Praga’s heritage is not only about monuments and conservation practices. It is also about the heritage of work, repairs and manufacturing. That is why the Lab experimented with producing things locally!
The main goal was to test solutions for heritage-led innovations and to enable the community-led process in identifying, interpreting and creating new values in creative activities. As part of the cooperation between the PragaLAB and the Dom Kultury Praga (Praga’s Community Centre), the Lab invited people to a series of workshops and creative activities, in the course of which they could, under the guidance of experts, follow the three paths of Made in Praga: Production, Art, and Craft Cafes. The series ended with an open seminar as part of the fourth path, Repair. All workshops were held at the Pałacyk Konopackiego (Konopacki Palace). The Museum of Warsaw Praga supported the preparation and implementation of the workshops.
The workshops consisted of introductions to selected professions and activities related to the local context of Praga’s working community. Participants discussed tangible and intangible values and attempted to create innovations driven by the identified heritage values of work in the contemporary environment of the Praga district and a new wave of craftspeople. It was important to emphasize that we did not shy away from the traditional approach to the protection of heritage and monuments. Yet, we were more interested in the contemporary interpretation and new meanings of the existing heritage manifested as new products, services and concepts.
The workshops served both as an experiment and a training, focused on people interested in heritage and its contemporary meaning in everyday life, who do not necessary work professionally in this field.
Four workshops took place:
PRODUCTION – CIRCULAR SEWING Workshop was run by KOMPROMIS store https://www.kompromis.store/ specializing in the re-use of clothes. The participants learnt how to choose vintage or second-hand clothes and how to create something new with respect to environment and work of others. Clothes prepared during the workshop were inspired by the style popular in the streets of Praga. Another outcome of the workshop was the cut-out pattern for a useful and pretty bag produced with zero waste of the material.
ART –PRAGA’S MONUMENT Workshop was by run by sculptor Józek Gałązka https://jozefgalazka.pl. It was vital not to create something disposable within the framework of one-time event. Partcipants, together with the artist, created a form of “shared sculpture.” It consisted of several elements which, combined together, created a temporary monument. After the exhibition—during which the group presented and discussed their work with the public—elements of it were distributed among members of the local community to serve them as flower pots, as they were made of durable concrete.
CRAFTS CAFE – PRAGA BUNNY [Królik Praski] Workshop was run by Sonia, Max and Ania, siblings behind the local craft confectionery store Tadam! https://www.tadamtorty.com/ which specializes in high quality confectionery. During the workshop, they created—together with the partcipants—a “Bunny”cake, inspired by heritage wooden toys presented at the time at the exhibition in Museum of Warsaw Praga https://muzeumpragi.pl/wystawa/rzeczy-do-zabawy-edward-manitius-i-jego-wytwornia/. Workshop was realised thanks to the support of the Museum.
REPAIR – In many countries all over the world, the idea of REPAIR gains an importance and even a new splendor. It allows to save money and to protect the environment. It also evokes a sense of durability in our lives. It is nice to like the things that surround us, and if we like them, why should we get rid of them easily? In the course of the meeting, Foundation od.coop, specialists in circular management of unwanted things and materials, discussed with the public the challenges of the circular economy, creating and, above all, maintaining the value of things and their meaning for the space and environment in our cities.