Apply for a multidisciplinary residency program at ZK/U Berlin

ZK/U Berling

ZK/U is an artist-led independent art residency and project space. It hosts a multidisciplinary residency program, offering a living and working space for practitioners of all kinds (artists, researchers, activists, professionals of various fields) whose work or approach explores the dynamics and experiences of the city. The residency program encourages proposals that challenge conventions, take daring positions, and include extraordinary perspectives. It welcomes applications with a project proposal framed as

  • a conceptual, contextual and interventionist contemporary artistic position,
  • research or experimentation in the fields of urbanism, geography, anthropology, architecture and the humanities.

The ZK/U residency program allows mutual learning, spontaneous collaborations, discussions and exchanges to emerge, enriched by the diversity of disciplines and profiles of the residents. The ZK/U building, a former train station building located in a dynamic public park, is a space for urban experimentation and cross-disciplinary collaborations. With the re-opening of ZK/U’s renovated and expanded public spaces in summer 2024, ZK/U will slowly return to being as a lively cultural venue that hosts regular public events for diverse audiences. Residents are encouraged to participate in ZK/U’s cultural program.

Conceptual framework

In the form of narratives, ZK/U plans to set core themes to define the conceptual framework of its program in the upcoming years. The ZK/U program will be designed to include space for participation by ZK/U residents, should timing and project developments allow. Therefore, applicants to this open call are encouraged (but not restricted!) to formulate their project proposals with the four narratives in mind, as a possibility to connect their work to ZK/U. In the application process described below, applicants will be able to share if their proposal refers to one, more or none of the narratives. They are currently described as follows: 

Down to Earth – Enjoy the Commons / Trajectories of the Commons 

Enjoy the Commons navigates the trajectories of shared spaces, offering a profound reflection on the dilemmas encapsulated by Elinor Ostrom’s ‘Tragedy of the Commons.’ In response to these challenges, the topic boldly examines the potentials for joy in the commons. It draws inspiration from historical experiences of local stakeholders and considers the intricate interplay of game theoretical issues, representational and social needs, and insights from cognitive science. Enjoy the Commons goes beyond theoretical discourse and includes discussions around societal structures, labor, and experiments in democracy and participation.

In Realities – Marginalized Urban Perspectives

Marginalized Urban Perspectives directs attention to the often unheard voices in the diverse tapestry of city life. It goes beyond traditional narratives, shining a spotlight on Feminist Cities, Queer Cities, Child Cities, Silver Cities, Migrant Cities, and the connections between rural and urban spaces. From the nuanced dynamics of Economic Cities to the vibrancy of Activist Cities, this narrative encapsulates the varied dimensions of urban living. It also contemplates the intersection of technology and society, from Intelligent Cities and AI Cities to the sustainable ethos embodied in the Circular City concept.

Rising Suns and Setting Stars – Re-reading Collective Art and Relational Aesthetics 

Rising Suns and Setting Stars sparks a fresh examination and a nuanced exploration of collective art and relational aesthetics. Within this narrative, the concept of authorship in art takes center stage, challenging conventional notions and giving rise to shared authorship. This shift toward collectivity not only redefines creative processes but also reflects on the responsibilities inherent in collaborative endeavors. The narrative confronts prevailing power structures and invites to consider the evolving dynamics within shared authorship. How does collective art reconfigure notions of creativity, responsibility, and power? Rising Suns and Setting Stars casts a transformative light on the intersections of artistic expression and communal bonds.

Planetary Agencies – Urban Life after Human Hybris 

Planetary Agencies delves into a future where human hybris has left an irreversible mark on urban life, urging us to reconsider our relationship with the environment. This exploration not only examines the impacts of our past actions but also introduces a paradigm shift by giving agency to non-human actors. The narrative unfolds through artistic and technological approaches, offering innovative perspectives on decision-making in democracies. It advocates for greater inclusivity and recognizes the rights of non-human agents. Challenging traditional boundaries, Planetary Agencies envisions a harmonious coexistence where both human and non-human entities contribute to shaping the urban landscape of tomorrow.

Space and program

  • a studio space for working and living
  • access to communal spaces (kitchen, terrace, library)
  • a residency program of weekly dinners, monthly studio visits and bi-monthly open studio events (OPENHAUS)
  • promotion of the residency fellows’ work online and locally
  • support to locate events, resources, and urban discourses relevant to the residency fellows’ research interests
  • possibility to take part or be part of ZK/U’s public events (after the reopening of the public spaces in late 2024)
  • possibility to propose self-initiated public events or formats (additional costs may apply)


Depending on the type of studio and the length of stay (2-6 months), the residency fees are between 650 € and 1000 € per month. The fees cover all utility costs, space usage and participation in the residency program. The residency period can take place within the next two years after the selected resident is notified. Additional costs apply when more than one person lives in the studio. 

With this general open call, we do not offer funded residencies, rather, we offer studio spaces and ask our applicants to self-organize funding for their proposed residency project to join our space. Funded residencies are published through separate calls and only happen irregularly.

How to apply?

To join our residency program, please take the time to fill out our application form below. Please share short descriptions of your proposal, your practice and your biography, and to inform us if your proposal relates to one or more of our narratives. The option of submitting a proposal unrelated to one of our narratives is possible. Within the application form, we will also ask you to upload the following files: 

1) as one PDF: Your CV and a short portfolio with a selection of 2-3 relevant past projects including short project descriptions (max. 12 pages/10 mb)

2) as one PDF: Your project proposal. You are welcome to structure it as you like. We suggest considering: a project description, a working plan, personal relation to the project themes. How does it relate to ZK/U or the city of Berlin? (max. 3 pages)

3) as .jpg: Your practice in up to 4 representative images 



More information

Read the whole call and conditions on

For more information on our residency programm and space, please have a look here. If you have open questions head over to our FAQs. Also, follow us on Instagram!

If you cannot find what you are looking for on our website, kindly send an email to: apply​ Thank you!

After submitting this application form, you will receive an email with the submitted data. Please check it carefully and activate the application by confirming the email. Thank you for your time and efforts. We look forward to getting to know you!