(I.G.O.) Improv Singing Session #35 :: Th 23 June @ 8:30 in Baumhaus


This will be our first session since major structures have been added to the room. I have a feeling this will be a very special evening… -Sb

Improvisational Groove Orchestra (I.G.O.) – a fun way to experience authentic connection and community through exploring a commonly created sound space. (links to examples below)

We meet every other Thursday to listen, respond, observe and curiously play with the sounds our voices create together. Our objective is to tune into the common feeling we are developing in the present moment.

Most of what we do is with our eyes closed. This allows everyone to be very focussed on only the sound space without any other distractions.

At each session we usually have more beginners rather than experienced singers; all levels and voice types are welcome. Scott will explain a few basic and intuitively understandable concepts to make it super easy to dive in and be jamming out within the first 1/2 hour.

It is a learning process in progress, each time balancing ourselves in volume and expression to merge into the group sound space, allowing everyone to hear and be heard, naturally developing our own musical styles.

The last times we explored further into the human sequencer game – a system where one person acts as a conductor, splitting the group into small parts, giving each small group unique impulses that than develop into one composition.

Feel most welcome to come and join us!

20:00: meet-&-greet and hangout

20:30: start warming up!

(please be on time, there are important things to explain before beginning)

• You can find recent and older tracks from previous IGO session in Das Baumhaus here: https://soundcloud.com/scott-bolden

• Here is a video showing another fun method with larger groups: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bjzmfpnZhDk

The address is Gerichtstr. 23 in the front house on the ground floor, you can walk in our door from the sidewalk. Please bring healthy snacks to share, we will have some drinks in the fridge on a donation basis, we also have hot water for tea & coffee.

* This is a free event for now, but we ask you to please generously donate whatever you feel the experience is worth. All your donations go toward helping us pay the rent while we build Das Baumhaus this Spring and Summer.

** Please also consider making a donation to our crowd-funding campaign so we can complete. If everyone who reads this donates 5€ and spreads the word we can really make this a crowd effort!

*** If you would like to help us finish building and designing Das Baumhaus then go here:


Sunday Afternoon Vol. 4 Summer – “Everyone Wins” :: 03.07.2016


Where: art loft berlin, Gerichtstrasse 23, 13347 Berlin

When: Sunday 03.06.2016, 18:00 – 00:00

art loft berlin & Das Baumhaus invite you to Sunday Afternoon Vol 4 Summer – “Everyone Wins” at the beautiful art loft berlin event space with indoor and outdoor seating and direct access to the surrounding lush greenery of the Panke waterway.

The entire art loft berlin will be an “Open Greeting Zone”, which means that it is ok to walk up to anyone and introduce yourself and expect the same in return, all evening long. 

Sunday afternoon is a time and space for:

• connecting with interesting people & engaging ideas in our Summertime ‘Open Greeting Zone’…

• to act on your sense of initiative to make Berlin and the world a better place along with other like minded people…

• to be inspired by great musical performances…

• to develop collaborations and cooperations…

• to discover local projects and initiatives…

• to enjoy quality ideas, food and drinks with quality people

Sunday, July 3rd, we bring you an afternoon of interesting people and projects interacting in a multi-dimensional immersive experience featuring the EM games of the day projected from multiple beamers with the live game sound in stereo dubbed together with live musicians and DJs, providing the soundtrack for the day. Dip in and out of watching the game, meet other local and global changemakers and activists, and learn more about Das Baumhaus and other innovative projects in Berlin.

During breaks in the games, we’ll have informal roundtable discussions exploring the nature of games, playing, winning, domination, competition and collaboration. Why do we feel good when our team wins? What are the benefits and disadvantages of competition? Can we play in ways where we play to cooperate more than compete?

There will also be two tours of the Baumhaus space where you can find out more about why we are doing this project and participate in a fun game where everyone will win!

Bio food rescued and graciously prepared by the Real Junk Food Project for you to enjoy on a for-donation basis.

