Mobile Porch is a multifunctional object that can be used for varying purposes in diverse settings. By offering this new urban toy to the people who use and govern the public places, Mobile Porch becomes a tool for contact, stimulating activity, revealing the potential of everyday situations to inform the future.
As a mobile sculpture it creates a platform for self-expression and community interaction. The Mobile Porch travels to different locations and is open to interpretation, the space invites people to fill it with their own ideas and to create an experience that is both public and personal, involving themselves, the space around them and interacting with society.
The prototype for Mobile Porch was built developed in 2000 with the help of architects and designers. The deliberately flexible design offers a stage, a screen, a reception desk, a dinner table, a shop, an exhibition board, a workshop, a billboard, a hang-out…an endlessness of possibilities to suit the people’s unending supply of desires, dreams, ideas, interests and needs. The circular “Ferris space” has been successfully used and interpreted by other organizations and continues to pop up in unexpected places around Europe.
WMK ( Wohnen mit Kunst = Living With Art ) – Riem , Munich
Mobile Porch was invited to visit Riem a newly to be built city for 16000 people to live in on the former airplane fields of the airport Riem. In this large urban development project Mobile Porch was to bring together people from this very new community belonging to different cultures, religions, nationalities and ethnicities by offering free interior design consultancies for their homes. All people where immigrants and just moved inn or still dealt with getting settled in their new city. An free art motivated consultancy on design problems in the private homes was offered and soon many families could be linked to each other by the work and visits of the Mobile Porch team. The work on site also included the redesigning of an entire brandnew fire station (FW10) that needed help with their interior too. A prior to the new urban development existing asylum seeker home (which was ignored by officials) was successfully brought together with the new “settler” and the firemen to start new relationships.
Sandwich Project organized by Saffer was a house corner art project on Brick Lane in London, a street which leads to the famous Brick Lane Market. In 1997, over a couple of months every Sunday for about 2 to 3 hours Saffer invited artists to participate in the project and this particular house corner became a stage for very diverse art projects. The Art was not announced and people passed by to and from Brick Lane Market which takes place every Sunday.
It was not the intention to curate shows nor to establish public art or art in the public. There was no deeper concept to the project other then the curiosity to observe art within a non-art environment.
Sandwich Project was an artistic research project where Saffer wanted to investigate which art practices or which forms of art or what kind of concepts would work with the people passing by randomly. And if there was an interest generated he was interested to see how the art worked with the public audience. The invited artists more or less had little experience with the so called "public space" and was with out any budget. This project inspired Saffer to work further within and with the public space which lead to more developed public art projects.
Exhibition: When a Tree Falls in the Forest... Pastiche, Solyst Art Center, Denmark
Oggo is a small-scale sculpture inspired by a depiction in a local Danish church dating to c.1375. For a sculpture garden show at the water castle of Solyst the drawing was transformed into seven small-scale sculptures named “Oggo’s”. They appeared in different locations in the park of the museum, to be discovered when leisurely walking through landscape. Cambridge university scientists listed the small drawing in the local church not far from the park as “fantasy animal” because it could not be identified as a typical depiction of a creature used in the symbolisms at the time. It represented the little freedom of an artist around 1375 to make something “fun”. Taking this drawing out of context into the environment today was the attempt to use forgotten history as a poetic tool in order to create new stories today.
House of Cultures of the World , Berlin ( Ueberlebenskunst Festival )
AusterTraum started as a research project at the House of Cultures of the World, Berlin within the larger framework of an exhibition called Ueberlebenskunst. Together with cultural scientist Birgit Schneider we started to look at the question of sustainability in art and culture. Interviews with experts such as geologists, ethnologists or cultural scientists were conducted and we also asked staff members of the House of Cultures about sustainability in art. In our research we came across the oyster as a symbol for survival and we found out that the term "ecology" was first created by a biologist who investigated oyster banks. We visited a oyster scientist at the north sea who showed us new oyster banks whith pacific oyster growing in the north sea water. This growths was only possible due to global warming which caused a warmer water temperature. The oyster and our visit in the slick of the north sea became to be a story for a very small mini book in which we presented a compendium of thoughts for the future. The book can be purchased at lostbooks (its only available in german language)
Wildwood Kent, England
Miranda is a self-contained working and living space in Canterbury, Kent. An unlocked space open to the public for interpretation and freedom of expression, a place to facilitate social exchange. Miranda has now ownership. It is not known whether or not it still exists on site.
