What is the public sphere in a country like Germany? An architect would usually answer this question with reference to the city, as the city – in our cultural history – is the locus of the community. We imagine some kind of universal metropolis in which society’s social, political, economic and cultural space merges with the individual’s place of residence to form one large urban organism. In this vision, the city and all its parts provide a frame for and image of our way of life. It is both the catalyst by which the res publica comes into existence and the stage on which it unfolds. Its physical space is a vessel where built form and collective content are synergetic and mutually dependant.

Even today, we still connect most of the phenomena in our own urban reality with the memory of this historical model. However, there are significant differences that I would like to illustrate using two further concepts. The public sphere is a product of the public in general, i.e. the sum of all factors that are important to define what we would describe as common. The public in general includes the basic political, cultural, ethical and social patterns of communal life in a society, which are essentially enshrined in its laws, rituals and institutions. In a democracy, the notion of the public also embraces a continuous, lively debate. Public debate is the motor of democracy – and majority public opinion its fuel.

Hence the public sphere must obviously include public opinion as a component, but it should also embody more than the mere formation of a majority because, as Adolf Arndt put it in 1961, ‘the [democratic] way of life is by no means based on decision-making alone […], but fundamentally and initially on consensus about the undecidable, which […] makes it possible to live together, singles out the decidable and puts it to the vote.’ [Adolf Arndt: Demokratie als Bauherr – Democracy as a construction client, Anmerkungen zur Zeit, vol. 6 (Berlin: Akademie der Künste, 1961), p. 24]

Ever since the end of the Weimar Republic, if not earlier, public opinion as such has been less and less associated with the physical spaces of the city – and nowadays its centre of gravity lies in the media. This new locus of the public may allow its topics to be disseminated as never before, but the increased speed and ubiquitous availability of media have also radically changed the nature of their content – how it comes about and what it is. In this, politics has become one subject area among many in the plethora of information on offer and has to compete for attention with everything else that is made available day in, day out.

The logic of mediated publicity has flooded the public sphere in such a way that ordinary people (let alone politicians) can barely escape from its gravitational field. I will come back to that later. The rise of the new media has gone hand in hand with an increasing overlap between the private and public spheres. The television set brings news from all over the world into the heart of almost every home, while, in return, newspapers, television and the Internet have increasingly turned into platforms on which even the most intimate details of people’s lives are shared. This maximal access to the public stage seems to favour a kind of inversion or externalisation of private worlds, forming a thick blanket that threatens to obscure most of the public sphere. You are doubtless familiar with the criticism expounded by Richard Sennett, who describes the tyranny of the private as a symptom of the decline of public life.

That brings us to the second term that I would like to introduce as a means of differentiation: namely, public life. This category denotes the kind of interaction between people in society that is political only in the broader sense, encompassing commerce, working environments, recreational clubs and associations, religious communities, community leisure activities, clubbing and nightlife, and social contact of any kind.

In our classical image of the European city, public life unfolds in public space – that is, in public places that are specifically created for this purpose, such as theatres or stadia – or in parallel and simultaneously with political and other activity in the forum, and later in the piazza or on the boulevard. Nowadays, the centres of public life are becoming ever more fragmented and can hardly be located any longer. They are everywhere, in every home and (via the iPhone in my jacket pocket), no longer just in my city, or in Germany or Europe, but potentially all over the planet. From this perspective, public life seems a spatial and temporal continuum of endless possibilities, which makes the city (as a container of public life) look like a piece of outdated hardware that limits the potential of the latest software available and renders it useless in the most tedious way.

This is, however, also because most of the traditional places for social exchange are currently occupied and dominated by commerce. It seems as though shopping is almost the only activity that can still survive in our inner cities. All of the other parts of public life are being increasingly displaced to the periphery and into pockets or, indeed, into virtual space. What makes things worse is the fact that many German cities contain clearly recognisable ethnic, cultural and religious communities that form identifiable subgroups in public life, with the result that the metropolis disintegrates, in a manner of speaking, into many cities. For these groups develop their own forms of public interaction; their participation in public life and in the public sphere of the community as a whole cannot be taken for granted. What is true for our fellow citizens of another origin or religion also naturally applies in various forms to socially divergent sections of the population and to groups with strong regional identities, to name just a few factors of progressive fragmentation.

