Brave New Alps

Public A-I-R – festival


Part of Designing Economic Cultures

As a conclusion to our residency at A-I-R Laboratory, CSW Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, we co-organised the three day long festival Public A-I-R in the park surrounding Ujazdowski Castle.

How do we decide how to use our resources: feelings, knowledge, professional and social connections? How can our daily activities and experiences – food, work, architecture, cultural participation – provide us with practical material for reflecting on the circulation of goods?

All the artists in residency contributed with lectures, workshops, performances, all more or less closely related to the subject of alternative economies and all based on the idea of sharing knowledge and experiences with others for free. The talks and activities we organised were a continuation of the seminar series Constructive Dismantling.

The festival took place around a 40 meter long table that we built in the park out of recycled wood.

Click here to see the complete program of Public A-I-R.


Here a brief overview of the events we organised:

WSPÓL.DZIELNIA – emotional mapping of a pre-war cooperative housing estate
Presentation by Emilia Piotrowska and Igor Sarzynski, initiators of the WSPÓL.DZIELNIA project. More at

ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP – a Polish tradition
A discussion devoted to a shift that occurred in thinking about social activism in Poland at the end of the 20th century. Dr. Ilona Ilowiecka-Tanska from Fundacja Partners Polska talked about how, after twenty years of socio-economic transformation, the NGO community has arrived at the present concept of the third sector.

An introduction to the wealth of food that is to be found outside the official supermarket shelves. A talk about how some people’s waste turns into other people’s treasure and a reflection about one of the hidden sides of our consumer society. After the talk we cooked a delicious freegan broccoli soup.

Do you knit, sew, design furniture, know how to tie sailor’s knots, can start a fire in one minute, know how to use waste materials to create useful objects or have any other skill that will help others to attain more independence in daily life? Come forward!

FORAGING – with chef in residence Juliette Delventhal
Searching for edible plants around Ujazdowski Castle and using them to prepare food

The people of the Warsaw Food Cooperative gave an inspiring insight into the basic rules of their collective endeavor of sourcing high quality food for affordable prices, while at the same time building a community and creating a social safety net.