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Peter

Peter

"Ich bin ein Berliner" since 02.02.42
Name: Peter Matthias Anderschitz

 

I am an "Aurovilian" since 21.02.71
Name: Peter

 

Living in duality

The year that the 'Berlin Wall' was erected, I began my studies in architecture & planning at the Technical University in Berlin.

I finished them in '68, the same year that Auroville was founded in far-away India. It was also the year in which the student revolt sent some ripples through the city of (West) Berlin and through Western society in general.

I got my diploma through a research paper and comic design, both radically questioning the established role and self-image of the architect as teacher, designer or builder in society.

Beyond exclusivity

I began to understand that my longing for beauty and harmony was not to be an exclusive one, but had to embrace the life process itself, and that I had actually always been searching for the unifying essence in everything, for a spiritual grounding.

Calling the unexpected

I enjoyed driving a taxi (as town planner), living in communes (as architect), traveling to new horizons - inwardly as well as outwardly, always keeping myself open for the unexpected. And so I encountered Sri Aurobindo's work, which resulted in my reaching Mother India, meeting the Mother, seeing that strikingly radiating model of her dream city-with-a-soul, touching the red soil of that promised land, - coming home.

The creative way of failing

Having finally found my ideal dream vessel, the real journey could begin, which meant getting involved in various kinds of work, always on the look-out for spaces or situations where that 'unifying essence' had a chance to be expressed, with architecture or without:

  • Working in 'Auroville's Future' planning office for far-away Indian steel town projects

  • Withdrawing into landscaping in the Fraternity settlement

  • Engaging in Auroville's Land Service activities for land, road and infrastructural integration

  • Keeping away from individual housing projects

  • Getting involved instead in public relations and international networking (helping to get the first gathering of Auroville International together, participating in the founding of AVI Germany)

  • Giving the Auroville urban collective development a try by starting the Residential Zone with a first design of clustered housing in Samasti

  • Agreeing to design an individual residence and guest house at Felicity near Auromodele

  • Withdrawing happily from the Auroville scene again for a stronger heartbeat: the presentation of Auroville at the International 'Prague Assembly of Architects & Planners for Ecology, Peace and Social Development' beyond the already cracking iron curtain

  • Getting the Grand Prix for the above presentation the very same day the Berlin wall came down ('89), and being thrown into the upheavals in Czechoslovakia at the time

  • The Czechoslovakian 'soft revolution' releasing aspirations in me which movingly brought back to me the spirit of Auroville's beginnings, another coming home.

Parallel journeys

To probe deeper, I started opting for 'root research' in an effort to connect with the group soul of a nation when it is cracked open (in my case Germany). This meant shuttling between Auroville and central Europe, with Berlin becoming temporarily the centre of a new (world) healing process. It also meant connecting with a variety of ecological, spiritual and (sub)cultural projects and experiments:

  • Marvelling at Corbu's Chapelle de Ronchamp

  • Experiencing Cristo's 'Wrapping up' of the Berlin Reichstag

  • Participating in Berlin's Peace University Experiment with the Dalai Lama, Ervin Laszlo and others

  • Appreciating Charles Correas' 'Vistara' Exhibition of Indian Architecture (India Festival)

  • Enjoying and being inspired by a Land Art project: building an Auroville 'capsule' in the Berlin forest

  • Finally tuning in to the creative squatter and rave culture between Berlin, Amsterdam and Zurich.

Parallel in Auroville

Experiencing the joy and pain of building Peter's house of 'Light Matter' in the context of the small Petite Ferme architects community.
And enjoying participating in, and witnessing, the promoting of a new collective development in Auroville in this new millennium, beginning with the Land Use Coordination activities, bioregional integration, new economy and the Integrated Masterplan for Auroville.
On the way to that elusive 'unifying essence' after all...?

My plan for the near future

To encourage better team work in the planning process, innovative cooperative housing schemes, adequate traffic concepts related to urban designs which honour public functions and spaces in order to support the inner and outer communication and growth of the city of the future.

See also Peter's page in the City_Architecture section.

 

peter@auroville.org.in 

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