Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Matters of Activity

Image. Space. Material

Image: MoA*

Project overview

The Cluster of Excellence “Matters of Activity, Image Space Material” (MoA) is the only Cluster of Excellence based directly at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and aims to create a basis for a new culture of materials. The central vision of the cluster is to rediscover the figurative activity inherent in images, spaces and materials in the age of the digital and virtual. Biology and technology, mind and material, nature and culture intertwine in a new way. In this context, the interdisciplinary research and development of sustainable practices and structures is a central concern in areas such as architecture and soft robotics, textiles, materials and digital filters, and surgical cutting techniques. Over 200 researchers from more than 40 disciplines systematically investigate design strategies for active materials and structures that adapt to specific requirements and environments. MoA focuses on a new role of design, which is emerging in the context of growing diversity and the continuous development of materials and visualization forms in all disciplines.

Partners are the Freie Universität Berlin, the Technische Universität Berlin, the Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin, the Max Plank Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin, the Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin (HTW) as well as the Kunstgewerbemuseum - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.



Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schäffner, Director (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Prof. Dr. Claudia Mareis, Co-Director (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)

Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Peter Fratzl, Co-Director (Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces)

Prof. Dr. Horst Bredekamp, Senior Co-Director (Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin)



January 2019 until December 2025


Project website: Link


*Picture credits: MoA (Matters of Activity) (from left to right): Project »Performing Clouds«, Clemens Winkler; Quipu, Regine Hengge; Biofilm, Michelle Mantel; Footprint in Cacao, Matters of Activity; Knots, Gottfried Semper; Stone Web – Spatial Modul System from Basalt Fiber, weißensee kunsthochschule berlin, Idalene Rapp, Natascha-Katharina Unger, Christiane Sauer; Wax moulage from Navena Widulin from the Conservation Lab at Berlin Museum of Medical History at the Charité, Matters of Activity; Precon, Lucius Fekonja; PhD Project of Iva Rešetar, Jens Ziehe.