University life "A public text": How do we design the south façade of the university?

Appreciation of the artwork by Barbara Köhler and presentation of the future redesign

"A public text": How do we design the south façade of the university?


University management

This year, a new south façade of the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin will welcome all university members and the people of Marzahn-Hellersdorf. Barbara Köhler's current work will then be replaced by a design by the Poetry Prize winners Christoph Szalay and Maxi Obexer. The artists presented their designs for the first time on April 25, 2024 and exchanged ideas with students, teaching staff, administrative staff and the PoetryPrize jury . Now the university cordially invites you to present the future façade design at a festive event:

A public text
Appreciation of Barbara Köhler's artwork and
Presentation of the future redesign of the south façade of the university
Thursday, June 20, 2024 | 3:00 pm | Audimax

A varied supporting program accompanies the presentation:

  • 15:00: Performative reading of texts by Barbara Köhler by students
  • 15:15: "A public text" - Round table discussion with Bettina Völter (Rector ASH Berlin), Jutta Hartmann (Professor ASH Berlin), Jörg van den Berg (art historian, curator, director of the Museum Morsbroich) and the Poetry Prize winners, moderated by Tom Bresemann (jury member, poet, co-founder Lettrétage)
  • 16:00: Presentation of the future redesign of the south façade
  • 16:30: Get-together at the south façade and inauguration of the Barbara Köhler memorial plaque
  • Afterwards: Summer party of the university in the inner courtyard of the ASH Berlin

The university is thus following the decision of the Academic Senate from 2018, which stipulates that the wall design of the south façade of the university will be changed every five years by a new contribution from the circle of Poetry Prize winners. Detailed information on this can be found further down in the text.

We look forward to welcoming you to the university, registration is not necessary.


About Poetry Prize winner Christoph Szalay

Christoph Szalay was born in Graz. He is a poet, artist and curator and has been the literary representative of the Forum Stadtpark in Graz since 2017. In addition to five books, his publications have appeared in literary magazines, anthologies and on the radio. In January 2019, Christoph Szalay received the Alice Salomon Poetry Prize. The jury praised him as "an author who has consistently worked in an interdisciplinary manner since the beginning of his career: Be it in poetry, performance or the creation of installations." The jury emphasized Szalay's "extraordinary richness of facets, who masterfully uses quotations from art, literature, rock music and hip hop, everyday language and social media in equal measure, places them in a new context and irritates the reader."


About poetry prize winner Maxi Obexer

Maxi Obexer was born in South Tyrol and lives in Berlin. She works in various genres and is particularly committed to contemporary drama, e.g. she is co-founder of the New Institute for Dramatic Writing. The highly political author deals with topics such as flight and migration; her play and radio play "Illegale Helfer" has won numerous awards. Obexer was nominated for the Bachmann Prize for her autobiographical novel "Europe's Longest Summer". In January 2023, Maxi Obexer received the Alice Salomon Poetry Prize. The jury was particularly impressed by the fact that Obexer's texts "do not bow to any pleasing stylistics. Rather, they reflect Obexer's unconventional suffering in the world, her anger and her commitment."


About the redesign of the south façade

Here you can find the wording of the Academic Senate's decision to redesign the south façade from January 23, 2018 and the university management's detailed justification for its proposal.

In 2017, the tender for the (re)design of the south façade attracted a great deal of media attention and was the subject of controversial debate. For an overview, we have compiled the press articles on the façade as a collection of links at


The five-year rhythm

The five-year cycle roughly corresponds to the average duration of our students' studies - if you include the Master's degree courses. This means that - in addition to the administrative staff, academic staff and lecturers at the university - most students will also be able to experience the process of deciding on a new wall design and participate in the discussions.


About the right of proposal and participation

The prizewinners selected by the Poetry Prize jury have the opportunity to either jointly propose a wall design or to submit their own proposals. All proposals will be presented to and discussed with ASH Berlin lecturers, administrative staff, academic staff and students as well as the Poetry Prize jury at an event open to the university. This event provides the opportunity to deepen the exchange between the prizewinners and the university public about the connection between the work and the Alice Salomon Hochschule or about the significance of art and science and their respective independence.

The prizewinners themselves decide whether and to what extent they would like to use this forum (among other things) to present a finished work as a proposal for the façade or to develop their proposal further if necessary. It is conceivable, for example, that the wall design will be developed in a participatory manner and/or jointly by several award winners, that an artist will submit several proposals as alternatives or that a submitted proposal will be modified after the event. If, after five years, there are several proposals from prizewinners for the wall design, the Poetry Prize jury will select the proposal that will then be realized on the south façade.

By documenting the process and the respective realizations on the south façade, a history of the Poetry Prize can be written, which can also be told as part of a history of participatory processes at ASH. This strengthens the connection between the Poetry Prize and ASH Berlin and increases the identification of university members with the Alice Salomon Poetry Prize. The 5-year rhythm also enables the examination of the areas of tension: Continuity and change as well as university democracy and freedom of art to be dealt with constructively. This also includes a critical-productive and creative-learning approach to the art of its prizewinners. The self-image of the university is now characterized less by the respective work on the wall than by the exchange about it and the regular exchange of works by very different artists.


About the Alice Salomon Poetry Prize

Every two years, ASH Berlin awards the Alice Salomon Poetics Prize to artists who contribute to the further development of literary, visual and acoustic arts through their special formal language and diversity, while always working and acting in an interdisciplinary manner. The award comes with prize money of 6,000 euros, a lectureship and the opportunity to redesign the south façade of the university.