Penthaus für schöne Formate

Format Workshops

City Berlin, Germany

Penthaus für schöne Formate (ZUsammenKUNFT) – Penthaus für schöne Formate is an open social and cultural print workshop for Risograph printing. RISO is a fusion between screen printing and copy machine. The technique lends itself perfectly for self-publishing by artists and cultural initiatives, such as art books, zines, art prints and posters, since it is affordable, eco-friendly and delivers beautiful results. However, it is nearly impossible to find a RISO studio in Berlin where you can experiment with the technique and print yourself. The Penthaus therefore aims to create a multifunctional community project space for everyone, of all backgrounds and experience levels, to connect, exchange and collaborate. It provides the infrastructure (RISO, light table, cutting machine) to be productive and creative with printing and create one’s own work. With our tool we demonstrate how a group of people runs a printing space that the bigger community can also use and be part of.

Penthaus für schöne Formate is a project of the non-profit association Kunst Werk Stadt Berlin e.V. Our space is located at ZUsammenKUNFT, a post-migrant cultural project in an old hotel on top of a refugee center, a place that most Berliners never enter. The intense RISO workshops are well booked, and not just by people from an art or design background. Our principle of Publish It Yourself (P.I.Y.) is appreciated among the wider public. Partner initiatives have for instance used the space to publish an international cook book and exhibition leaflets. We are proud to counteract the standardized ‘printing service copy shop’ format. The open printing sessions are a productive as well as a social moment, and we are always looking forward to meeting our community again. 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!

Location Location

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.

Funding Funding

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.

Mobilization Start!

Start with a Test Workshop where you invite friends and partners

Misc Organisation

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