It thus seems rather difficult to subsume all of these different situations and outlooks on life into a single notion of the public sphere. The ‘undecidable’, of which Adolf Arndt spoke, about which a basic consensus should exist in a democracy, appears to be less self-evident. It therefore seems all the more important to protect the common ground that still exists between the members of a population and still supports a common identity. This observation leads to the third notion that I would like to present: that of public space.

Here I am taking ‘public space’ to mean only the literal physical space beyond that of the individual or the family: whatever is not a house or apartment and is freely accessible to everyone such as roads, squares, parks, vacant sites, stretches of landscape, local and national public transport facilities; buildings for communal use such as public facilities of any kind, sports and cultural buildings, schools and universities; and buildings used by state bodies such as the police, the courts and local authorities that are necessary to maintain and foster the community.

This public space is used more or less regularly by everybody. Even though it represents one of the few common denominators of our polycultural and polyvalent society, most people see it first and foremost as a technical infrastructure. Just as the networks for water and power supply, district heating and sewerage are taken for granted as part of the framework of daily life, the outdoor spaces in our towns are treated first and foremost as support facilities for our contemporary lifestyles, where transport, shopping, leisure and entertainment are all catered for equally.

At the same time, however, public space is our society’s horizon, its reflection and one of its most important manifestations; in the same way that a culture’s degree of refinement can be deduced from the appearance of its people and the cuisine of its restaurants, public space is an indicator of the internal state of a municipality. This applies both outwardly and inwardly, as public space also constitutes the physical background to most of our experiences – the mould, so to speak, where the malleable mass of our imaginations is formed each day, again and again. Winston Churchill’s observation, that ‘we shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us’, remains true even today.

Especially in an age when there is really no alternative to the built environment, it becomes clear how important it is to create awareness of the quality of public space and to look after this valuable commodity well. So the concern is rather to sustain a kind of aesthetic and atmospheric infrastructure (meaning one that is oriented towards sensory perception). Its richness can compensate for the progressive loss of uncolonised territories while it nevertheless has to maintain a causal connection with its original purpose and functionality.

This is important because it is here that, in the course of their daily activities, people experience the events and interactions that can form the basis of common ground and identity. I am thinking less of staged experiences, such as a pop concert or a football match or the well-prepared spaces of tourism, than of the shared experiences of daily life: walking in the same street, using the same means of transport or going to the same swimming pool or playground. Of course, people can build common territory by attending the same event, by remembering jointly admired pop groups or a television series that they may have both watched, or indeed by chatting in a social network on the Internet, but only a repeatedly experienced physical space that is linked subliminally to the individual’s actual being leaves a lasting impression that gives tangible form to the public sphere.

Last but not least, public space is also important because it contains the material manifestation of a large part of our cultural heritage, which explains the genealogy of our communities and constitutes a significant part of the public sphere. You are all familiar with Aldo Rossi’s reading of the city as a space that accumulates artefacts from past generations and thus becomes the memory of a society. This is an interpretation that has touched a popular nerve in Germany, probably because the presence of history is an especially sensitive matter in this country. The intensity with which the debate on reconstructing buildings and cities in Germany is generally conducted seems to reflect this sensitivity. In this context, the fact that even the ageing rebels of the Sixties’ generation now argue in favour of the construction of a certain continuity in the built environment obviously has to do with the relationship between public space and national identity. However, the extent to which one can actually help to keep the substance alive with mere simulation, or reconstruction, generally reverts to the question of the interaction between built form, on the one hand, and users’ behaviour and awareness on the other. The reconstruction of a palace does not, in itself, constitute a viable political or cultural tradition, nor does the construction of a civic forum produce responsible citizens. In both cases, however, offering certain facilities could achieve quite positive effects in the long term, as long as it is clear that the public sphere cannot be themed as a museum. In a democracy, the public sphere must continue to be a living organ of a living society, continually redefining and rediscovering itself, lest the citizens become tourists in their own country.

The public sphere – to summarise what I have said up to now – is thus a basic component of democracy; the public in general, public opinion, public life and public space all play a part in this public sphere. The public in general seems to be exposed to an ever-faster pace of life and change, and public life is marked by increasing fragmentation and dislocation. The public sphere does not remain unaffected by this situation. The ‘undecidable’, which Adolf Arndt described as the subject of fundamental consensus in a society, is not self-evident after all, but rather has to be explained and negotiated anew, time and time again. Public space has special significance in this connection, because – besides offering a shared infrastructure for divergent lifestyles – it forms a common horizon to the everyday that is able to generate a sense of identity. Its quality must penetrate the touristy surface, its constitution is an indicator of the internal state of the community and it concerns every single individual because public space is ultimately the place in which our lives unfold.

