Case Study Circular Workshop

The Common Space Circular Workshop provides extended spaces and infrastructures for urban production, to keep materials in a circulating flow and to act as an incubator for the creative potential of the neighborhood. 

In many cities former industrial sites offer vast vacant spaces, often lacking a good concept for future use, despite having high spatial potential. Instead of selling off the plot to private land developers, a public open, up-dated industrial site could be implemented to generate new creative potentials and to support local urban production. The equipment of the Common Space Circular Workshop meets the possibilities and requirements of digital technologies as wells as traditional crafts, offering facilities such as:
Wood workshops
Metal workshops
Electrotechnical workshops
Workshops for synthetic materials
Ceramics workshops
Textile workshops
Repair workshops
Re-use material sales
Recycling center
Community kitchen

The Circular Workshop offers affordable spaces to people in the creative businesses to support the productive potential of the whole city and at the same time help to tackle major environmental challenges:  The problem is, that we are just consuming too much: every person in Austria uses more than 60kg of resources every day, resulting in more than 570kg of waste per person and year. Every month, more than 90 tonnes of materials suitable for resale and -use are handed in at Vienna’s waste disposal sites. That’s over 1.080 tonnes a year!

The good news is, that there are also a number of new potentials emerging from the seemingly threatening situation. Through digital administration, participatory tools and engaging in local and transnational networks like „fab labs“, new synergies can be created.  Also, upcoming approaches like „urban mining“ , where materials are sourced from the existing built mass, opens up vast new possibilities. In that way, material and resources are kept in a circular flow.

In Austria estimates show, that there are 250tons of material stock per person! That’s a lot of precious material to be connected to the great creative potential of our cities. This is why we believe that implementing the typology of a Common Space Workshop is one way to turn contemporary problems into future chances.