Title Image

Make a Place Workshop

Make a Place Workshop

Chairs around a table
Table and stacked chairs

If last week some of the emails were answered a bit slower than usual, it’s because Samuel Kalika, founder of Critical Concrete, was with João Rosa, our beloved summer school mentor and director of 4iS, the social innovation platform of the University of Aveiro, leading an autoconstruction workshop in Mantova, Italy.

Invited by R84 Multifactory and Arche3D, they designed and worked from 19.06 until 24.06.2017 with 15 participants from Germany, Peru, Argentina and Italy with metal and reclaimed wood.


A serie of 3 fronts were tackles during this process. A CNC cut shelves and table ensemble was designed and produced by Marco Masotto, Sebastiano Genovesi, Cesare Varesco and Tomas Lopez. At the same time a set of concrete lamps were designed and realised by Giuseppe D’Angelo and Felix Tymcyk.

Critical Concrete was in charge of leading the production and design of a tribune, chairs and tables through a wood and metal workshop for the space Creative Lab Mantova. Seing the time pressure and ressources, we decided with Arche3d to work on a modular construction where the chairs would be a stackable structure that can be transformed in a tribune with the help of belt trucks.

Stackable and modular structure usually lack of comfort, and we manage do avoid this issue with a template that would create a shape able to embrace our beautiful asses.

The social neighbourhood of Lunetta in Mantova, where the Creative Lab is situated:

Stackable stools

  • Make a jig to create the curve of the sitting module.
  • Cut the pieces of reclaimed wood to 42cm length on a mitter saw.
  • Sand every piece of reclamed wood to improve the gluing surface. Ideally we would have plained them.
  • Glue and screw the reclaimed wood in vertical position to follow the curve, being careful with the verticality of the elements. Screws were optional but in our case they helped to accelerate the process, as they played the function of clamps.
  • Have the extremities of the sitting modules cut on a table saw to have the same size of frame on every element.
  • Cut our the fitting parts for the metal frames with a circular saw. These cuts were done by experienced wood workers.
  • Cut the metal frames from 30mm square tubes. The metal frames are 41 x 41cm (45º cuts), and the legs 36cm (90º cuts).
  • Weld the frames
  • Sand the sitting modules
  • Fill the holes on the modules with a mix of glue and saw dust
  • Sand a bit and apply bee wax
Man sitting on stacked stools

Reclaimed wood table

Reclaimed wood table
  • Cut our left overs of the wood to 4cm wide pieces on the table saw.
  • Design the table panel on a full OSB board (244 x 122cm).
  • Sand every piece of reclamed wood to improve the gluing surface.
  • Build a table frame with metal square tubes (50mm).
  • Glue and screw the elements. Again the screws were optionals but helped to accelerate the process.
  • Cut out the excess of wood to the size of the OSB board with a circular saw. In our case the blade was too small so we precut with the circular saw and finished with our wonderful battery jig saw.
  • Sand a lot.
  • Glue the table tour, make 45º butt joints.
  • Fill the holes on the modules with a mix of glue and saw dust.
  • Sand a bit and apply bee wax.

welding detail photo by Roberto Pavani from ZeroBeat Teatro

The fancy party at the end with the mayor:

Thank you, amazing team of Arche3D Simone Veronesi, Carlo Masgoutiere, Corrado Bondioli, wonderful R84 Multifactory Lorenza Salati, Giulio Focardi and Rufat Dargahli for the invitation, coordination, hospitality and energy.

Thanks to Matteo Rebecchi from Pantacon for his trust and financial support.

Thanks also to the participation and dynamism of Felix Tymcyk from FabLab München, Paul Breiter, Eleonora Sorio, Cesare Varesco, Tomas Lopez, Olenka Palomino DelaMata, Peter Urban, Ana Volpi and of course Jonathan Sieber

Special thanks to the Realizzatori di Idee for its technical support.

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