So if its protection and maintenance are of such importance in our community, the next question to ask is into whose hands this public space may best be placed. In our societies, based as they are on the division of labour, we delegate individual political responsibilities largely to politicians. If the public sphere is a political issue – which it is to a great extent, as we have established here – then shouldn’t the politicians also be giving it their attention?

In my experience, politicians give their attention first and foremost to public opinion because they want to be elected. It seems difficult to find anyone among them who is seriously concerned about the undecidable in the public sphere. What’s more, neither knowledge nor interest can be taken for granted when built space is actually discussed. If you are looking for instances in recent years when this topic was the subject of national debate in any form equal to Adolf Arndt’s lucid and farsighted speech of 1960 (to which I have already referred several times here), then you may have a long search ahead of you. At a national level, it seems, the built environment is a subject of secondary importance in this country. If politicians get involved in it at all, they do so at municipal and sometimes regional level – perhaps because the participants are closer to the action there and it may be easier to recognise that architects are not just acting in the interest of individual developers or to satisfy their supposedly inflated egos but are, in many cases, looking for dialogue with people who care and have something intelligent to say.

From my own experience, I would not necessarily expect this kind of openness to dialogue from politicians. The discourse about the public sphere within the culture of architecture does not fit into the relatively shallow and strategy-driven way of thinking that has become typical of contemporary politics. Furthermore, many players in the political arena seem to see this subject of debate either as one that can be tackled adequately with the common sense acquired in the ‘university of life’, or – alternatively – as an area that is better left completely to the experts.

So if it is not the politicians who take responsibility, what about the civil servants? Are the officials in the planning departments and building authorities the guarantors of the public sphere in Germany’s building culture? My answer to that is ‘yes and no’. In large and medium-sized cities especially, public space and the public sphere in general owe a great deal to the chief planning officers or city architects and their teams. The fact that Germany produces any building culture of international repute at all, is largely due to the dedication of people like Christiane Thalgott, Jörn Walter and Regula Lüscher, who often go the extra mile, and even go out on a limb, to promote projects that, without their intercession, would not have had any hope of being built.

In principle, the local authorities are our most important custodians of the public sphere: not only because local government departments act as the client on public sector construction projects, but also because they are independent (at least theoretically) of legislative terms and public opinion. They are specialists who are there to advise the politicians and it is they who run the projects that are of greatest importance to the public sphere. To develop a long-term sustainable future is one of their core tasks. They have enormous influence and their work is of the utmost importance. The best minds of the country should really be employed here. Local government departments ought to be places that nurture a spirit of excellence, one that would challenge both politicians and professionals to deliver outstanding performances.

In my experience, however, the reality is generally different. A civil service career is still considered to be the safe alternative for the less enterprising members of our profession, and the motivation to inspire architectural excellence does not appear to be rooted in the system. Many local authorities are more occupied with internal matters than with their public responsibilities, and some architects employed there see their colleagues in the private sector more as the recipients of instructions, or even as opponents, but not necessarily as their partners. Although I have also had positive experiences with individuals in leadership positions who perform their duties with great responsibility and intelligence, it generally does not seem as though the system would favour initiatives for building in the public sphere.

The various attempts to improve the efficiency of these departments in recent years have tended to focus their activity even more on ensuring that budgets and timelines are met. On top of this comes the complex compliance with various internal protocols, and the prime priority of preventing any misuse of taxpayers’ money. All of these aspects combine to create a mentality of control and prohibition that makes it hard to think positively.

Moreover, as in Germany’s universities, civil servants can hardly be fired; this stands in the way of a reform that would make the provision of service more dynamic. The quest for excellence should be the driving force here, but the actual content gets buried beneath a mountain of meeting minutes and files, and you end up asking yourself whether we want to really afford this very generously dimensioned government bureaucracy that we still have in Germany, especially given the general squeeze on public finances.

