Reformation 2017: World Exposition

I was responsible for the story that the team of the Fachhochschule Salzburg (FHS) told at the World Exposition in Wittenberg, Germany to commeorate 500 years of the Protestant Reformation.

It was my job to organize and lead the international workshops, which led to our instalation in Wittenberg.

Together with my brother, I organised the acquisition of a 16 Meter long refugee boat from Sicily, Italy to be transported and displayed in Wittenberg. Because of its sheer weight (ca. 25 tons) boat number 653 is still there.

International Workshops: Istanbul/Barcelona/Paris/Mulhouse/Salzburg

For the given motto “Peace, Justice and Preservation of Creation”, we chose the theme of asylumseekers, given that their plight stands for the European negation of all three concepts. In five European cities we built abstract boats-  to stand for immigration into Europe – in workshops using weaving as a technique. The particpants were refugees, European students and profesors and the whole project was based on collaborative and participatory design .

Stark but Beautiful

For our Installation, we put roughly 50 of the “boats” constructed in the workshops into a pond in Wittenberg, Germany. The dillapitated, aimlessly floating structures represented the refugee boats and the pond represented the Meditarranean Sea. 


Nr: 653

In June 2013, a group of 244 men, women and children travelled across the Mediterranean towards Southern Europe. Off the coast of Sicily, their boat was intercepted and taken into custody. All passengers were forced to go back to Ethiopia and Eritrea, but this boat with the number 653 made it across all borders to be displayed at the world exposition in Wittenberg, Germany. 

In 2017, together with my brother Christian, we managed what seemed impossible: To find, get rights, repair and organize the transport of a boat 16 meters long and  25 tonnes heavy across all of Europe. 

The Sacred Structure

The team of the University of Applied Sciences designed and built a beautiful non-denominational open space for reflection and meditation. The lofty structure followed cradle 2 cradle requirements and underneath it we held workshops and conferences during the summer of the world exposition. 

The Pavillion

My collegues built two beautiful pavillions overlooking the pond with its installation. They were used to display our school´s research in wood technology and sustainability. During the summer of 2017 we also held workshops in these spaces.

Put on the Lens of Anthropology!


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