Uylenspiegel’s car factory

Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop

Museo de La Rioja – Concéntrico 09

We have found this character Thyl Uylenspiegel, the folk hero, who may have been based on a historical person. The character’s surname, ‘Uylenspiegel’, may be translated literally to mean ’owl glass’ or ‘owl mirror’. Metaphorically speaking, this name has been interpreted to mean ‘wise reflection’. Considering that Uylenspiegel plays the part of the fool, he serves as a mirror by which society could judge itself.

In and exhibition in 2022 in Vienna, we have built Uylenspiegel’s workshop and we imagined that he is working there as a carpenter, making wooden furniture for a restaurant. We started to make little wooden cars from the leftovers of this exhibition in our own workshop in Budapest, Hungary. We would like to bring the story further by connecting this character to the making of these little wooden cars, as he is producing them in his factory.

We imagined that Uylenspiegel once read Fritz Schumacher’s book called „Small is Beautiful” where he wrote “I have no doubt that it is possible to give a new direction to technological development, a direction that shall lead it back to the real needs of man, and that also means: to the actual size of man. Man is small, and, therefore, small is beautiful.” As Uylenspiegel often did, he took the quote literally and therefore he have built a small factory for producing his little cars.

We would like to present this small building in Logrono, which also functions as a high table, where people can gather and children could play inside and all around this structure with the cars, as they celebrate the opening of this factory.

„The child’s own language is play. Compared to a small child, the environment is disproportionately, unconquerably, unknowably complex and large, but with the help of small, inanimate objects, it can master the things that grow above it. Even prehistoric man recognised this and gave him miniature copies of objects from the real world to play with (dolls, pots, horses). The miniature copies of things make the world less dangerous and tame it. Possession, cognition, happens through manipulation, imitation, repetitive play, learning. „ (Polcz Alaine, Világjáték)

Architecture Uncomfortable Workshop

Architecture uncomfortable workshop is a Budapest based architecture collective founded in 2012 by a group of young architects.

“Beside the planning we always try to make experiments in small case projects. One of the biggest motivators for us is the process of understanding contemporary vernacular architecture. Also, we are continuously looking for situations where comfort meets real human needs. While taking part in the production of objects and furniture, our idea of design has changed a lot over the years. Our main interest lies in visual simplicity, specifically in simple methods of building (e.g. tools), which manifest themselves in built objects. The process of constructing will have an impact on the final object, which –  as we believe –  is much more important. Through design we search for the comfort situation: For us, the main aspect of architectural design is not form or function but the situation of balance between a person and their environment. This balance is our definition of architecture. Everything else is just a consequence of it.”

With the collaboration of

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