As I have stated, much depends on the individual, but it has to be said that it is precisely the progressive individuals who, in my experience, come up against a brick wall time after time. One reason for this is that civil servants are, in turn, dependant on politicians. On some projects, I have heard the term ‘political decision’ to be synonymous with a kind of force majeure that, like the weather, one is powerless to influence. Hence it would be worth considering the idea of granting the public building administrations, together with a commitment to excellence, a degree of independence and personal responsibility, which could establish a sense of autonomy and create the aura of a responsible partnership.

The introduction of more flexible ways of working, greater openness to the profession, more substance and less bureaucracy would greatly benefit building culture and the public sphere. As, in my opinion, notwithstanding all the criticism and weaknesses, the public building authorities are among those who currently have the greatest potential to raise the level of building culture in Germany. Our task as private sector architects is to keep on demanding the realisation of this potential, and to support constructive attitudes in the public services as best we can.

Speaking of debates, the media, the oft-invoked fourth power in the state, makes a crucial contribution to the public sphere, as I mentioned earlier. In part it reflects and in part it shapes public opinion, fundamentally influencing the form and substance of the discourse on public life. Its vast reach and inexhaustible diversity of content have, however, greatly intensified competition for the dwindling attention of an overwhelmed public. If you want to be noticed at all and to stand out from the flood of information, you need the kind of content that appears to be spectacular. Such a need for spectacle is a paradigm that is spreading like a virus through the tissue of society and has long been altering its DNA.

That is the only way to explain why, even in the serious daily or weekly newspapers of this country, the aforementioned discourse about public space is of secondary interest at best. Apart from the property sections, they offer no sustained debate about the built environment, not of the kind that would be appropriate to a subject with such a strong and ubiquitous influence. The German public learns about the built environment from sensationalist journalism, reporting either on star architects or botched construction projects, overweening pride and/or abject failure. The few writers who have consistently covered the subject in detail for years are given column space in the cultural pages only when they have eye-catching indi­vidual projects to discuss. Public space and architecture are seemingly too complicated and apparently not sexy enough to prevail against all the other voices clamouring for attention.

As for the trade press, which has a long and venerable tradition in Germany, there are still reputable journalists and journals that take a responsible, considered approach to less popular topics. It is clear to see, however, that they are all feeling the effects of fierce competition, the resulting financial squeeze and the pressure to submit to the logic of the mainstream press. It is no coincidence that serious publications are increasingly being replaced by magazines in which the editorial content is little more than a flimsy pretext to advertise construction products. This blend of marketing and discussion intensifies the demand for spectacular content – with the unsavoury side effect that, even in casual conversation among architects, it is now barely possible to distinguish between an intellectually inquisitive, factual discourse and self-marketing; the value systems get blurred to the point of confusion.

This principle of mixing or, in its latest form, mash-up, is also a prominent feature of the Internet, the largest competitor of the print media. It is a forum without any editors, in which public and private, clever and stupid, major and minor, exemplary and reprehensible are only a mouse click apart. In the Internet, everybody is their own editor-in-chief, who can choose either to make their own use of the wonderful and exhaustive range of information accessible there, or to succumb to the pull of consumption and distraction. The Internet as such has no guidelines, no morals or ethics, no modes of operation.

However, its extraordinary active and reactive power still offers great potential for the public sphere, as direct democratic dialogue has never been as easy as it is online; exercising the right to express an opinion has never been so convenient, so direct and so effective. At the same time it has also never been easier to withdraw completely from public life, to avoid public debate and to transfer social intercourse, if any, to the virtual sphere. If every aspect of our need to communicate could be satisfied on the screen, then the open spaces in our cities would indeed degrade to no more than inferior service zones.

Reassuringly, however, it is evident that the virtual worlds of the Internet not only fascinate us with seemingly endless possibilities but also give rise to anxieties that heighten people’s desire for affirmation of their own existence through physical experience. Just as globalisation reawakens the yearning for national and regional identity, the virtualisation of our lives generates a need for an immediate, tangible reality and physicality.

If there had ever been any doubt about it, all of these phenomena (virtual communication, the temptation to withdraw and the desire for reality) combine to show why we need to think about public space differently today from how we did fifty years ago; and the media, whose emergence is partly responsible for these changes, would, of course, be in a position to accompany such a paradigm shift in a critical yet proactive manner. This does, however, presuppose that the press is a sort of independent moral institution – which we cannot really assume, even in the case of public broadcasting. As long as no real concern is evident that could in turn stimulate media interest, the ‘law of the spectacle’ holds sway: a law that has clearly exercised great influence over the production of architecture (as it has over all other areas of society) and will continue to do so.