Entry is donation based (whatever you feel like the experience is worth) and all proceeds go towards completing the Baumhaus space, to be opened in September. See you there!

If you can’t make it, you can still support us on our crowd-funding campaign until July 17th.

Many Thanks,

Scott Bolden (and the entire team) – Das Baumhaus Berlin

Markus Kniepkamp – artloft.berlin & Kochende Welten

Event on our calendar 

Facebook event

We Have Been ‘Journalistically’ Hacked!

Why would Exberliner magazine go out of their way to launch a mean-spirited attack against Das Baumhaus at a most critical time for the project?

Exberliner June 2016002
Here is the heavily edited, not fact checked article published by Exberliner in their June 2016 issue. The original unedited version is at the end of this response.

We think that Das Baumhaus is an embodiment of what makes Berlin so special—a place where ideas, projects and collaborations can flourish and take shape that can actually have positive impacts on our city and the people in it.  

In the spirit of clarifying the facts and rejecting manipulative and sensational journalism here in our city of Berlin, we would like to set the record straight.  Check out the real facts, compare the manipulatively edited article that got published with the original article and you be the judge.

Freelance journalist Anna Gyualai Gaal came by the Baumhaus project space to interview us in May for a piece about social projects doing crowd-funding to be published in this month’s (June 2016) printed issue of Exberliner with theme of “Post Capitalism”.  We agreed to the interview because it would be published during the middle of our currently running crowd-funding campaign and thought it might be helpful to spread the word about our project.

During our interview Anna seemed quite inspired and generally positive.  Afterwards, she informed us that we would be contacted by someone from Exberliner to fact check our interview and that we would get to see the text of the article before publishing.  However, no one ever tried to contact us to fact check and when the article about the Baumhaus came to print, it looked very different than the original version she had submitted, having been dramatically altered by an editor at Exberliner.

The original article paints an entirely different story than the issue in print. In one part, Anna describes the effect Das Baumhaus has already had on the surrounding community: “The community of Wedding welcomed the movement and there are many helping hands and the group welcomes everyone”. Yet reading the published article, one would think that the founders and volunteers behind Das Baumhaus seek little more than a fancy “café” with little regard for the context and community where it is located. And anyone personally involved with the project knows this is not true.

As it turns out, the article is a self described ‘investigation’ of a few social initiatives with “dubious philanthropic claims”.  The article goes on to suggest that the Baumhaus and two other projects fit into the category of projects that could be funded via crowd-funding but probably shouldn’t and that the reader should be the judge.  The article goes on to paint a rather unflattering characterization of the all three projects.  (At least the other 2 projects that were slammed had already ended their crowd-funding campaigns by the time this issue was published.)

Maybe negative journalism attracts more readers, and maybe in today’s disaffected journalistic atmosphere the more cynical and snarky the tone, the better.  But discrediting such a sincere and community-driven project, especially right in the middle of an important crowd-funding campaign, just feels unjust and particularly mean-spirited.  Calling Das Baumhaus a “100,000 Euro café” is not only misleading and factually incorrect, but also shows a basic lack of authentic fairness and empathy towards understanding and reporting the truth, not to mention consequences.

Apparently, someone on the editorial staff at Exberliner really has it out for us and has no problem disregarding the reality of 4+ years of honest commitment, hard work, investment and sacrifice that not only the founders, Karen and Scott have made but also the 300+ other people who have invested time, energy, hope and money.

After getting the respect and support from many people in our neighborhood, lots of organizations in the Berlin change-maker community, the mayor of Berlin Mitte, the Green Party of Berlin, Dr Gerald Hüther and many others, the last thing we expected was to not meet the quality standards of one of Berlin’s largest english speaking publications.

