Mathias Heyden is a carpenter and an architect. He operates under the name ISPARA, a Berlin based office and lab for strategies of participative architecture and spatial appropriation, and engages as researcher, artist, author, editor, and organizer. He works as an assistant professor at Technical University Berlin, Institute for Architecture, Chair for Urban Design and Architecture, as well as he is guest professor at Academy of Fine Arts in Nuremberg, chair for architecture and urban research.
Mathias Heyden is the founder of ISPARA, a Berlin-based office and lab for strategies of participatory architecture and spatial appropriation. Current projects include a website on the topic of vacant public properties, a potential for future commons?; seminars and excursions on community oriented housing and workspaces in Berlin; research on a center for self-determined, cooperative education and work in a former public school, Berlin; a long-term cooperation with an artist run project-space trans_public in Linz, Austria, and the organization of the American-European symposium and workshop EVOLVING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN: BERLIN / NEW YORK in 2007. Mathias Heyden is also engaging in establishing sustainable methods of construction into the world of design, such as earthen and straw bale techniques. He is a Co-founder of the cultural association Stilkamm 5 1/2 and the community project K77 where he, in the context of sustainable reconstruction, personified as community-inhabitant, cultural worker, builder, craftsman & architect (1992/2000). Mathias Heyden has taught at the Universität der Künste Berlin, Department of Architecture, (2002/2003), and at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weissensee, Department of Architecture (2004). Parallel to his work as an architect he is a continuous assistant to the artist Ines Schaber i.e. in projects on master-planned communities and New Urbanism, or “picture mining”, an art project on copyright, common property, and post-industrial landscape. Mathias Heyden was Co-curator of the event and co-editor of the book “HIER ENTSTEHT – Strategien partizipativer Architektur und räumlicher Aneignung” (2002/2004 as well as “Everyday Urbanism und Participatory Design”, ARCHPLUS 2006 (with Jesko Fezer).