How do those who are actually commissioned to plan interventions in public space deal with this situation? Is the public sphere in good hands when it comes to the design professionals and their clients? Building, as such, is a means for individuals or corporations to establish themselves in the environment, in both the local and the global senses. Hence there is always a crucial relationship of mutual dependence between an individual project and public space. A design is projected into an environment that only comes into being, so to speak, with completion of the project. Everything that we perceive as our built or natural environment has been conceived by architects or planners in the broadest sense. Ultimately, the appearance of our cities and countryside, the appearance of public space, is the palimpsest of a multitude of such projects undertaken by different generations.

By definition, then, construction is both the fulfilment of the needs of a specific owner and an intervention in public space. Even on the smallest construction projects, architects always operate at the interface between the individual and the community; thus they are trustees of the interests of both groups, although they have only entered a direct contractual relationship with one of them. With the other party they have an understanding (at least in Germany, in the form of a statutory fee regulation) that, on the one hand, shields the profession from market forces to a certain extent by assigning something like the status of public utility to its services (as with doctors, lawyers and notaries) and, on the other, formulates an obligation towards the community – at least implicitly, since there is nothing equivalent to the Hippocratic oath that needs to be sworn. I will reserve judgment on the extent to which the respective players are able to mediate fairly between the interests of their two different patrons, one of whom pays their fee while the other can only wield a categorical imperative. In a celebrated interview, Philip Johnson said that architects are basically whores – and who am I to disagree with this legend of the business of architecture?

Commercial developers, by comparison, face comparatively little uncertainty as to where their best interests lie. Even if they want their projects to make a positive contribution to the city, their top priority and prime motivation for their activities has to be the gain of profit. In this scenario, the public is mainly of interest as a potential customer and the property is a product for sale. Public space is a burden more than anything else and is used primarily to create a representative setting. Although such an organisation certainly prefers to have public opinion on its side, its own financial interests are, to begin with, generally incompatible with the collective interests of the public sphere. And if, by entering into a public-private partnership, a public body submits to the logic of the market, it may perhaps gain economic efficiency in the short term, but this is usually at the expense of public character, unless an architect makes it his responsibility to enable the public sphere to develop an aura through his architecture.

But how is that done? What does the public sphere look like? What is the difference between an office building for a private company and one for the Inland Revenue or a social security office? How do I create places that encourage social intercourse? How can I improve the quality of public space to suit the diversity of our societies? How does a liberal democracy manifest itself, what does a social market economy look like, what is it that signifies the fairness, the dignity, the freedom and the authority of our polity? Obviously, these are questions that must be considered to a greater or lesser extent for each project, and specific answers to them have to be found in every case. They certainly require architects that are able to listen; in turn, society would be well advised to rely on its architects’ intelligence and creative potential – and to acknowledge and appreciate it as well.

About a year ago, a large number of architects, myself among them, signed a so-called Climate Manifesto with the heroic-sounding title ‘Common Sense for the World’. In this manifesto, Germany’s architects made a pledge to the public to promote a more sustainable society through their work. This manifesto, which was issued by the Association of German Architects (BDA), is in fact a voluntary commitment of the profession to the community – even though the community had never asked for it nor really taken notice of it.

This provides a good example of our self-image of the architect as an agent of progress in the world, which has been with us since the advent of modernism. This is what was taught to us at university and this is what we still pass on to our students today. The comments made about this manifesto in the German press, ranging from irony to sarcasm, were, in turn, a good example of the scepticism that this image arouses in the rest of society. Too many mistakes have been made by architects, too many members of the profession clearly live by commercial principles rather than idealistic ones, and too deeply rooted in the popular imagination is the notion of the architect as an artist who, incapable of communication in any form, is interested in a building only as an autonomous work. This is a prejudice that has, of course, been confirmed again and again by a whole generation of big-name architects up to this day.

So are we not really being honest with ourselves when we trumpet our commitment to the res publica? Is our profession’s political and social relevance an illusion by means of which we try to put a brave face on the dwindling importance of a service industry? Are we just naive, trusting idealists who have never learned to operate in the market place as the rest of the world does? Or are we actually attempting to fill a void created by the lack of interest and the absence of other stakeholders?

