Studio Office 

Initiative - IKOKA

Helping to maintain and develop places for artistic work in Berlin!

The Berlin Initiative Circle for Artistic Work Places (IKOKA) has been constituted under the auspices of the Studio Commissioner for Berlin, Dr. Martin Schwegmann. The aim of the initiative is to bring together expertise from different perspectives, across party lines and administrative levels, and so to help maintain, expand, and further develop places for artistic work.

The following are involved in the circle's work:

  • Wibke Behrens, deputy chairman, FA XII Cultural Politics SPD-Berlin, speaker of the Kulturpolitische Gesellschaft Berlin+Brandenburg.
  • Christian Goiny (CDU), member of Berlin state parliament and  fiscal speaker from the constituency Steglitz-Zehlendorf.
  • Klaus Mindrup (SPD), member of the Bundestag from the constituency Pankow,
  • Florian Schmidt (B’90/Die Grünen), building councillor and former Studio Commissioner from Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg;
  • Juliane Witt (Die.Linke), municipal district councillor for culture and facility management from Marzahn-Hellersdorf.
  • Additional collaborators are the architectural group raumlaborberlin and the Centre for Art and Urban Studies (ZK/U).

The members of the initiative circle back the development and implementation of strategies to maintain and redevelop affordable work spaces for artists. The main focus of the initiative circle: In the growing city of Berlin, in keeping with tradition the focus is on a mix of residential, commercial, but also artistic, cultural and social uses, both in old and new urban quarters. Sustainable and above all permanent location development and safeguarding, securing building land and tailor-made owner and operator models were also discussed during the initial consultation. In the current phase of the capital city's development, speculation-proof interim uses are also a short-term option to create work spaces for the artsstill an important development component.

In order to address and communicate these issues at the federal, state and district levels, as well as with stakeholders and political bodies, the initiative circle will also engage in direct exchange with local protagonists.

"Berlin thrives on art and culture. But with rapidly rising rents, it is increasingly difficult for artists to find affordable work spaces in Berlinand without studios there can be no art.

Now, competent individuals from Berlin's political and social spheres want to get involved, so that Berlin can continue to offer work opportunities and perspectives to its artists in the future. This is an encouraging signal for art and artists in Berlin."  Dr. Martin Schwegmann, Studio Commissioner