CHECK/MARK/GDANSK: International workshop on re-thinking local identity

International workshop for students of interior design and architecture are held in Gdansk from 13 to 18 October. They are organised by professors of FH-Mainz, Department of Interior Design and Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk, Department of Furniture Design. The Lower Town was chosen for the point of departure for the workshop – students are introduced to the district, its architecture and structure as well as The Outdoor Gallery activities.

Gdańsk is a city linked to multiple images: the Tricity, the historic seaport, the Baltic sea, mass tourism, the fall of communism, modern shipbuilding, the Hanseatic league, precious amber – and many others. Visitors come to Gdańsk in search of these images and Gdańsk meets their needs.

The buzz concentrates on a few blocks filled with the so-called touristic hotspots. The race for attention (and money) is spatially limited, or – better said – spatially kept in check. Everyday life, of course, is less charged with those images. Everyday life is a few steps away from the Long Market. The area of the workshop, the Gdańsk district of Lower Town (Dolne Miasto), awaits one at the foot of a medieval fortification. Here Gdańsk looks different. A short walk away from tourist attractions, away from restored façades of the “old town” there is more daily life, work, worries, turbo-capitalism, and already at first glance one may see that the spirit of optimism mingles with that of resignation. The focus on the Old Town created a gap between the tourist-oriented Centre and the north-eastern Downtown; highlighting one side of the city engendered an inverse gentrification in the Lower Town. The looming scenario involves first economic, then emotional and later a spatial disintegration, while each phase will accelerate the shift from neighbourhood to ghost town. As designers, we will focus on the spatial identity of the Lower Town. 10 Polish and 10 German artists will work in tandem-teams on small spatial, artistic or performative interventions which reflect on this part of Gdańsk.

Bez nazwy1

During the week, the group will get in touch with the neighbourhood, analyse the atmosphere and decide whether to work on one single project or develop multiple interventions. The workshop will conclude in a public presentation of the construction(!) results.

Date and place: 13.10.2014-18.10.2014 Gdańsk

Concept and coordination:
Prof. Markus Pretnar/ FH-Mainz/Interior Design
Prof. Halina Kościukiewicz/Academy of Fine Arts in Gdańsk/ Furniture Design

Bez nazwy3

Bez nazwy4

Bez nazwy5 Photographs from the archives of the organisers