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In Latvia, the concept of co-creation workshops is developing

09.07.2024

From 3D printers to sewing machines, co-creation workshops offer equipment, space, and like-minded individuals for realizing new ideas and acquiring new skills. These workshops are diverse, but all share a common focus on co-creation, tools, and space. You can find the nearest co-creation space and available equipment on the platform lietovelreiz.lv.

Whether for hobbies, business, or personal needs, a co-creation workshop is a place where equipment, tools, spaces, and technical support are available for rent and shared use, allowing you to work on your ideas. The concept of co-creation spaces is growing, with workshops increasingly found in more Latvian cities.

Workshops offer spaces equipped with necessary tools, equipment, and software for office work, skill acquisition, creative projects, product development, and prototyping. Often, materials available for reuse are also provided.

These workshops are diverse, but they all share co-creation, tools, and space. They include co-creation and coworking spaces, open offices, FabLabs, multifunctional workshops, prototyping workshops, or a combination of these concepts. The principles of sharing and co-creation also align naturally with the circular economy mindset, encouraging less individual ownership and more shared use.

Users benefit from the opportunity to test and access various tools and equipment, as well as exchange or receive knowledge, either for free or for a symbolic fee. In workshops, experienced professionals can guide you in learning how to use equipment and tools.

Such spaces are found in Valmiera, Cēsis, Jelgava, Olaine, Dobele, Ventspils, Kuldīga, Lielvārde, Aizkraukle, Liepāja, and Riga. Both municipalities and non-governmental organizations have established these workshops.

"We hope that the development of more co-creation spaces will promote the sharing of things, the circular economy, and the emergence of new ideas and solutions, with local people working together. Who knows, perhaps a new product or innovation will emerge? It is also valuable to acquire simple and practical skills, such as making your own cosmetics, sewing curtains, or soldering a kettle," says Evija Ozola-Ozoliņa, the project manager of lietovelreiz.lv.

The workshop DARE was created over four years ago by the Valmiera Development Agency, in cooperation with the Valmiera City Municipality and the Valmiera Design and Art School. DARE is intended for anyone with a creative idea, an unfulfilled hobby, or a desire to create a product prototype. The workshop offers equipment (CNC milling machine, laser cutter, fabric and mug printing equipment, embroidery machine, sewing machine, etc.), workbenches, various hand tools, and technical specialists who teach how to work with the equipment.

"At the co-creation space 'DARE,' we are currently implementing the Interreg Baltic Sea Region project 'Circular spaces' with partners from five countries (Latvia, Denmark, Norway, Lithuania, and Germany). The project brings together co-creation workshops that, following contemporary trends, have decided to collaborate in the field of eco-design and material reuse. The project provides training, pilots new business ideas, and prepares guidelines for other co-creation workshops to successfully transition to a circular economy," says Māris Ozols, head of the Valmiera co-creation workshop DARE. The developed training on the circular economy is available to everyone here.

Meanwhile, the co-creation workshop ZINDARI in Cēsis is an initiative by the enterprising Cēsis resident Agnis Elperis.

"Half a year ago, I had to decide on setting up new premises. It could have been a simple office where I provide computer-related services. But I had long dreamed of my own workshop and a large kitchen where I could work with my hands, not just a computer keyboard. Then suitable premises became available. After a few months of work, everything was ready, and I made all the furniture myself. I see perspective in co-creation," says Agnis Elperis, owner of the ZINDARI multifunctional workshop in Cēsis.

You can find co-creation spaces and workshops on the map on the platform lietovelreiz.lv. The available technical equipment can be viewed in the catalog.

The LIFE integrated project "Waste to Resources in Latvia - Promoting Regional Sustainability and the Circular Economy by Implementing the Waste as Resources Concept" (LIFE Waste To Resources IP, LIFE20 IPE/LV/000014) is implemented with financial support from the European Union's LIFE program and the State Regional Development Agency.

The information reflects only the authors' views and opinions and does not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the European Union or the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA). Neither the European Union nor the granting authority is responsible for the content provided.

Media Contacts:

Zero Waste Latvia: Evija Ozola-Ozoliņa, project manager (lietovelreiz@zerowastelatvija.lv, phone: +371 29926491)

DARE: Māris Ozols, head of the Valmiera co-creation workshop DARE (maris.ozols@valmierasnovads.lv, phone: +371 29417273)

ZINDARI: Agnis Elperis, head of the multifunctional workshop in Cēsis (agnis.elperis@gmail.com, phone: +371 26412803)

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