by Savannah Williams
The Familiar Collective provides a new typology of home that initiates integration but also provides a safe place for the forgotten; a place the ‘invisible other’ can call home that is seen and celebrated. The project is dedicated to the Afro-German community of SO36 through the West African tradition of pattern making and the play on primary and secondary spaces. In doing so, the outdoor space becomes the primary space where the community can become a collective and the secondary spaces are the indoor spaces of home. This provides an alternative spatial response to the Western home and challenges the urban fabric of SO36. The action of fabric making engages with the social art scene that already exists in the area and is a familiar tradition amongst West Africans, reclaiming the ties with their surroundings through creating. These handcrafted fabrics are used as an additional facade to the homes, fulfilling a sense of identity and individuality. The project's focus is to use culture and familiar traditions of West African culture and weave them into the urban fabric of Kreuzberg, allowing the 'invisible other' to be seen, encouraging integration and collective living.