Stefan Häfner

Stefan Häfner

Stefan Häfner (*1959) works at the Atelier Goldstein, a workshop primarily for autistic artists in Frankfurt-am-Main. Häfner’s work can be found in the collection of the German Architecture Museum (Deutsches Architekturmuseum). Häfner’s lifetime project is his so-called “Zukunftsstadt” – the city of the future, a complex of three-dimensional residential modules that have grown together to form one single organism. His buildings, made of cardboard and other materials, are connected by elaborate sidewalks, stairways, and catwalks, as well as parking lots, overpasses, and underpasses. The stairwells and courtyards – sometimes open, sometimes covered – are lined with trees, and the public spaces are lit by electric lamps. Rooftops are covered in solar panels, and underground garages await the arrival of vehicles. But there are no vehicles, nor are there books on the bookshelves in the colorfully painted interiors we can explore through the countless windows. In the hallways, climbing vines creep up rounded columns, and the various units are furnished with beds, tables and chairs, even computers… but there are no people. Häfner’s habitats stand proudly on their outspread thin legs, as if to protect the city from a flood, looking out into the unknown through colorfully illuminated windows reminiscent of insect eyes. Are his cities of the future giant lifeboats, a Noah’s ark for a threatened mankind, or are they an apocalyptic vision of what our cities will look like on “The Day After?”

 

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