Christian & Julia checking the prototype for guidance

NoMoneyZone in the Werksalon

Three weeks ago it was time – the construction of our new NoMoneyZone was about to start in earnest and we visited Werksalon to meet the winning team and finalize the concepts. But it didn’t end there. Part of this first appointment was a Werksalon safety training, complete with introduction to woodworking machinery and building our very own wooden stool!
Of all the attendees, the ViennaShares delegation (consisting of myself and founder Mirjam) were probably the least experienced in DIY. Our expertise pretty much extends to assembling IKEA furniture, so for us this was guaranteed to be rather exciting.

The winning team of our competition thankfully brings a lot more to the table; Gerulf heads his own engineering and architecture company, while Julia, an architecture graduate, also gathered a lot of know-how in assembling things through „learning by doing“ in other projects. They’ll be supported in setting up the NoMoneyZone by their happy helper and fellow architect Christian.
First point on the agenda was a short introduction to the Werksalon and what it’s all about by founder Martin Papouschek (read more about that here), followed by some general advice on behavior in a workshop. Of course, the primary concern when dealing with this kind of machinery is safety, and we were encouraged to wear ear protection; protective glasses were also available for those of us wearing contacts.

After this it was time to get down to business – the introduction and safety training that Werksalon offers includes building a small wooden stool. This way you’ll actually practice all that is being explained to you and produce a nice tangible result for your efforts that you can take home afterwards.
Turns out there’s a lot more effort going in a relatively simple wooden stool than you might think. We used crosscut and circular saws, grinders, joiners and other impressive tools, of which we never thought we could (or should) use them in our life. But we did, and under the knowledgeable, careful and fun guidance of the Werksalon-team, we have come to realize that carpentry really is a wonderful and useful skill to master. Building your own, instead of buying ready-built furniture is much more gratifying.

So, that was our personal revelation. Our NoMoneyZone-team of course already knew that. As they glided through the workshop with ease, they found several moments to discuss the details of their design, come up with a timeline and finetune some tricky construction issues. The expert discussions between Martin and our winners revolved mostly around the buffer distances between the individual boxes and what material is to be used, as it needs to guarantee both stability, even when cut thinly, as well as weather-resistance and sustainability.

So, what will the NoMoneyZone look like? In a nutshell, Julia and Gerulf designed a mobile ‘toolkit’: a set of individual wooden boxes, of different size and shape, that can be arranged inside each other matroshka-style. This includes a cart for transport, which allows for easy manoeuvring through the public transport system of Vienna. The toolkit can be set up in various configurations of tables, shelves and seats depending on our needs for the day. This way it allows for flexible pop-up NoMoneyZone sessions all over the city.
By now, the material has arrived at Werksalon and the actual building will start this month. We can’t wait to see the results and start touring town with our new Mobile NoMoneyZone!