The basic idea of the project implemented by the Development Policy Foundation in 2014 was to present non-governmental organizations in Belarus with architectural workshops as an interesting, effective and socially engaging method of work, one inviting everyone concerned with the infrastructure issues both in the cities and rural areas to discussion about shared public space.
For the participants of the workshops – Polish and Belarusian students of architecture, it was an opportunity to work together sharing often their very first experiences of architectural practice, as well as to become interested in the common cultural and national heritage. Historical heritage presence in the public space and the need for its preservation while still re-creating the space anew poses an incredible challenge to the contemporary architecture specialists. The event took place in Komarovo in Belarus – one of the most historical landscapes of Belarus, located in the north-western part of the country, only a dozen kilometers from the Lithuanian border and several dozen kilometers from Vilnius.. The aim of the workshop was to develop a design for and the implementation of a spatial project – an artistic installation, which would become an architectural symbol of Komarovo. In order to help the students with this difficult task, professional architects from Poland and Belarus with extensive design and didactic experience were invited to cooperate.
Life Design Lab – Young PL & BY Architects for Revitalization of Chominski’s Manor House in Komarovo was the first one among the Development Policy Foundation’s soeas + y projects that use an architectural workshop as an effective social capital boosting working method – ensuring residents involvement with added educational value for students as a future urban space change maker. Project was funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland. The subsidy was granted as part of the ‘Polish-Belarusian Joint Actions’ program.