I think, especially in the context of this convention, that we have to adopt the last option as a working hypothesis, but before I indulge in further speculation here, we ought to talk about the most important stakeholder in public life: the citizen. So we should ask how he or she can perform as a useful advocate of the public sphere. The public casts its votes at elections and it forms the mercury in the political barometer that causes the government’s course to shift in one direction or another from week to week. The fact that grass-roots initiatives really can influence policy at a local and national level is one of the more reassuring signs when you consider the state in which our country finds itself.

As for my own experience in the discussion of architectural projects and public space, interaction with citizens is characterised by the extremes that we know from the media. They come either in the form of protesting neighbours, writers of angry letters to the editor and moaning armchair politicians, or of admiring fans who want to express their enthusiasm and their pleasure in a built object. In exceptional cases, we have experienced coordinated and constructive participation by members of the public in the planning process, although their contributions mostly turn out to be limited to protecting their own particular interests rather than any negotiations over fundamental aspects of the public sphere.

In abstract terms, one obviously places great hopes in the initiative of enlightened and socially responsible citizens, but in reality the public debate poses a challenge and is an unwanted burden for many lay people. If there is to be a genuinely productive exchange of views, a mediator is needed to explain, inform, interpret and stimulate. One possible reaction to the transformation of the public sphere would be to create a formal role for a professional mediator of this kind. Younger colleagues have pointed out the potential to expand the profession’s scope of work here. Public space needs debate, after all – not only so that individual projects will turn out well, but also, of course, in the interest of maintaining the motor of democracy that I mentioned earlier. It is one of the few common goods in which all people of this country have a share, and a debate about the public sphere would actually help to bring the subject of the discussion into existence, so to speak. There are signs that, as a result of the financial and climate crises, the demand for a debate of this nature is actually growing so much that not only the public but also the media and politicians would take a stronger interest in it than before. Both of these crises will impose great burdens on the public sphere: more and more public institutions will need to find ways of financing themselves from private sources and will thus relinquish public territory to private entrepreneurship. Similarly, if the latest climate-change predictions are borne out, there will be such drastic restrictions on our customary ways of life that the level of concern will doubtless rise of its own accord.

A debate begun today could pre-empt (or at least prepare for) these developments, but it does not yet seem as though the desired target group can be activated at the moment. As far as my peer group is concerned, it would, of course, be desirable if architects and planners were to be aware of their status as a professional elite and were to send respective signals through their exemplary action. Further, they should communicate loudly enough to make themselves heard – not only to help the world but also out of a clear interest in their own survival. Both of these courses – action and communication – can take a wide variety of forms: it is possible to imagine architects not only in the role of mediator, but also in that of manager, client consultant and even politician. Finally, we should remember that we are not only designers but also citizens ourselves; architects, too, can become activists. And if architects decide to maintain responsibility for the public sphere, be it as professionals or as members of the public, then they should fight aggressively to get the political influence that is necessary to do so. They could start by gaining acceptance of the aforementioned problems and a show of support at national level. The next step would be to engender a commitment by local government authorities towards an uncompromising quest for excellence. Enlightened building owners and developers could be rewarded for good projects with a tax deduction, similar to that in the case of the renovation of listed buildings, and the Bundesstiftung Baukultur (Federal Foundation for Building Culture) should certainly receive a similar level of national backing as in Scandinavia, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

The Bundesstiftung Baukultur has the enormous privilege of not having to submit to the logic of the spectacle, although whatever it does should never be boring. That said, we ought to say goodbye to the notion that everything needs to be designed and perfected. Public life does not need to be pre-empted, but neither should it be left to its own devices. It needs helpers, facilitators and interpreters; it needs care, guidance and openings – because, ultimately, what is at stake is the tradition of the polis, which I mentioned at the beginning. If we want to keep alive the idea of the city as the locus of the public sphere, it is not enough to draw upon the repertoire of its historical typologies. If we really do nurture public life and public space as agents of the public sphere and don’t want to abandon them to become battlefields of competing commercial interests, from which only beacons of commonality stand out, then we need to understand them as a territory of continuous negotiation. The more people that take part in this negotiation, the better.


Lecture by Matthias Sauerbruch given at the 2010 Convention of Building Culture, PACT Zollverein, Essen, April 2010. Published in Sauerbruch Hutton. Archive 2. Zurich: Lars Müller Publishers, 2016