Nadja Vancauwenberghe from the editorial staff of Exberliner was asked to comment on why the article was re-written in a cynical and sarcastic way, not fact checked and published without letting the original author or any of the subjects see the changes that were made, as was agreed.  Her replies ranged from “It just worked better that way…” to, “The fact checking was done by one of our editors on the basis of the information published on your website. (we usually call people, only when directly quoted in the article to check their quotes – which was not the case here)”.  However, it is clear to see that both Scott and Karen are, in fact, directly quoted in the article.  Even then, Scott’s quote is a combination of several quotes put together out of context.  One of our interns made a video of a good portion of our interview.

Ultimately, it seems as though Nadja just does not like our project even if the person she sent to ‘investigate’ us had only good things to say, as is illustrated in her last response to us, “Can you accept that it should be possible not to like your Baumhaus, the way people don’t like a film, a book or just give a bad review to a new restaurant? That one might feel that your baumhaus is a bit… unnecessary, and maybe pretentious,,,, especially as so immodestly presented in your marketing texts?”  To which our reply would be, yes we can understand how someone might not like our project, especially if they don’t really know the facts about it, and that is fine.  What we don’t understand is why someone would go out of their way to ignore the facts to undermine a project with the goal of helping us all…!

It is a shame that ExBerliner, a publication with such a large audience and such a prominent platform chose to misrepresent Das Baumhaus in a negative light. It is a pity that instead of helping community projects to succeed and achieve their goals, they are being torn down for no reason other than to attract more readers. As a community and as a city, Berlin is better than that.  Clearly, the only thing that is dubious in this month’s Exberliner are the actions and decisions of some of the editorial staff.

Send comments to: 

baumhausberlin@gmail.com & editor@exberliner.com

* Please be respectfully constructive with your comments to all parties. We would appreciate any personal messages of positive support for the Baumhaus to help set the record straight.  It’s not too late to start putting more focus on what is going right in the world rather than what has gone wrong… Thanks!

** For the record: Nadja did offer to “hear our side of the story and publish a correction” a week ago.  However, as of June 18, this publication date, she has not responded to any recent requests for comment via email or phone.  There has also been a request made not to publish the heavily edited article in the online edition when it comes out.


Setting the record straight

What the Baumhaus is, what we believe and what we do:

The Baumhaus is an event and project space for sustainable development and solutions.  When a system is sustainable, that means it is in a state of dynamic balance.  We recognize that in any system there are many variables constantly influencing each other in a series of feedback loops.

We are building the Baumhaus to provide a space where people know they can meet face-to-face on a regular basis to collaborate and figure out how we can bring more balance into our local worlds in a variety of ways.  Ways that we can have a direct influence on ourselves, each other and the world around us; personally, ecologically, aesthetically, culturally, economically and socially (p.e.a.c.e.s.)

As a hub space, we invite sustainable projects and initiatives to contribute and create quality event programming in addition to what we can offer.  The space provides a supportive platform to explore many perspectives.

The Baumhaus is organizationally structured both as an open source, social business (GbR) and as an open source cultural non-profit organization (e.V.i.G).  In the spirit of enabling broad impact as soon as possible, we are open to documenting and sharing facts, findings, failures and successes.

As a social business, our income will come from space rentals, events and selling our services and products as a ‘sustainable solutions design agency’ (staffed by a pool of interdisciplinary freelance talent).  Our goal is to make enough basic income and sustain the relatively low running costs on the space so we can host more local neighborhood events and other initiatives who have little or no funding.

When we open this September, our 140 qm storefront space will have 3 rooms which can be rented out or used; the main space, the seminar room and our kitchen.  Typical engagements might include workshops of all kinds, seminars, social business coaching sessions, group project work, themed co-working days, social engagements, cooking classes, film screenings or just even hanging out.

As a non-profit organization (e.V.i.G), we will be eligible to receive funding for socio-cultural projects in and beyond the Baumhaus space.  These projects will be done collaboratively with organisations and individuals in our network of sustainable change makers.

