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How We Want To Live

by  Lale de Boer

An audiovisual simulation of the feeling of being at home.

How do I want to live?

Where would I feel at home?

What does it mean to feel at home?


These are the questions I asked myself when we decided to stop living together. When I decided to look for my own apartment. In Berlin

If you're not from Berlin, you might not understand what it means to look for a home here. But you might understand how it feels to live with disappointment and rejections for more than a year (Fabian and Nuissl 2019, 13, 19).

I wanted a home. Not just anything. I also dreamed, even when the real possibilities were overwhelming. Another rejection.

I asked other people of my generation, what they wish, how they feel at home. What they needed if they could choose everything.

Space Air Light Height Memory Love Smell
The dream of liberated living has existed for a long time. The clear and open residential architecture of the Bauhaus style of the 1920s was followed by ideas for modular, movable living spaces. With the needs and wishes of the residents, the living environment should also be adaptable, fluidly changeable (Englert 2021, 61 ff.).


"Eine flexible, leichte, transparente, offene und mobile Architektur des Wohnraums“ (Englert 2021, 64).


The Maio team of architects from Barcelona demonstrates the real Implementation of flexible floor plans. Modular room systems and uniform spaces, make individual room design possible and allows changes (Englert 2021, 154 ff.).


But even if the perfect apartment in terms of design is found, it takes imagination that goes beyond the appearance to make it a home (Benjamin 1985,114 f.).

Perhaps with the „Schrank mit dem einmaligen Geruch, der eine Innerlichkeit kennzeichnet. Um die Werte des Intimen, der lnnerlichkeit heraufzubeschwören“ (Bachelard 1994, 46).

„In den Träumen durchdringen einander die verschiedenen Wohnungen unseres Lebens und hüten die Schätze der alten Tage. Wenn im neuen Hause die Erinnerungen der alten Wohnungen wieder aufleben, reisen wir im Lande der unbeweglichen Kindheit, unbeweglich wie das Unvordenkliche. Wir erleben Fixierungen, und es sind Fixierungen des Glückes [i]. Wir trösten uns, indem wir Erinnerungen an Geborgenheit nacherleben“ (Bachelard 1994, 37 f.).


Inspired by Walter Benjamin's "Denkbilder" and Gaston Bachelard's "Poetik des Raumes," the fantastic idea of a home that is distinguished by its own smell and that is filled with images of one's own memories and possible future.

I would also like to encourage you to fantasize and dream.
What does your dream home look like?
What do you smell when you walk through the front door?
What do you feel when you walk through the front door?
What does home mean to you?

Lale de Boer, Berlin Charlottenburg


About the Artist


Lale de Boer was born in Jever in 1995. She studied cultural sciences and sociology (B.A.) from 2014-2018 in Leipzig. Since 2021 she is studying in the European Media Studies (M.A.) in Potsdam. She lives and works in Berlin.

Background of the Work

How We Want To Live - An audiovisual simulation of the feeling of being at home is an audiovisual examination of the search for a home, especially in the tight Berlin housing market.


The background of the work is my own experience. Frustration and disappointment during the search for an apartment in Berlin that meets my minimum requirements and, moreover, could also become my home. For me, "home" does not mean the plain apartment, but a place where I can feel comfortable, which is characterized by smells, furniture, memories and can also become an emotionally charged place.


I started with the idea to build a architectural model instead of a video simulation. But during the research i figured out, that these kind of model would be to inflexible for the idea of movable living spaces, I had. I could not convey the emotion, that comes with the audio tracks. I must have build an model with sections, which are customizable by the audience and compared to the audio files. That could be an continuative idea for that project.


Already at the age of 13, with the help of the computer gameSims2 (2006), I invented living worlds that were adapted to my currently needs. Following on from these memories, I have once again created an apartment simulation with Sims2 that exemplifies the wishes of a (young) generation. Five people between the ages of 24 and 32 shared their wishes with me and associated how it should feel to come home. Based on their ideas, the house/apartment was built digitally.


The work opens up the question of how living in big cities like Berlin can be designed in a needs-oriented way, even for (young) people in precarious circumstances. Inspired by Walter Benjamin's "Denkbilder", Klaus Englert's "Wie wir wohnen werden" and Gaston Bachelard's "Poetik des Raumes" I would like to initiate a discussion about possible approaches, such as the freely designed floor plans, community houses or monetary subsidies.




Bachelard, Gaston. 1994. Poetik des Raumes, Frankfurt am Main: Fischer-Taschenbuch-Verl.


Benjamin, Walter, Hrsg. 1985. Gesammelte Schriften. Bd. 6, Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp.


Beran, Fabian, und Henning Nuissl, Hrsg. 2019. Verdrängung aufangespannten Wohnungsmärkten. Das Beispiel Berlin. Ludwigsburg: Wüstenrot Stiftung.


Englert, Klaus. 2021. Wie wir wohnen werden. Die Entwicklungder Wohnung und die Architektur von morgen. 2., aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage. Ditzingen: Reclam.

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