Mua‘s team has been exploring Tbilisi’s industrial sites for the past few months, and the process is nearing completion. At the end of October, The Exhibition of Tbilisi Industrial Heritage will be held accompanied by the lectures around the same topic until the end of November.
The urgency of the issue and the importance of the project
The project “Tbilisi Industrial Heritage” is dedicated to the registration of industrial buildings in Tbilisi, collecting basic information about them and creating a common database. The issue of industrial heritage and its preservation is quite often discussed at the international level today, although in Georgia this issue is still not on the agenda.
For communities and institutions interested in developing different areas of culture, the industrial part of the city is a kind of resource, both in terms of research and their transformation.Also important is the fact that a large part of the former industrial buildings are not only unique architectural objects but also interesting from an artistic point of view. Mosaics, bas-reliefs, or other works of art are often found on the façade.Unfortunately, many of them are in a dilapidated, ruined, and looted state today, posing a real threat of losing the city’s historical memory and cultural uniqueness. In order to preserve the diverse and multifaceted historical and cultural uniqueness of our country and city, it is important to take into account the historical, cultural, economic, and social values of this heritage.
Project progress and research methods
The present project is the initial study of industrial buildings, which includes different phases of development. The initial research formed a kind of base, which revealed the means of multifaceted, multidisciplinary development of the community.
When researching buildings, we use a variety of methods – photo documentation (photographer Angus Leadley Brown), video recording (Indigo magazine), sound recording (CES), artifact collection, and more.
The long-term goals of the research are to see a unified picture of the city’s industrial heritage, to study and analyze industrial buildings, and to raise the issue of their preservation and adaptation.
Project Summary Event
In the conditions of (pandemic) limited resources, at this stage of the research, we will limit ourselves to the industrial buildings in Tbilisi and focus on the remnants of the 20th century. An exhibition/presentation of the studied material is planned for the end of October – where the first stage works will be presented to the general public. The exhibition will also be posted on the website of the Tbilisi Architecture Biennale within the framework of the 2020 project. The exhibition includes a research presentation, a photo exhibition of selected buildings from the study material, a presentation of some of the material obtained through student workshops, and the presentation of audio and video material created in collaboration with Indigo Magazine and CES. The exhibition is planned to take place in the Artarea exhibition space – as one of the positive examples of the transformation of an industrial building. Attendance at the presentation will be free.Photo and video material of the event and summary information will be prepared, which will be posted on the project, multiverse architecture, and factory digital media channels.
Tbilisi’s entrepreneurial and industrial heritage dates back to the beginning of the 19th century. During the 19th century, the status of Tbilisi (Georgia) as a business center of the Caucasus was strengthened due to the geographical location of the city (Tbilisi (Georgia) was located in the immediate center of the Caucasus) and the existence of a wide road network around Tbilisi (Georgia).
The exhibition will present industrial and industrial buildings built in Tbilisi at the end of the XIX century, the beginning of the XX century, and the Soviet period. The survey identified up to 250 facilities, most of which ceased operations in the early 1990s, after which they were privatized and almost completely depreciated. Most of the enterprises are no longer functioning as originally intended and are rented space for various micro-enterprises.
The exhibition is a kind of summary of the found material, with the aim of the exhibition to share the impressions and information that emerge during the research and inspection of the former industrial buildings. Accordingly, the materials presented at the exhibition – photos, videos, audio, artifacts, and archival materials form a whole in the form of an interactive installation. The exhibition space will be transformed into a virtual tour of the industrial map of Tbilisi, where visitors will be able to discover objects and get information about them.
Tbilisi Architecture Biennial is participating in the event, therefore it can be seen on the Biennale website.
Representatives of various disciplines and institutions are involved in the research process: photographer Angus Leadley Brown, curator and researcher Nini Palavandishvili, Creative Education Studio, and the magazine ინდიგო • Indigo
Media partners of the project are ინდიგო • Indigo and Public Art Platform
The project “Industrial Heritage Research” is implemented with the support of Creative Georgia.