Boris Sieverts (Cologne): Shaping and transformation – Why are some places special? An attempt to explain the cologne district of Kalk

Local history is never just the past. It continues to be written, among other things, in the attitude to life, the body language and the self-image of the inhabitants of themselves and as a community.

In a former industrial city like Cologne-Kalk, this can mean that the cultural “by-products” of industrialization – such as the development of specific manners of a multicultural workforce in the spatial focus of a railroad basin – become the actual “nature” of the neighborhood after the industries have disappeared or moved on. This nature changes continuously and perhaps beyond recognition, but it always remains specific because the forces acting on it are nowhere redirected or absorbed, ranked or focused, repelled or exploited in the same way. These “natures” of cities, neighborhoods, and landscapes interest me more than anything else in the world: from them I “knit” the patterns for my tours. Thinking in patterns, neighborhood is not a matter of spatial distance. 

Boris Sieverts (*1969, guide). Studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. Worked as a shepherd and in architectural offices in Cologne and Bonn. Since 1997 he has been guiding locals and tourists through the gray areas of our metropolitan areas with his “Büro für Städtereisen”. In doing so, he uses sophisticated spatial sequences to create scenic connections for environments that are otherwise considered extremely disparate. From his findings, the Büro für Städtereisen develops visions and further interpretations of the explored environments – in addition to the touristic offer of the trips – and feeds these into spatial planning and cultural activities. In addition, Boris Sieverts is involved in numerous urban planning topics and is present as an artist in public space. His special concern is the activation and participation of city residents in dealing with the issues that affect them.

Teaching assignments in Nantes, Leipzig, Kassel, Portland, Maastricht, Hamburg, Cologne, among others. Solo exhibitions and participation in exhibitions in Germany, France, Sweden and the USA. Lives in Cologne. Boris Sieverts is a founding member of the Metropolitan Trails Academy, an association of European urban walkers whose mission is to promote and establish systematic walking in the city as a cross-cutting discipline of subjects as diverse as urban and landscape planning, sociology, participatory culture, and territorial administration.

Universitätsbibliothek der TU und UDK Berlin
Fasanenstraße 88
Raum Bib 014