Corrections, omissions and clarifications:

  • We are not a cafe, bar or gallery but you may find coffee, drinks, food and art as regular elements of any event in the space
  • The majority of our 1st successful crow-funding of €11,007 in 2012 was not cash but donated materials and space rental fees which can be seen on the page of our website documenting our financial transparency.  
  • For our current campaign we need to raise €15,000 of our €30,000 goal to get any money.
  • After a year of writing a solid business plan and another 14 months of negotiating with banks, we managed to finally finance our mission impossible by getting approved for a bank credit of €80,000 in April 2015… as an unemployed guy and a student!
  • We never got more than one loan.  We got 2 loan offers, one from Sparkasse and another from GLS.  We only accepted 1 offer that was backed by KfW. 
  • Typically renovating a public space to be legal starting from scratch costs on average of €1,000 per square meter, so our estimated €100,000 budget for a 140 qm space is well below the average.  We could not do this without our many generous volunteers and interns who help with everything from building to cooking and other donated professional services.
  • Scott’s printed quote, while meant well, is a construct of a few different quotes
  • The aesthetics in our 3d rendering of the space do not represent the actual literal design of the space.  The model was our starting point in the design process to share a vision with people.  The actual final aesthetics are being made in the space, in the process with input from all participants who want to contribute in that regard.  The vast majority of people who actually come to see the space give us very positive feedback on this process and its results.


Here is Anna’s unedited original text she submitted to Exberliner (portions in red should have been fact checked but were not and are slightly inaccurate)

They say Berlin is a good place to start such initiatives because it’s full of change-longing people. Das Baumhaus, located in Wedding, is trying to create a space exactly for those who want to change the world. The public space project started in 2012, first rather as neighbourhood meetings, dinners, workshops in a raw, to-be-renovated shop space. Their first crowdfunding campaign was successful, they’ve managed to get 11,007to start designing and building but the two founders, Scott Bolden and Karen Wohlert wanted to make it more official; therefore they’d turned it into a GbR (BGB group) to be able to apply for governmental funds and bank loans. “We are not entirely out of the system, we had to play in it a bit to get going. We’ve made a business plan and applied for bank loans and we got two in just 14 months” – explains Karen, sitting next to her co-founder, Scott, being constantly interrupted by the sound of hammering and buzz-sawing while we talk in Das Baumhaus. “However, our project is not profit-oriented but it’s about caring for the people of the community” – continues Karen, a vibrant social movement activist, political scientist from North-Germany who firmly believes that there are many change-makers in Berlin who can become active together. Her co-founder, Scott Bolden, shares this belief of hers. The New York designer had worked on several cultural, art and community spaces and sees themselves as change agents. “This is it, we are at the zero hour, and we make changes now or never! It’s not enough to talk about it we have to do it. We are building a sharing collaboration society and hoping that this can turn into a whole big movement. Berlin is getting really crowded and people need spaces to meet in a meaningful way.  We chose Das Baumhaus because a treehouse has a common reference to people!” The community of Wedding welcomed the movement and there are many helping hands and the group welcomes everyone. They also organise and manage events outside Das Baumhaus like the annual Emergent Berlin Festivals and their Zero Waste Week for example had just won an EU-Award.

Das Baumhaus started their second crowdfunding campaign at the middle of May and they are opening in September, pledgers can already pre-book the space for events, workshops. Das Baumhaus is not empty now either, they have several activities, such as improvisational orchestras, art projects, workshops, common dinners and they also serve as one of the CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) pick up points. “We welcome anything that creates change. It’s about transformation so the space is going to transform constantly too! Das Baumhaus is personally, ecologically, aesthetically, culturally, economically and socially sustainable. And if you read the initials of these words together, it will form ‘peaces’!” – points Scott to the different walls of the room, showing their already existing vertical herb garden, explaining where the clay wall is going to be and how can one later really go up to the indoor treehouse.

