For the Creative Production Lab we worked together with the Retune Festival to connect small and middle sized companies from East Germany with Designers, Artists and creative coders to kickstart a transdisciplinary discussion. With a strong aim on future collaboration and an active transfer of competences on both directions. As we believe to know, producing companies are very strong in delivering certified and quality consistent products in a small and large quantities. Designers, artists and creative heads deliver ideas, concepts, disruptive methods and inspiring processes. But when it comes to bringing things to an end the prejudices say, that the creatives got lack of endurance.
We do not think this way. We see entrepreneurs in small and middle sized production sites as creative individuals aswell. And designers can be very self driven producers with an incredible high quality output. So we scouted 9 CEOs of companies in Germany´s wild east and 12 creatives from our network to match them in a two and half day format. Therefore we squatted a former school building in Berlin Kreuzberg, straight in front of our office and set up a contemporary design and maker space: The Creative Production Lab.
In the month prior to the event we´ve been driving through the rural areas in the east to visit the production sites. We saw old buildings, new buldings, prospering businesses and struggling times. Mostly we met people burning for their ideas and employees, that was inspiring and stimulating. These trips brought us to a thread producer in the middle of saxony, an injection moulding company, a producer of wooden window frames and larger production site for capacitors. And many more…
Within the two and a half days in Berlin, we organized a great dinner where all the participants got to know each other followed by two days of intense exchange of ideas, processes and product innovations. In small focus groups we matched designers to the companies and let them evolve ideas and concepts. It was interesting to see, how the CEOs started to match each other with the designers as moderators. So new alliances came up, that are active until today.
In one of the upper floors of the school, we installed a fully equipped Fab Lab. So the ideas were brought into physical prototypes. Through out the days, the single teams developed their own way of cooperation. There have been post its, large design sketches, prototypes and sometimes just intense discussions.
For the companies and the participating designers, this lab was a significant eye opener. The designers got to know a lot more about the realities of small production companies and their skill portfolio. The companies themselves, examines their impression of designers being weirdos with just aesthetic nonsense in the head. And a few of the triggered cooperations are still running.
The Creative Production Lab was comissioned by the Fraunhofer Institute IPK and the Unternehmen Region 2020 funding format. We realised the project in close cooperation with the Retune Festival.