German Evangelical Church Congress
Diakonie (social and welfare work) is a term most people know, although they may only have a vague idea about its exact services and activities. The Evangelical Church in the Rhineland believed that this situation needed to be changed and commissioned krafthaus to present Diakonie as an organisation offering personal help in all life situations and as a relevant force in society at the 31st German Evangelical Church Congress in Cologne. An institution that gets involved, takes a stand and offers solutions.
The first level consisted of 56 communication pillars on which mission statements conveyed the values of Diakonie. The “Labyrinth of Society” formed the second stage. Here, visitors are confronted with different social, sometimes contradictory, trends – a reference to the latent centrifugal forces within society. A third level of communication illustrates the benefits of Diakonie.
At the end, the guests walked through five stages of life and learnt something about Diakonie’s work in relation to each of them. Each stage of life was characterised here by an interaction: “Pregnancy and Childhood” by a silhouette forest of opinions and moods; “Teens and Young Adults” by three cabinets in whose drawers and boxes challenges and offers could be found; “Middle Age” by dominoes symbolising a chain reaction of personal fate; “Old Age” by pictures of old people in window frames which asked for a change in perspective and provided a glimpse behind the facade; “At the end of the road” by a darkened room in which various texts on the subject of death and dying could be seen after a few seconds in a faint phosphorescent font.
The Diakonie mile crossed the entire central Heumarkt Square in Cologne. The architecturally unique, exciting and multi-level Diakonie installation attracted a record number of visitors and, due to the excellent response, was partially reused at other public events.