The Das Baumhaus group believes to be the bridge between the now and the post-capitalist future. “Democracy is the answer. It starts with the people. To make bigger changes, we need to gain our power back.” – says Karen, half way out the door.”

EU program “Youth in Action” at das Baumhaus

IMG_6414Over 30 students from Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Germany and Poland climbed into the tree house on Wednesday, June 15 with group leader Karo Pietraho from Wedding. They were part of a 12 day youth exchange for people from 12 to 25 years old called “Jugend in Aktion“. The EU project aims to strengthen the role and profile of youth mobility and democratic education in youth work in the participating EU and partner countries in Central Asia.  The main aim of the project is to motivate young people to participate in civil society and to shape their environment actively. Civic commitment is a sign of a vibrant democracy.

Das Baumhaus serves as an example where people from all fields of life and nationalities get together voluntarily to create something meaningful. Our intern Margarita could even welcome our guests in Kazakh, a language she learned while growing up. “Dobrze!”, project manager Anna also remembered some relicts from her Polish class while explaining how the Vertical Gardens work. Eventually, Scott elaborated on the concept of sustainability and answered many questions.

“Why don’t you use compost toilets?” “What about installing a webcam so everyone can see how the plants grow?!” We were happy for the questions and advice people in the group had for us.  It was an afternoon of mutual inspiration.

IMG_6417 IMG_6421IMG_6407

Das Baumhaus at the OSCE Days

IMG_6333On Sunday Anna, Scott and Simon from Das Baumhaus participated at the Open Source Circular Economy Days (OSCE Days) to plan how we can make the Emergent Berlin festival for sustainable initiatives (September 23-25) an OPEN SOURCE and ZERO WASTE event. On the one hand, we are aware that festivals create huge amounts of trash and we want to find ways to reduce it. But our challenge is not just about ecological sustainability, our main questions are: How can we make our festival zero waste in a personal, ecological, aesthetic, cultural, economic and social way? (P.E.A.C.E.S.) How can visitors experience and learn zero waste at the festival?

In a first step we brainstormed on how we can make the event ECOLOGICALLY sustainable. “What about the non-visable trash, like CO2?” someone asked. Check out our
poster for the results!IMG_6362

Then we thought, about the personal, aesthetic, cultural, economic and social ways of making the event zero-waste. How can the festival be a zero-waste of time?
 Check out our neural network:

IMG_6356Also, Scott whipped out an “Improvisational Groove Orchestra” session and we experienced a few minutes of total group resonance by the use of our voices.

In all, the OSCE challenge was a total success and we are happy we gathered some valuable insights for the upcoming Emergent Festival.



Berlin Green Party delegation @ the Baumhaus + More Structures Up

Last week, Silke Gebel, Sprecherin für Umwelt, led a delegation from Berlin’s Green Party to visit the Baumhaus to find out what we are doing and see where it makes sense to collaborate.

Our meeting went great and we even managed to get an interview with Silke on film; stay tuned for the edited version…

Check out some sore photos of the last structural work and help out this week.

This week, KW 24, will be another transformative one:

Our mission this week is to shape and attach the organic forms of the walls and floors onto the main structures in the front room. This includes the bar and kitchen area, the men’s toilet and all the structures that collectively form the Atrium. The space will start to show the signs of its aesthetic character!

Two more important things to accomplish this week

1) finish sound insulating the water pipes in the back room – continue building boxes around them to fill with insulation material.
2) clear extra materials out of the back room – the sound proof ceiling will be installed the following week!

