exclusive building forms.

Researchers and students from Berlin’s universities as well as representatives from politics, culture, business and civil society were able to use the space for events centered on the innovative transfer of knowledge. Use of the space was free and there were no admission charges.

Mall Anders - Workshop/Exhibition

Mall Anders as a space for transdisciplinary learning

Mall Anders was conceived as a transdisciplinary project. It thus defined a research and learning principle that operates as a bridge between university and society: Transdisciplinary approaches assume that scientific knowledge is only one of many available knowledge resources and that science and studies are strengthened through the inclusion of knowledge resources that are as plural as possible (e.g., professional knowledge, practical knowledge, embodied knowledge).

As a place of dialog and encounter at the interface between university and society, Mall Anders was initiated, curated, and scientifically evaluated by Transdisciplinary Teaching at TU Berlin. The implementation, spatial design, program coordination and didactic design were conducted in cooperation with the University’s Natural Building Lab.

Mall Anders - Workshop/Exhibition