A project by Evi Scheller

Host organization: The Brno House of Arts

May/June 2011, The Brno House of Arts, Brno (Czech Republic), with raumlaborberlin (D)

One of raumlaborberlin’s goals is to create alternative practices within the city, with support from collaborations and self-empowerment. They explore what remains of collective ideals and ways of overcoming the current hardships of economic competition. Building temporary communities is a way to create a surrogate of the city - an idea that transcends the capitalist logic of utility and economic efficiency.

Along with 30 students from the Fachhochschule Dortmund and the Brno University of Technology, raumlaborberlin was invited to design and construct the BRNO PUBLIC STAGE as a central venue for the Brno Art Open, the third biennial of art in Brno's public spaces. THE GENERATOR was the tool to accomplish this.

THE GENERATOR is an experimental construction laboratory for a rapid, participatory design and construction practice in public spaces. The central theme of this experimental design involves construction principles, new geometries for everyday furniture and light-weight constructions, as well as new forms of use and various programs that encourage the public to interact, realize a collective vision, and share experience and expertise. Possibilities for cooperative action in the public sphere are investigated.

THE GENERATOR consists of two components, the hardware and the software. The hardware is a mobile workbench with tools and building material - in Brno this comprised 1,200 wooden slats and 27,000 screws. The software consists of a set of plans, building instructions, and templates for easy-to-learn construction of object- and space-modules. A multifunctional stage, a bar, bleachers for about 100 spectators and other individual seats were designed for the Brno House of Arts, based on "sedia veneziana," which was presented for the first time at the Biennale d’Architettura in Venice 2010.

Three additional "satellites" of the BRNO PUBLIC STAGE were installed in the city. They referred to their prominent locations (Moravské náměstí, Zelný trh, Malinovského náměstí) and provided passers-by with information on the Brno House of Arts’ summer program.

With support from: Deutsch-Tschechischer Zukunftsfonds, Robert Bosch Stiftung, International Visegrad Fund, Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Prague

Photos: Barbora Antonová, Rasto Udžan