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The Edible City: Food, Design and Urban Agriculture

Summer University Term 1: June 11th - July 5th


Course price: 1.850 Euros

18 hours of class per week, 5 ECTS, max. 15 participants


With a focus on urban space, this summer course explores how food – in all its aspects from producing to marketing to selling to composting – can become a better-integrated part of our cities and of urban design. Urban agriculture projects in Berlin will serve as live examples to be studied and as sites for practical growing/building experience. 

The course is suitable for participants who want to gain theoretical and practical knowledge in urban food growing and the design of food-productive urban space. It might of particular benefit to participants from architecture, civil engineering, landscape architecture, urban design, urban planning and product design backgrounds who have an interest in the subject area.

Focus of the course are the effects and consequences that our current (and future) way of feeding cities has on the shape, use and quality of urban space. When exploring this, we especially look at urban food production and work with Berlin as our case study.

Employing methods of design research, we will carry out our investigations in an academic environment that allows theoretical and practice-based exploration of the subject as well as interdisciplinary collaboration between students of urban design, urban planning, product design, architecture, civil engineering and landscape architecture. As this subject area can be approached from a variety of angles, the course also welcomes further particular interests and experiences the prospective students may bring.

Urban agriculture projects in Berlin will serve as live examples to be studied and as sites for practical growing/building experience. Students will have the opportunity to get to know some Berlin-based food-growing projects in greater detail by being engaged in research, gardening and/or building activities that will be jointly planned and carried out by the students and the project’s participants. Co-design and co-building methods will guide our work.

Learning Goals & Syllabus


Students will develop their theoretical knowledge of the emerging subject areas of urban agriculture and urban food systems and learn about methods to design urban space that has a food focus.

They will also develop practical skills in participatory design and building processes by working with selected urban agriculture projects in Berlin.

Outputs will be measured in two ways:

- on the practical level by the engagement with a particular aspect of one of the visited urban agriculture projects;

- on the theoretical level by a paper-based investigation on a theme selected by each student.

For either output, students are encouraged to record and reflect on their learning by means of text, photographs, sketches and the like.


You can download the syllabus for this course HERE

You may find the syllabus useful when discussing with your home University whether the ECTS credits attainable for this course are accepted by them.

Course components

The course consists of teaching and self-study parts.

Teaching will be structured in 4 multi-disciplinary components, each running for 1 week and highlighting a particular aspect of the urban food growing theme: urban agriculture, urban food systems, food & design, food & space.

Each week will be introduced by theory (context-setting lectures and seminars). These will be followed by practical/design exercises and workshops in and for selected food growing projects in Berlin. Each week will conclude with a series of seminars/discussions aimed at synthesising and recording the acquired theoretical knowledge and practical skills.

Self-study will enable students to deepen a particular interest and lead to an individual investigation. Subjects for this will be selected by the students from either the theoretical inputs given or from the practical needs as experienced in the visited urban agriculture projects.

Throughout their course, students will have access to design workshop spaces and study facilities at the University, as well as the opportunity to visit key urban agriculture projects in Berlin and spending time there.

Students will be supported throughout in finding their own working methods for researching, recording and evaluating information, as well as for designing and presenting their ideas. Sketching, photographing, building, gardening, discussing, listening, writing and collaging may be some of the tools we will employ individually or in student teams.


An open and inquisitive mind as well as the willingness to work in teams is a precondition.

The general prerequisites of the TU Berlin Summer University are the following: at least one year of university experience + English level B2 or equivalent.


Katrin Bohn (course leader)

Katrin Bohn is an architect and urban practitioner and a Senior Lecturer in architecture at the University of Brighton, UK. She holds a Diploma in Architecture from the Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Germany, and a Master of Science in Architecture from the University of East London, UK. Between 2010 and 2014, she was guest professor at the Technische Universität in Berlin where she headed the Department City & Nutrition. Katrin has taught, lectured, published and exhibited widely on the design concept of CPUL [Continuous Productive Urban Landscape] which she and architect André Viljoen contributed to the international urban design discourse in 2004. Her projects on productive urban landscapes include consultancy, feasibility studies and design proposals as well as food-growing installations and participatory events. In 2015, Katrin won the RIBA President's Award for Outstanding University-located Research.


Guest lecturers (max. 4; 2 internal (FG Giseke (Prof. Giseke/Brandt/Lindschulte), FG Loidl-Reisch (Simon Colwill)), 2 external (University of Brighton (Prof. Viljoen), further academic); to be confirmed);


 Partners in the participating urban agriculture projects (2 or 3 projects; to be confirmed).


Please direct questions about the course to the TU Berlin Summer University Team at: . We will answer your questions and direct specific queries regarding course content to the course lecturers where necessary. 

Brochure & Poster Download

Check out our Brochure and Poster for Summer 2018! 

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Beth Sibly, Director
+49 30 4472 0230