Bergsee Camp – Analysis and Design Proposal (a Design Studio Case Study)

6 March 2020

Turn your inspiration into action. Learn how to develop analytical skills that can apply to consulting and practising sustainable design.

The Bergsee Camp project is a exciting output of the Design Studio, which participants of the Design for Sustainability (GEDS) programme are able to engage with once they have completed the four dimensions- social, ecological, economic design & worldview.

The focus of the Design Studio is to get you to think about and practise integrative whole systems design, go through the experience of co-designing with others to create a detailed project proposal and design, and to recapitulate and integrate what you have learned over the year-long programme.

Bergsee Camp is currently a traditional holiday campground of 8800 m2 in N. Central Germany, not far from the city of Göttingen and the fabled Harz Mountains, a picturesque area of medieval villages with half-timbered houses. The campground, created next to a lake in the 1960s, has been in the Giesecke family since its inception.

Today, Johanna Giesecke and her family have undertaken to turn the property into a sustainable and inspiring holiday experience, with the larger goal to make Bergsee Camp into a regional hub for a new, regenerative way of living in harmony with society and with the environment.

The larger Bergsee Camp goal and vision find expression in the more immediate and mid-term objectives that will guide the development of the project over the present stage of the makeover and transformation of the traditional campground. This present stage will be considered completed when Bergsee Camp has all of its new infrastructure and activities up and running according to the family’s business plan.

Objectives include:

• making Bergsee Camp as carbon-neutral as possible;
• building a secure, sustainable water system for up to 200 guests;
• providing organic and regional food to guests through the refurbished bistro;
• bringing people together in a spirit of joy, friendship, and mutuality through
special learning, art, and musical events;
• spreading the ‘Bergsee Spirit’ of regeneration out to local communities;
• and establishing BC’s financial viability as a sustainable social enterprise
with an effective work structure for the family members.

As the project goes forward, there are a number of critical success factors, systemic feedbacks to establish that the development is proceeding according to plans, and according to the family’s vision. The critical success factors are located in four ‘dimensions’: the ecological outcomes dimension, the economic business model dimension, the social/community-building dimension, and the ‘worldview’/core values dimension.

Bergsee Camp is growing and blossoming into a center to transform individual lives, communities, and the relation of mankind to the natural world of which it is a part, and by so doing, Bergsee Camp is playing its part in healing people and the world.

Learn more about the Design Studio of our Gaia Education Design for Sustainability (GEDS) programme here!

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