Neighborhood workshop: House Signs

year:           2023
place:          Brno
collaboration:  Petra Šebová, Faculty of Architecture in Brno (VUT)

In the former workers’ colony of Divišova in Brno,on the small square, a neighborhood workshop on the creation of house signs took place. During one day, residents gathered around a table and shared their stories and memories that they have had in the neighborhood. Divišova čtvrt’, called Shanghai, is a settlement in Brno, in the Brno-North district, which originated as a emergency temporary housing for the working class from the nearby Královopolska engineering factory.The idea of informal housing with village structure in the city is an interesting place for tourists to take a trip out of the center. But for people coming to the see this colony for the first time, without any knowledge of its past and history, is very difficult to orientate themselves in the area. The aim of the workshop was to redefine the current comunity’s identity and offer a new atlas of the place through creative home signs. 

The house sign, as an artwork on the building facades, historically represented a captured memory of a place, a fictional identities of the people who lived there or helped with the orientation in the city. A painting or sculpture place on the outside of a building, most often above the entrance, is closely linked to the house, represents its identity and gives the house some name. 

The workshop was created in cooperation with the Faculty of Architecture in Brno, with architect Savka Marenić and curator Petra Šebová. Event was an accompanying programme of the year-long exhibition project of the Faculty of Architecture, whose dramaturgy focused on the reflection of public space in the city and the physical displacement of events outside the boundaries of the institution.The material is recycled polystyrene from a reuse centre in Prague.

Residents of the former workers' colonies were invited to the seminar by direct letters and postcards.

plan of the mapped houses and their house signs

photos, copyright to ©Petra Šebová