HTW Berlin » Fachbereich Gestaltung

Zentrum Industriekultur

Welcome to BZI -- the Berlin Center for Industrial Heritage !

We started working in December 2011, and our aim is to have a multi-lingual website one day. For the moment, however, we keep you up-dated on essentials here. For any question you may have, please contact! Find the contact details on the bottom left, clicking on "Kontakt".

Second Berlin Forum for Industrial Culture and Society

In Olsztyn, Poland. By Adam Lokuciejewski and Szymon Czarnowski. In cooperation with the artists. Check out Adam´s blog: http://lokuciejewski.com. Source: Street Art Utopia, https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10151066987072700.
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Once a year in springtime, BZI organizes a big public event bringing together stakeholders from different fields of work to discuss about Berlin´s industrial heritage. The Second BZI-Forum took place on Wednesday, 24th April 2013, in the German Museum of Technology in Berlin-Kreuzberg with around 110 participants. Check out the details here:

Telling Berlin´s industrial stories

This aerial view from 1928 shows the AEG Cable Works in Schöneweide. Parts of these premises reopened as the HTW´s second university campus when restoration finished in October 2009. The core area of the cable factory is still operating; the reuse of the remaining areas is currently under discussion. (Source: SDTB, AEG archives)
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Berlin only emerged as an industrial metropolis in the light of the Electric Revolution 120 years ago -- a fact that seems long forgotten today. Internationally, Berlin is more likely to be perceived as a vibrant creative city. Many Berliners, too, are hardly aware of the companies that have been working here -- and some still do so successfully until today.

BZI aims at reflecting Berlin´s industrial history from a global perspective and in the light of the technological developments and societal changes that we are experiencing today.
Ludwig Sütterlin, picture of the `Goddess of Light´ with idealised landscape in the background. Issued 1897 in the anniversary publication `The Berlin Electricity Works Until the End of 1896. Planned and Built by the Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft.´ (Source: Vattenfall Europe, Historical Archives, Berlin)
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In cooperation with a wide range of different stakeholders, BZI develops an innovative and visionary concept for industrial tourism in Berlin. We pay major attention to the intangible heritage of Electropolis as a global techno-cultural system that reaches far beyond the borders of Berlin. The classic tourism range is extended to unusual places and new topics, developing new criteria. Our aim is to re-visualise the city´s industrial past as well as to highlight present and future developments to visitors and residents.

Electropolis Berlin: What´s the message?

Detail view - Company brand of the Allgemeine Elektricitäts-Gesellschaft (AEG) dating from 1888. (Source: SDTB, AEG archives)
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When BZI took up work in late 2011, instead of collecting all data of all industrial sites in Berlin and then do a selection based on worn-out criteria from existing tourism concepts, we first of all started thinking:

What´s special about Berlin´s industrial heritage when compared to other places? What´s the story it stands for in human history? Why should people, and especially younger generations, be at all interested in this story? Which message could be drawn from Berlin´s industrial experience that is useful for the global society of tomorrow?

Want to find out about our answers? Check out the following link; it leads you to an English text written on the occasion of the 2012 TICCIH-Congress in Taiwan where we discussed our ideas for content and strategies with international colleagues.

Who we are

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BZI is a project jointly developed by the University of Applied Sciences HTW Berlin and the Foundation of the German Museum of Technology in Berlin. Since autumn 2011, the initial budget is provided by a programme to promote the innovative potential of culture in Berlin which is financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

We work in close cooperation with a wide range of different stakeholders concerned with industrial heritage in Berlin.
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