“The Nightmare of Participation/Spatial Enabling”
Markus Miessen & Adnan Yıldız in conversation
Welcome to Harmonistan! Over the last decade, the term “participation” has become increasingly overused. When everyone has been turned into a participant, the often uncritical, innocent, and romantic use of the term has become frightening. Supported by a repeatedly nostalgic veneer of worthiness, phony solidarity, and political correctness, participation has become the default of politicians withdrawing from responsibility.
Markus Miessen calls for a format of conflictual participation – no longer a process by which others are invited “in”, but a means of acting without mandate, as uninvited irritant: a forced entry into the fields of knowledge that arguably benefit from exterior thinking. Sometimes, democracy has to be avoided at all costs.
Markus Miessen (*1978) is an architect, spatial consultant and writer migrating between Berlin, London, and the Middle East. He studied architecture and urbanism in Glasgow and London. In 2002, he set up Studio Miessen, a collaborative agency for spatial practice and cultural analysis, and in 2007 was founding partner of the Berlin-based architectural practice nOffice.
yvsl, founded in 2009 by Yıldız Aslandoğan and Lukas Hofer, is pushing the limits of classical architecture and art by formulating a radical contemporary practice. yvsl is currently working on projects in New York, Istanbul, Tiflis, Belgium, Berlin, and Stuttgart.