Mirko Winkel is the coordinator of the mLAB. The artist and curator teaches at the University of Bern and other places with the aim of synthesizing art with scientific research and socio-political concerns.



Susan Thieme is professor of Critical Sustainability Studies at the Institute of Geography at the University of Bern. She brought the Global Science Film Festival to Bern and co-developed the Social Learning Video Method. She is co-founder of the mLAB.  MORE



Carolin Schurr is professor of Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. As a feminist geographer, she has developed and experimented with affectual and visual methods to grasp the emotional effects of globalization processes on our intimate lives. She is co-founder of the mLAB.  MORE



Alexander Vorbrugg is a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer in Critical Sustainability Studies at the University of Bern. His research interests include visual forms of research and science communication. He is part of the coordination group of the mLAB. MORE



Laura Perler is a postdoctoral researcher in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. In her research she investigates inequalities in relation to reproductive technologies and the Swiss asylum system. In her projects she uses audiovisual approaches and collaborates with artists. Together with Mirko Winkel, she is currently organizing a traveling exhibition on egg donation. She is part of the coordination group of the mLAB. MORE



Stefan Brönnimann is a professor in Climatology at the University of Bern. His research focuses on weather and climate reconstruction, climate models, climate dynamics, effects of volcanic eruptions on climate and climate and society interactions. MORE



Elisabeth Militz is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Guelph (Canada) and a feminist political and cultural geographer. She experiments with affectual and feminist digital methodologies and advances feminist social media research methods. MORE



Adrien Mestrot is a professor in Soil Science at the University of Bern. Part of his research topics is analyzing the biogeochemistry of soils under global change to improve environmental health and food production.  MORE



Nora Komposch is a PhD student and assistant in Social and Cultural Geography at the University of Bern. Her research interests are geographies of the body, care and reproduction, migration and labor, and politics of the global intimate. MORE


Producing and Reflecting Maps

Seminar 1.5. – 1.8.2021

Maps model, represent and translate spatial knowledge into a (geo)graphic form. Even if they always have a utility value, one cannot deny their aesthetic dimension. Thus, cartographers have always used artistic and design methods to achieve certain effects and statements.

While maps have traditionally served to generalize scientific parameters, spatial phenomena, and quantifiable data to scale, the visualization of qualitative data has come to play an increasingly important role in the social and cultural sciences. The practice of critical map reading that has emerged here, in turn, has an impact on standard forms of representation in the natural sciences and the quest for analytical distancing. Counter mapping or participatory mapping, for example, emerged from a power-critical examination of the practice of mapping.

In this seminar, the mLAB offered geography students the opportunity not only to engage with new forms of mapping in terms of content, but also to reflect on the production of maps and to experiment together with new mapping practices. Through expert inputs, group work, and hands-on experimentation, students learned about the medium of the map, intervened in existing understandings of mapping, and laid the groundwork for the development of new mapping practices in the future.


Three final maps about permafrost

In Mirko Winkel’s seminar and inspired by the work of 3000 Peaks, the students developed cartographic interpretations for the future melting of permafrost and glaciers in the Swiss Alps.


1. Tourism in Future Zermatt

What could the tourist offer in Zermatt look like in 300 years after the permafrost has melted? Take a look at the brochure of the adventure world Zermatt in the year 2321.





2. Atlas of the Peak Shrinkage

Let’s make the speculative assumption that permafrost causes landslides so severe that the Alps above 2400 meters are completely eroded. What impact would this have on infrastructure? This atlas uses maps to show possible scenarios.


3. Video: Temporary Giants

It took millions of years for the Alps to form. This form is constantly changing. But due to human-induced climate change, permafrost is melting faster than ever before. The giants that we perceive as the Alps will disappear and the landscape will change again. In an artistic approach, this video captures the process of change.


  • Mirko Winkel


  • 3000 Peaks
  • Alain Bühlmann
  • Alexander Hermann (Cartographer, GIUB)
  • Heinz Veit
  • Helga Weber