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Technische Universität BerlinDesignBuild Summer Studio – community spaces with refugees

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DesignBuild Summer Studio – Community spaces with refugees

Summer University Term 2: July 9th - July 20th


Course price: 920 Euros

22 hours of class per week, 3 ECTS credit points, 15 participants


“Community spaces with refugees” is a small-scale but high potential building project for and with refugees in Berlin. The refugee community will be the clients and will actively participate in guiding the project from the design phase to on-site construction. The participants will get insights about the challenges refugees are facing by designing and building together.

The final design will result from a competitive workshop where the most feasible solution will be based on context analysis of the needs and dialogue with the clients. The building of the winning project will be carefully performed under the guidance of a craftsman and in collaboration with the users. 

The challenge will integrate "low-cost" and "high efficiency" solutions with considerations for sustainability, aesthetics, appropriateness, participation and education.

The course will be carried out in an academic environment, engaging in interdisciplinary collaboration between students of Architecture, Landscape Architecture, Urban Design, Civil Engineering, Product Design, and all others who are interested in actively taking part.

In addition to enormous gains in professional knowledge, the goal of the course is to make participants more sensitive to the social, cultural and ecological implications of their work.

This project will be similar to the Summer University projects from 2017:





Learning Goals and Syllabus

The syllabus for DesignBuild is available HERE.

The participants will develop their creative, practical and professional skills through creative experimentation and the process of making.

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


  • Willingness to work in a team. Students may be required to work longer hours depending on the progress status of the project
  • Skills in building crafts are an advantage but not essential. The participants will be involved in an intensive building process guided by a professional craftsman
  • The general prerequisites of the TU Berlin Summer University are at least one year of university experience and English level B2 or equivalent


Simon Colwill, BA(Hons) Dip(Hons)

Simon Colwill studied Landscape Architecture at the University of Greenwich in London and worked for many years thereafter as a freelance landscape architect in Berlin.

He has been a teaching and research assistant at the Department of Landscape Design and Construction at the Technische Universität Berlin since 2004. Here he has supervised many studio projects and seminars in the bachelor and master's program.

Since 2007 he has been a member of CoCoon (http://cocoon-studio.de/), supervising designbuild projects that follow an interdisciplinary designbuild teaching model involving architects, landscape architects and civil engineers. These projects aim to achieve a balance between innovation, good architectural practice, the technical qualities of the result, as well as making a contribution to the community. Additionally, he has been running designbuild projects in Mexico, Egypt, Bolivia and in Germany.
Further information: www.dbxchange.eu/user/365

Fariborz Rahimi Nedjat, Dipl. Ing, MA

Fariborz Rahimi Nedjat studied Architecture at the University of Applied Sciences in Darmstadt and graduated as Dipl. Ing in 2007. He has been working for the Berlin branch office of gmp Architects von Gerkan, Marg and Partners since 2007. Within these years, he worked on many large scale international projects in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. He has a broad experience in designing, detailing, developing and coordinating project processes to a high professional level.

Fariborz obtained a MA in Architecture from the Technische Universität Berlin in July 2015. He has previously developed interdisciplinary designbuild projects in Tanzania, Mexico and Haiti, in cooperation with the departments of architecture, landscape architecture, engineering and water management. He has worked as a tutor at the Habitat Unit of TU Berlin and worked on-site on an earthquake reconstruction research project in Haiti.

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



Courses in Term 2 are designed to be combined with courses in Term 1 or Term 3. If you'd like to do a course in Term 2 by itself, please contact the Summer University team at  

Follow the links for more details on the courses available in Term 1 and Term 3 of the Summer University, or check out the overview.

Brochure & Poster Download

Check out our Brochure and Poster for Summer 2018! 

Course price: 920 Euros

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