a workshop about small-scale production and design

Workshop Field

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The workshop takes place in Şişhane – which is specialized in lighting production – and Galata/Tunel Area with the collaboration Cologne´s neighborhood Ehrenfeld.

Şişhane has been the lighting district for more than 100 years and has a lot of workshops and shops specialized in lighting and electricity. Sishane has a unique production network of small producers in the district. Each small producer has a workshop specialized in metal, wood, plastics, textiles or a whole range of other materials and techniques. Most master-craftspeople use simple machines for manipulation of their materials. There are also people who carry loads, youngsters that deliver small items to other shops or studios, bookkeepers and salespeople working in the district. Together they form one big production network in a very small area. Instead of several potentials of the Şişhane Production network, there are some threats for this network. There is a lot of knowledge about lightning in the district that is now used for traditional local products that are increasingly losing market share to cheap Chinese imports. The decisions of the new master plan of Beyoğlu which cover also Şişhane District point to remove the small-scale production from the district. But in fact, their flexibility and ability to produce more complex designs on a smaller scale, added value through design will help the unique production network in the district to survive. Instead of the existing consumption oriented visions of Tourism which is planned to replace with the production in the district, it can be found  a creative-productive role for the tourism which use the production network to enrich a sustainable future.

Cologne´s neighborhood Ehrenfeld, the subject of the researches of the project Design Quartier Ehrenfeld, supported as an urban planning project by the European Union, is as well a former district of lighting production area and a crafts borough with now a rapidly increasing number of design offices and workshops. The project is analyzing the new approach of cooperation of crafts and design in a small local scale as a community process, including new production formats as rapid prototyping. Ehrenfeld is distinguished by its creative ‘humus’ and intercultural structures, and these facets are to be developed and communicated by future DQE projects as well. Already, events on such themes as interior design, urban, industrial design, fashion design, new work, mobile working spaces, ecological design, sustainability, gender studies, urban agriculture, editorial design, migration, ‘quartier’ studies and are being prepared.

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