What does Kultúrgorilla do?

Who established Kulturgorilla and what is the purpose of the team?
Kultúrgorilla was established by Éva Tornyánszki and Anna Göttler at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design. By that time we only felt that there is a gap to fill, we wanted to make a design management medium. Nowadays we want to drive change by design management and the creation and reinforcement of socially relevant and innovative projects.

How do you define the notion of non-profit/for-profit in your case?
We always have some kind of profit, even though it is not manifesting financially. We create all of our projects to transmit our vision, regardless of profit. We aim to create a fusion of a socially engaged NGO and a for-profit enterprise, where the latter ensures the professionalism and independence. We use the methods of the business world, but combine it with the creative resourcefulness of NGOs. Sometimes we want to reflect instantly to a socially relevant question and get people together to experience something about it together - an event that doesn’t make profit (like a social picnic), but mostly we plan our activity to be economically sustainable.

What were your favorite projects related the livable city topic in the previous years?
One is the Parázs which is a smart outdoor furniture series inspired by the analogy of campfires and WiFi of the 21st century. But after prototyping and testing we have developed it and now we are working on the concept called Pad+ which transforms any bench into a smart bench. Pad+ uses renewable energy and provides open access services.

Last year we had the Bikeology exhibition at the Museum of Applied Arts where we were showing how can the bicycle works as a platform for social change and innovation, and how it is integrating masses worldwide.

In 2015 Cafe Fusi workshops and public lectures highlighted the problems of overconsumption, wasting and depreciation with the help of design. The name of the project „fusi” derives from a slang word well used during socialism. The original meaning of the word „fusi” was the unlicenced, untaxed work of repairmen and craftsmen.

Guide the Diver! launched in 2014 at the Vienna Design Week. It was seeking smart solutions in cooperation with Hungarian designers, in which the thrown-out but edible food, usable, redeemable things were becoming easily accessible. The goal was to create a simple sign system, garbage packing objects and educational material for the households, to step closer to an urban environment, which considers the less fortunate too.

What are your longer term plans?
There is still a lot to do on the way towards the livable city, and spreading its approach. We aim to explore what our critical design approach can do in this field, how can it support the idea of the livable, cooperative, social city. Can small and middle-sized interventions make any difference? Are these models able to spread? We are at the point of starting our local plastic recycling workshop and we also plan a bigger event, which can scaffold the Hungarian social and critical design scene in the urban context, keeping tactical urbanism, and “bikeology”, etc on agenda (introducing for a wider audience, and professional dialogs as well).

Interview with Éva Tornyánszki
Published: 16/04/2017