SIgn up here to participate anytime from June 13 to June 17: http://doodle.com/poll/3qb9ptgr2i4xq9r2

Check here for future weeks: http://www.baumhausberlin.de/en/building/mitbauen/

Can’t make it by to help, please help us make our crowd-funding successful. Every small donation counts especially if we get lots of them: https://www.startnext.com/baumhausberlin/successful/?transaction_id=87babaa33c8170e9b1b2f6838a8a7497&success=1

Permaculture and Vertical Gardening Meeting VII

June 28, 2016

image6.30 pm meet and greet
7:00 pm begin

At our seventh planning meeting we will be elaborating our 3 systems.
– our vermiculture team has raised their baby compost worms over the last weeks to become big strong compost worms that are fully fledged and are even tempting to crawl out of the boxes. The teenagers were given a big bucket of leftover kitchen scraps to feed on on June 13th. Now we are curious to see if our system worked, how we can separate the worms from the soil, what we do with the compost and what we can use the highly nutritious “worm tea” for. Any ideas?
– The hydroponic Lush Jungle group has spent the last weeks measuring light, humidity and temperature to figured out which plants would work well on the wall. Let’s pick them out together!
– During the last meeting, a group made sketches for a new vertical gardening soil system. Together, we want to explore ways to make it come alive.

The Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/488248618051203/

For a full update of the last meeting, check out this page on our website: http://www.baumhausberlin.de/en/eng-vertical-permaculture-garden/

We look forward to seeing you there!

For more info on the Baumhaus, check out:

our FAQs – http://www.baumhausberlin.de/en/baumhausprojekt/faq/
and our 3D fly-through – http://www.baumhausberlin.de/en/building/allgemein/


OSCE days and das Baumhaus challenge

13178842_908692109243696_7966522319423930400_nThis year, we from das Baumhaus will participate in the Open Source Circular Economy Days (OSCE Days) on June 12 and we will use the time to plan how we can make the Emergent Berlin festival for sustainable initiatives (September 23-25) an OPEN SOURCE and ZERO WASTE event.

On the one hand, we are aware that festivals create huge amounts of trash and we want to find ways to reduce it. But our challenge is not just about ecological sustainability, our main questions are: How can we make our festival zero waste in a personal, ecological, aesthetic, cultural, economic and social way? (P.E.A.C.E.S.) How can visitors experience and learn zero waste at the festival?

We would be thrilled if you could help us brainstorm at the OSCE days on June 12, 3pm – 7pm at Agora’s new hall (Agora Rollberg (open construction site) / Am Sudhaus 2, Neukölln.



Find out more about our challenge here:

Find out more about the OSCE days here:

Emergent Berlin 2015:

Keynote: www.baumhausberlin.de/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Osce-days-Emergent-festival.pdf

Building Updates Plus… :: Week 21, 2016

Now that most of the support structures are up we started putting up some surfaces and walls. The place really made a nice transformation just in time for the Mayor of Berlin-Mitte, Dr Christian Hanke & Fr. Patz-Drücke to stop by for a supportive visit.

We also got a visit from Aftab Omer, the President of Meridian University stopped by to discuss the next steps in our ongoing collaboration.

We enjoyed a nice bbq in the park and a small but intense vocal improv workshop in the candle-lit space which provided some new perspectives on it’s own.

Other highlights:

• Decorative painter Murielle Gandre dropped off some new designs for the facade of our aquaponic waterfall vertical garden.

• We got really cool blue and Purple potatos from our CSA delivery group! They taste as good as they look!

Sign up to come by and help to continue transforming the space in June or supprt the volunteers by cooking during the following weeks:

30.05 – 03.06

06.06 – 10.06

13.06 – 17.06

20.06 – 24.06

27.06 – 01.07

Using OSCE days to transform EMERGENT BERLIN 2016

This year, we will participate in the Open Source Circular Economy Days (OSCE Days) on June 12 and 13 and use the time to plan how we can make the Emergent Berlin festival (September 23-25) an open source and zero waste event. On Tuesday, May 17th we had our first open meeting in which we, e.g. people from Makesense Berlin, Zwischenraumfestival and das Baumhaus (amongst others), stormed our brains and came up with ideas.

Here is the Keynote  presentation of the night.

And our mind map with first ideas.
Find out more about our challenge here:

Find out more about OSCE here: