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FROM THIS EPISODE

How can Angelenos break into the housing market -- and live alongside their peers? DnA explores a cohousing model in Berlin called “Baugruppen” and asks whether they could work in L.A. Plus, a Cold War-themed board game pits East Germany vs. West Germany.

Image: R50, an example of a Baugruppe in Berlin.

Producers:
Frances Anderton
Caroline Chamberlain

Does Germany Have the Answer to Affordable Living? 20 MIN, 3 SEC

Berliners are facing many of the same challenges as Angelenos in terms of affordable living space, as well as coming to grips with changing family structure; but, they have come up with an intriguing solution. Baugruppen, meaning building groups, are cohousing communities where you choose who you want to live alongside and then split the costs of development.

We visited a Baugruppe complex in Berlin called R50 designed by architecture firms Heide & Von Beckerath and IFAU. Co-principals Christoph Schmidt and Verena von Beckerath explained the process of designing and building collaboratively -- for 19 households.

DnA also spoke with art and design writer Andreas Toelke about the origins of Baugruppen in Berlin and discussed the model’s feasibility in Los Angeles with architects Ric Abramson and Rick Corsini -- with reference to Gregory Ain’s classic Avenel Cooperative Housing.

German Board Game Designers Find Fun in the Pool and the Cold War 7 MIN, 22 SEC

While in Berlin, DnA’s producer Caroline Chamberlain visited the world’s first board game cafe called Spielwiese. She met with the designers of some games dealing with some very German challenges.

“Cool am Pool” is a board game coming soon by Hartwig Jakubik that has players compete over the best places by the pool. Caroline learns how it works and whether it is rooted in a German vacation tradition.

25 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, fictionalizing the Cold War in pop culture is on the rise with the TV shows “The Americans” and “Deutschland 83.” And now a two-player board game is taking on the theme. “Wir Sind Das Volk” -- meaning “We Are The People,” the rallying cry of East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall -- was created by native West German Peer Sylvester.

Caroline Chamberlain spoke to Sylvester about how he turned the ideological struggle between East and West into a game and why players can choose not to build the Berlin Wall.

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