The Shape of Space - Exhibition by IOER and BBSR shows facets of land use

Germany's landscapes are diverse and constantly changing. Growing cities, wind turbines and solar fields, high-voltage lines, new traffic routes, agricultural industry and increasing technology are changing the landscape faster and faster. The exhibition "The Shape of Space - Landscapes of Germany as Images of Society" makes this change visible with diverse aerial photographs. The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development (IOER) and the Federal Institute for Research on Building, Urban Affairs and Spatial Development (BBSR) will present the exhibition from 25 March to 7 May 2022 at the Center for Building Culture Saxony (ZfBK) in the Kulturpalast Dresden. Several events in April will address questions of how to deal with landscape changes and land consumption.

The exhibition "The Shape of Space - Landscapes in Germany as Images of Society" documents the way society deals with landscape in Germany. Our spatial foundations of life are constantly changing. Land use is an expression of social demands, economic activities, cultural influences, natural features and historical developments. It is also a result of spatial planning at different levels that manage changes and try to balance land use conflicts. Compared to European neighbours, the result is usually clearly structured settlements and often beautiful cultural landscapes, but in many places also urban sprawl, landscape fragmentation, and soil and forest degradation.

Using a large number of aerial photographs, the exhibition impressively shows different facets of land use in Germany: settlement structures ranging from densely populated inner cities to suburban locations and urban green spaces, transport infrastructures as well as industrial and energy landscapes, agricultural areas ranging from cleared post-mining and agro-industrial landscapes to organic farming, forest stands and recreational landscapes. The images, taken by a photocopter and an airship from a height of up to 100 meters, provide a new and sometimes surprising view of mostly small-scale structured, ordered and used landscapes.

Opening and side events in April
The exhibition is based on the book of the same name, "The Shape of Space” (German: Die Gestalt des Raumes), recently published by Wasmuth & Zohlen Verlag. At the vernissage on 8 April, the book's editors will discuss with guests the question "How is our landscape changing?” On 21 April, Lisa Eichler and Robert Hecht from the Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development will talk about urban green in their presentation and will present the newly developed app meinGrün. On 28 April, Martin Behnisch and Tobias Krüger from the IOER will talk about urban sprawl and land consumption. The events always start at 6 p.m. Admission to the exhibition and events is free.

Information on the underlying book (published in German)
Wendelin Strubelt, Fabian Dosch, Gotthard Meinel (eds.)
"Die Gestalt des Raumes. Landschaften Deutschlands als Abbilder der Gesellschaft" with photos by Jürgen Hohmuth and Marcus Fehse (, Berlin) as well as articles by various authors.
Wasmuth & Zohlen Verlag, 2021
ISBN: 978 3 8030 2224 0

Duration of the exhibition: 25/03/2022-07/05/2022

ZfBK – Zentrum für Baukultur Sachsen im Kulturpalast Dresden
Schloßstraße 2, 01067 Dresden
(Eingang über Galeriestraße oder das Foyer im Kulturpalast)

Opening hours: Tuesday to Wednesday, 1 to 6 p.m.
Admission free

More information on the exhibition and side events on the website of ZfBK (in German)

Scientific contact at the IOER
Dr. Gotthard Meinel, E-Mail:


The Leibniz Institute of Ecological Urban and Regional Development is jointly funded by the federal government and the federal states.

FS Sachsen

This measure is co-financed by tax funds on the basis of the budget approved by the Saxon State Parliament.