'Little Wood' urban pop-up garden only came into plan a few months ago, yet successfully opened up on August 9. This "spontaneous experiment " is located in the central Berlin neighbourhood in a somewhat tucked away green space. Little Wood wants to show the public that projects like these are possible and integrating nature into our bustling urban spaces is not as tricky as we may think.
A colourful sculpture by the Swiss artist Kerim Seiler stands in front of the entrance to set the positive and friendly vibe of Little Wood. People can come by and enjoy a picnic, take part in a workshop or attend one of their evening programmes. Last week's event exceeded expectation with many flocking to Little Wood's food court, which offered cuisine from countries that are often on our TV screens: Palestine, Israel, Sudan, Iran, Tibet, Syria, Ukraine, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Founder of Contemporary Food Lab, an "inter-disciplinary platform for dialogue on nature, culture and humans", Ludwig Cramar-Klett happened to pass by this Berlin lot and thought it odd that it was not being taken advantage of. The owners of the land, Graft architects, were happy for the space to be used before building there begins and so Contemporary Food Lab set up their outside location. Like the ubiquitous "pop up shop", Little Wood is only setting up in the space temporarily.
Humboldt University, after also spotting its charm and potential, soon got in contact and now students taking classes in urban plant studies are carrying out projects in the garden. A SolarKiosk, an innovative transportable solar run pod intended for developing countries, has been lent to Little Wood by Graft architects and SolarKiosk CEO Andres Spiess.
So far so good, perhaps because of Berlin's liberalism the process has been relatively smooth.
"If you can do it anywhere it would be Berlin" Laura told The Local.
This space is not limited to nature enthusiasts, but to a mix of people who can each "find what he wants to find here" Laura claims. She told The Local that some people visit because they have read or heard about it but others just happen to pass by and stroll in curiously. This keeps the visitors varied and avoids it being "another hipster place".
Laura puts the great encounters down to the fact that it's "a place without a clear agenda because of its temporary nature".
So far the organizers are overwhelmed at the positive feedback as many visitors have volunteered to get involved, be that offering their culinary skills or suggesting starting a yoga class in the garden. It is no wonder the founders of Little Wood hope to extend the end date of the project and continue with it into September.
Upcoming events can be found on their website.