Let´s prototype a floating autarkic habitat. Let´s build an „Insula Communis“, an Open-Island! On a flooded opencast brown coal mine in the remote center of Germany. Together with 50 interdisciplinary Makers, together with refugees and other village neighbors… It´s summer 2016, at Ferropolis, an open-air industrial museum and festival ground. It is a Social Sculpture and experiential space, a makers paradise and … what a trip. What an experience and joy! What an adventure – mostly, when the festival-folks from splash! and MELT! flooded the stages…

Of course we were prepared. Had brought a container of stuff and some parts from our last years „Open-Island Berlin„. We had a rough plan what to build, the organic farm „Brückmühle“ as our headquarter and the international art-space „Ampelhaus“ as our showroom. Lots of ideas anyway but limited time…

In fact, we had only 4 days until the media event and opening ceremony of whatever we would have finished by then 😉 And it wasn´t always helpful to be accompanied by a very creative and accurate camera team… (thanks anyway, looking forward to the movie!)

But at the beginning of the Hiphop festival splash!, we were ready to show up. The „insula communis“, built after the „Open-Island“ open-source construction plan, unites art pieces and floats from Joy Lohmann and Alfredo Sciuto as well as the result of our interdisciplinary 3-weeklong makers residency together with refugees, neighbors and some special guests…

Finally we set sail (with a little help from our motors and muscles) and entered the splash! beach stage by sea. Immediately, the live rappers included us into their shows and the people tried to take over the island. Lucky us, that the fresh water distance between the drunken and the island helped to avoid a disaster… Only the very brave and extremly curious reached our crazy island of desires. Still, we had to introduce an application form for admission to limit the immigration numbers on Open-Island. But those who made it, loved it and spread the news, until we fled to another, chilly bay.

…an impressive crowd! But some were really handsome, interested and became good friends and fellow makers 🙂


See, what we´ve built with them in our „Insula Communis part 2“ blogpost very soon on your screen. Until then, please like, share and comment the Open-Island adventure. Or join the live-discussion on Open-Islands and related topics in this makers group.


If you´re too curious, you can sneak into the full photo-documentary right away. (By the way – the next open-island will pop up in India again 🙂