11. Aug – 13. Sep 2020


Place: Technische Sammlungen Dresden, Junghansstr. 1-3, Dresden-Striesen

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A project on sustainability and washing dishes as a convivial critique of consumerism and a social practice

umschichten with special guests: Cradle to Cradle Dresden, e.V., Stephanie Lüning and others

Do we have to wait until someone invents a better future and a more efficient treatment of resources for us – or can we do something ourselves? Are machines the solution for everything – or are we the machines that we can change? What actually is gray water? And when was the last time you washed the dishes by hand and in doing so assumed responsibility for yourself and society?

The methods of the Stuttgart-based collective umschichten radically redefine the principles of building that we have been familiar with until now: The building as an event and momentary halt in the flowing material cycle of objects that have not only a past but also a future. Accompanied by the slogan build first – talk after! the issue is not to do everything right, but to bring transparency to the use of material and resources and critically question values such as energy efficiency – but especially to literally take matters into one’s own hands again.

As an alternative concept to mountains of trash and throwaway culture, umschichten developed a huge dishwashing building, the Spülpalast, upon the invitation of the Kunsthaus Dresden and the Technischen Sammlungen for the city festival Bunte Republik Neustadt. To jointly prepare for the 2021 edition of the independent Dresdner festival in the light of altered requirements, the Spülpalast in the courtyard of the historical industrial architecture of the Technischen Sammlungen will already start trial operation this year. From August 11 through 14, construction with sinks, metal containers, pipes, and solar panels will take place. A week later the washing program will commence, accompanied by workshops on manufacturing soap, building photovoltaic cells and castles in the air, bioplastic, and drinking, gray and black water, and the path back to clarity.

The Spülpalast heats water with solar energy, removes dirt and fats with pure natural soap, and channels the water through cascades in which it is first used for rinsing, then for washing with soap, and finally as gray water for pre-rinsing. The Spülpalast is part of the event series Is it all Waste? jointly initiated by the Kunsthaus Dresden and the Technischen Sammlungen and will be developed, presented in laboratory operation and tested this summer by the Stuttgart-based collective umschichten together with artists and activists from various fields. The palace architecture inspired by champagne pyramids and water features invites the public to wash dishes as a convivial critique of consumerism and a social practice.

Spülpalast accompanying program
from August 11 — 23, 2020 at: www.tsd.de
Registration for workshops for children and youths at:

Opening on August 14, 6 p.m.
With a concert by Brendan