Penthaus für schöne Formate
City Berlin, Germany
Penthaus für schöne Formate is a project of the non-profit association Kunst Werk Stadt Berlin e.V. - Penthaus space combines cultural education and a RISO workshop that EVERYBODY can use and that creates a community. We see our project as part of the sharing and community movement - When we heard about RISO printing, we thought: Wow! For cultural initiatives and artists RISO printing is the best ever! You can print posters, zines or art prints for little money and it’s super eco-friendly with beautiful results like screenprinting! - It’s almost impossible to find a RISO studio in Berlin where you can experiment with the technique and print yourself. - Our space is located at ZUsammenKUNFT, a postmigrant cultural project in an old hotel on top of a refugee shelter, a place that most Berliners never enter. (Since 2015 there are a lot of refugee migrants in Berlin and art projects connected to this.)
Penthaus für schöne Formate as a space enables being productive and creative with printing. While stil beeing a multifunctional project room, people come and use the infrastructure (light table, cutting machine and RISO) to create their own work. People from all kinds of backgrounds connect with each other, talk about their projects, print together. Penthaus is an open social and cultural print workshop.
The intense RISO Workshops are well booked – designers, non-designers, artists, non-artists. People like our principle P.I.Y. – publish it yourself! We managed not to become a “printing service copy shop” (our nightmare). The open printing sessions are a productive as well as a social time and we are always looking forward to meeting our community again. Partner initiatives used the space to publish an international cook book and exhibition leaflets. We love to print together!
Official / Legal non profit association
We didn’t want to run the Penthaus as “private investors” but as an association where the infrastructure is group owned. If you are not a legal association, best become one!
You will need a room of at least 24 square meters that is connected to the community that you want to engage, where you have a kitchen. Best, “dock on” to a social space e.g. neighborhood center, cultural center… You do not want to be in an isolated place and the rent must be low, as this kind of open workshop alone will not be financially profitable. Riso is not a money printer!
People Power your group
Your group should consist of around six people willing to run the intense RISO Workshops, want to work as volunteers during the open print session hours, will take care of social media, like to connect with other people, and like RISO
Misc Analog City Tool Box
Talk about best practices: Meet experts in your city or in your country or via phone in real life that already run open workshop or printing studios. Become a member of associations like “Verbund offener Werkstätten” (network of open workshops and fab labs in Germany). If it does not exist in your country, you can think about founding one.
You need a couple of thousand Euro for a nice infrastructure. Plus your monthly rent. You can apply for grants at foundations that support open workshops, the DIY movement, community work.
Things you need Buy a RISO! :D
You can find almost everything that you need used on ebay, craigslist or other sites: Risograph with color drums, table and stools, light table, shelving space, cutting equipment, coffeemachine, cooking material. Supplies: Paper stocks, RISO ink (get it from RISO Germany), pens, pencils etc.
Start with a Test Workshop where you invite friends and partners
Organise the background. You don't want to waiste your time with participant organisation via email. Use some online plattforms where people can sign up and pay for the expenses in advance