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The communal area of a former hotel converted into temporary refugee housing is transformed into a pop-up open sewing lab on a weekly basis.
Set up for use by inhabitants of the building, people from all ages participate. Children have used it to learn sewing basics and make small gifts for friends and classmates, while adults use the lab to alter old and donated garments for a better fit.
Some participants with advanced sewing skills have used it to create new garments from scratch: evening gowns to attend folk dances or traditional garments from their home country. In the process, they taught others and the building's neighbours became more aware of each other's skills as well as more open to DIY solutions.
The lab is also an opportunity for social exchange in the communal area of the building, overcoming age and language barriers. Participants are made aware of other communal activities and open workshops in the neighbourhood, to promote more exchange between longterm and shortterm inhabitants, old and new neighbours of Moabit.
While the pop-up lab is paused due to the current situation, the project maintains its relations with the housing through production of washable face masks during individual shifts in an external workshop.
Open sewing workshops for inhabitants of refugee housing, Berlin-Moabit. Supported by Projekt Lebendige Nachbarschaft (LeNa) with funds of the German Senate Department for Integration, Labour and Social Services.