Schloss Faber von Castell, Stein bei Nuremburg
Staatliches Bauamt Aschaffenburg, Historischer Garten Amtsgericht Aschaffenburg
Public works in collaboration with Nicoline van Harskamp (Stefan Saffer formerly part of public works with Nicoline van Harskamp realised this project in Berlin). Neukoelln Express was part of a larger public art project "Okkupationen" organised by Uwe Jonas and Birgit Schuhmacher.
Public works offered a communication system which revived a long forgotten way of public life: "meeting points" were created in selected areas in the public space. Benches were constructed out of green wood with informal message boxes attached to them. From these points of gathering news, stories, messages and rumours can be spread. A local "messenger" takes over the moderation and the transmission of the news to other stations.
5th - 30th of September 2005
Sites were: Maybachufer/Höhe Hobrechtstr., Weichselstr. 16, Sonnenallee 132, Weisestr. 48, Jahnstr. 68+70 and Johannisthaler Chaussee/ near U-Bahnhof
For more information visit
Reuter Kiez , Maybachufer, Neukoelln , Berlin
Uferlos ! was comissioned by the office for redevelopement in the so called Reuter Kiez area Neukoelln, Berlin. Within a summer fair I offered to people that they can rebuilt a scale model of their riverside site in order to change this area with their ideas. Paralel to that there was a small TV studio and one was able to record thir thoughts about the area on camera. The model and the movies were later shown again to the public and many ideas for a redesign of the actual space were given to a landscape architect. Some f the collectively gathered suggesstions were then really built on site today. So the riverside of maybachstreet has now truly public terraces which are for everybody to use and not available for commercial use.
Majors Building , Marktgemeinde Eggolsheim
Birra is a sculpture which consists of aluminum beer barrels painted in car colors. The "beer-barrel-column" is standing in the foyer of the majors building at a small village in Franconia. The village used to have its fame from being the only village with a licence to brew beer. The foyer connects a very old building from the beer brew era with a new modern building. The shape of the aluminum barrels still reminds of the old fashioned wooden beer barrel. This shape disappeared due to European regulations. The very bright colors of the barrels are taken from car color found in the area. the most excentric colors can be found on cars in the countryside. The installation is permanent.
Prunerplatz Linz, Austria
The “ Place to Find ” project consisted of a mobile park bench situated in a small central space within Linz that delved into the concept of urban planning. The project was created with the intention of being a temporary investigation of space in order to discuss the idea of maybe allowing a small square become useful to its neighbors other then just serving as a crowded parking spot. The small square was later redesigned with all the input from the local neighbors and serves today as a truly public plaza.
Commission installation, Kurz GmbH, Furth
Einstein Summer Am Neuen Markt, Berlin
Organizer: Einstein Forum, Potsdam
Project Director: Yvonne Leonard
Curator: Brigitte Hausmann
Contrary to widespread belief, Einstein received the Nobel Prize not for his theory of relativity but for discovering that light can simultaneously consist of waves and particles.
Stefan Saffer, in an outdoor art happening specifically relating to the city of Potsdam, meets up with light specialists to design a monument of light. The project sounds paradoxical, monuments being material and light immaterial. The “light specialists” range from a solarium proprietor, electrician, light designer and candle manufacturer to an astrophysicist, a photonics researcher and other scientists.
The preliminary plans and descriptions will be exhibited in the Einstein Forum.
MonumentLight – Stefan Saffer presents the ideas of (and with) Potsdam "light specialists."
If you like to see all ideas for a monument for light please download the PDF file (3,1 MB).
Karen Blixen Museum, Copenhagen, Denmark
Meet Me In You was a conceptual idea exhibited in the Karen Blixen Museum, Denmark, creating a dialogue between European and African artists combined with the writings and work of Karen Blixen. The piece suggested simply turning the main road in front of the museum temporarily into an Africa dirt road (using real dirt from Nairobi). Passing through this Dirt Road slowly a driver would read on a street sign the sentence: “ Whenever you meet somebody else, your own identity is crumbling”. The road in front of the museum is famously known in Denmark as one of the richest streets in the country since almost everybody who has power and money drives over it to their villas or to visit the amazing Louisiana museum.
For two years a negotiation took place to produce this piece in reality and the small museum fought for its realization but was turned down by bureaucracy. Many question of racism and fear of the other came up in this process. The piece remains to be finished.
The Future Gallery was a project which took place within the company Siemens UK to enable a cultural, cross-hierarchical communication and infromation exchange within the companies widespread branches and fields. Using artistic practises employees of Siemens UK were asked to draw the future. The project was partially funded and organised by the Siemens Arts Program in Munich and Karoline Timm was the curtator for the project.
For further information please visit
or download the Siemens Arts Program description as a PDF.