Discourse 19.04.24, 18.00 Entry: Free

Contesting the City

wohnlabor & Studio Magic

Hall of Beef

“Contesting the City” brings various urban initiatives together into dialogue about modes of resistance past and present: about stubbornly insisting on alternative forms of planning, development, uses, and futures for the city. In two evening events, we will talk about their motivations, strategies, and the challenges they face.

Additionally, we will bring wohnlabor and Studio Magic into the conversation. These collectives combine diverse positions with at times contradictory interests, creatively using conflict as an opportunity to try out new things. wohnlabor encourages discourses about the realities of housing and their alternatives in order to develop new ideas for the design and use of concrete places in the city. A central method of Studio Magic involves working productively on site with future users of a specific place in order to learn from pre-existing social and spatial networks.

For the second event, we invite representatives from the platform “Save the River Mur” to look back on the broad mobilisation of the movement against the Mur power station. What can we learn from this movement for future mobilisation and coalition-building? What do the activists involved think about the Mur power station today, and its repercussions for the banks of the Mur? What remains from the mass social movement, and how did it change Graz?



wohnlabor & Studio Magic

About our guests

wohnlabor & Studio Magic

Contesting the City with wohnlabor & STUDIO MAGIC
19.4.2024 | Halle für Streit

The wohnlabor sees itself as a collective that takes a critical look at the current challenges and potentials of housing. The wohnlabor explores the diverse aspects of housing and the associated social, ecological, economic, architectural, urban planning and social implications.

The wohnlabor are Anna Jäger, Jomo Ruderer, Julia Fröhlich and Rebekka Hirschberg. The four architects got to know each other in the architecture drawing rooms at TU Graz. The collective initiated their first joint project in 2018 and founded the association to promote public discourse on the topic of housing.
They work together on a variety of projects with the aim of fuelling the discourse on housing realities and alternatives and making it more accessible. Because housing affects us all.

Anna Jäger studied architecture and design at Graz University of Technology, the University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Iceland Academy of Arts. She has worked as a project architect for Duplex Architekten (Zurich) and feld72 (Vienna), among others. Since 2023 she has also been working at Atelier Frühwirth (Graz) on the realisation of school and residential building competitions. Her diploma thesis "Modellprojekt Rösselmühle - Prinzipien für eine chancengerechte und regenerative Stadt(teil)entwicklung im Gries", in collaboration with Marie-Theres Schwaighofer, was honoured with the 2nd prize of the GAD Award 2023. She is a founding member of wohnlabor.

Jomo Ruderer studied architecture at the Graz University of Technology and the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. His diploma thesis "Concrete Utopia in Municipal Housing - Lendplatz 23 - A House for Students" was awarded the Tschom Housing Prize. In 2022, he worked at Baupiloten in Berlin in the field of participation and phase 0.
Since mid-2023, he has also been working at epps Architekten in Graz and is a guest member of the housing committee of the Chamber of Civil Engineers for Styria and Carinthia.

STUDIO MAGIC is a collective of architects who have been working together since their student days. Our group was formed from the drawing room at Graz University of Technology and through collaborations after graduation and is united by a broad interest and a great passion for architecture and the associated topics and disciplines. In this way, we have been active in the fields of architecture, architectural and urban research, exhibition and furniture design, the cultural sector, intervention in public space and university teaching from our locations in Graz, Innsbruck, South Tyrol and Vienna for around ten years. Our strengths lie in the open dialogue within our diverse group and the dialogue with our project partners and users. This way of working enables us to jointly explore the relevant core topics and questions of a project, which we accompany from the initial idea to its final realisation.

Thomas Kalcher studied architecture in Graz, during which time he worked at the Institute for Architecture and Landscape,
and at the Institute for Housing at the Graz University of Technology. After completing his studies with the
Master's thesis "São Paulo - Urban Observatory & Pocket Interventions" (Third Award | Urban Design
| Rethinking The Future - RTF), he worked as a project manager at Terrain: architects
| landscape architects | landscape urbanism. He has also worked on various
projects such as "design your free local menu @ 10th architecture biennale São
Paulo". From 2017 - 2023 university assistant and deputy head of the Institute of Housing at Graz University of Technology and lecturer there.

Thomas Kain studied architecture in Graz and took part in several full-scale construction projects in South Africa and Tanzania during his studies. Realisation of the architecture diploma thesis in self-build in Mzamba Mouth, South Africa. Project management in architectural offices in Leibnitz and Graz. Conception, moderation and documentation of various discussion rounds since 2018. Self-employed since 2019, member of the Chamber of Architects of Styria and Carinthia with valid authorisation since 2023. Guest lecturer at FH Joanneum Graz since 2022. Various honorary activities in chamber committees of the ZT-Kammer.