Praga Lab Praga Lab

12 January 2022

Praga's heritage is not only about monuments and conservation practices. It is also a heritage of work, repairs and production plants. So, let's experiment with crafting things locally!

At the PragaLAB heritage laboratory (OpenHeritage and OW SARP), especially within the framework of Made in Praga activity, we are keen on creating heritage-led innovations and enabling the multi-voice and community character of identifying, interpreting and creating new values through (creative) activities. As part of the cooperation between PragaLAB and Domem Kultury Praga (Praga’s Community Hub), we invited broad public to a series of workshops and creative activities, during which participants, guided by/under the supervision of experts, could follow the three paths of ‘Made in Praga’ (Production, Art, Craft Cafes). The series ended with an open seminar organised as part of the fourth path, Repair. All workshops were held at the Pałacyk Konopackiego (Konopacki Palace).

Praga Museum of Warsaw supported the preparation and implementation of the workshops, for which we would like to express our gratitude.

As part of the ‘Made in Praga’ activity, together with the invited craftspeople, manufacturers and artists, we introduced the participants to the specifics of a selected profession and activities related to the local context of Praga’s working community. Also, we raised the topic of tangible and intangible values and tried to come up with innovations driven by the identified heritage values of work in the contemporary setting of the Praga district and a new wave of craftspeople coming to this area. It is important to emphasize that we do not shy away from the traditional approach to the protection of heritage and monuments. Yet, we are also interested in the contemporary interpretation and new meanings of the existing heritage manifested as new products, services and concepts.

The workshops were aimed both as an experiment and training focused on people who were interested in the heritage and its role in today’s daily life, but do not necessarily worked professionally in this field. Thus, we look at the potential of Praga’s heritage for shaping the contemporary work environment deeply rooted in the specific local context.

Workshop paths:

PRODUCTION – Goods don’t have to be anonymous, impermanent, and mass-produced. Small-scale and local production of things is less banal, less repetitive, but more durable and usually more beautiful than mass-production. It does not have to mean luxury production. Local production builds the identity of places, allows us to build relationships with customers and colleagues, and thanks to the Internet, it can also reach clients from the other side of the world. In this context, the challenges posed by circular economy raise a question of value creation and effective upcycling strategies. We will focus on the production of what we wear and dealth with the topic of circular sewing.

CIRCULAR SEWING workshop were run by: KOMPROMIS

ART – It speaks for itself. We were particularly interested in how art or the process related to its creation can affect an environment as characteristic as the Praga district, and vice versa, how the context of a place where art is created affects the art itself and its creators. As part of the workshops and confrontation with the phenomenon of ‘monument-mania’, we constructed an unusual ‘monument’. In reference to this creative process, we tried to say something important about Praga’s heritage.

PRAGA’S MONUMENT workshop were run by: sculptor Józek Gałązka

CRAFTS CAFE – We decided to focus on this type of cafes, which in addition to the basic functions also provide an added value – local, micro production including cakes and pies baked on the spot. In cooperation with the Praga Museum of Warsaw and inspired by Edward Manitius work, we will create edible toys.

Workshop was organised thanks to the support of the Praga Museum of Warsaw

PRAGA’S BUNNY workshop were run by: confectioners from Tadam!

REPAIR – Repair in many countries of the world gains an importance and even a new splendour. It allows to save money and to protect environment, it also creates 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? Repairing is a good habit. As part of the meeting, we will consider the challenges of circular economy, creating and, above all, maintaining the value of things and what it means for the space and environment of our cities.

Meeting had a form of a seminar with invited guests. Participation in all workshops was free of charge.

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