After the collapse of the GDR the face of Potsdam started to change. More and more buildings from that time period began to disappear from the city in order to make room for new ones without the often complicated history of their predecessors.

In Hinter der Fassade we searched for a way to prevent that history, as well as the personal and collective stories tied to the buildings, from being lost. Together with fellow students from social studies we collected documents, interviews and data on buildings of the area around the Alter Markt (old market) in Potsdam and developed a concept that would, in a way, preserve those places – or at least keep them alive in the collective mind.

The centerpiece of the project is an installation featuring a QR-code. Derived from the optics of the code, a pixelated visualization of the respective building would form around it. The QR-code triggers a check-in and adds a new pixel to the virtual building, recreating it “brick by brick”. After a certain amount of time every pixel would then start to fade, mapping the actual loss of collective memory regarding a certain building or place within the city.

The project was a collaboration between the Potsdam Musem and the FH Potsdam.