Authenticity and commemoration: an analysis of Otto Weidt Worshop for the Blind and the Jewish Museum in Berlin
Berlin has become one of the most prolific centres of memory in Europe: the amount of memorials, traces and documentation centres devoted to remembering the Second World War, the Holocaust and the Berlin Wall era is rather overwhelming. There is, however, and important distinction to be made between those sites of memory which are located on an authentic site, and those which have been framed in a building that has been designed to recall this memories. This paper would like to analyse these two different approaches through the interior design of two very different museums: Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind and the Jewish Museum.
On the one hand, the Museum Otto Weidt Workshop for the Blind is a remarkable space thanks to the authenticity that transpires from every inch of the space: both the inside and outside of this museum have been barely touched since the end of the war, and as such the connections with the space is quite strong. On the other hand, the Jewish Museum promotes a similar experience and connection with the past thanks to a very phenomenological design by Daniel Libeskind.
This paper will analyse both spaces according to their scale, location in the city, authenticity, phenomenology and prosthetic memory, in order to determine whether design can enhance and protect our collective memory.