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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 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.