BAZA - a project developed during Holis '18 Sobole

Maxim Dedushkov

March 11, 2020

Team facilitator: Barbara Predan

Team participants: Collyn Cooper, Amira El-Shawarby, Daniela Haas, Eszter Kalóz, Maciej Zawierucha

The challenge

We were working on two themes: hacking public space and increasing well-being. We wanted to:

  • Work with no preset assumptions
  • Learn by observation
  • Utilize and celebrate the skills, education and cultures from each participant in our team
  • Embrace the local heritage

And last but not least, we wanted to follow Maxim’s advice on incrementalism: to think about the change that is implementable.

At the beginning we set our common purpose as a group. It was to achieve positive change by addressing social and environmental issues by creating hybrids from existing elements. With our proposal we wanted for people in Sobole to see value in our project and possibilities to develop our idea that we co-create further. That is why we wanted to create something tangible and along the way learn how to better design with rural communities.

So our overall goal was: to connect young people to the community of Sobole while increasing their cultural knowledge.

Photo ©️ Holis, Julia Karczewska

The idea

Baza is an intensive week long summer program that teaches youth in Sobole how to build real-world projects while learning about cultural diversity and connecting with their communities.

Main purposes of our project are to:

  • Celebrate and cultivate the raw brilliance of youth
  • Connect youth to community
  • Learn about different cultures
  • Build real-world projects
  • Have fun

Photo ©️ Holis, Julia Karczewska

The why

We propose and develop BAZA because our research showed that Sobole youth are bored and have nothing to do during the long summer break.

We decided for BAZA because we wanted to:

  • Raise level of cultural knowledge
  • Raise level of education
  • Research with locals

And because we strongly agree with Ms. Jolanta Bilska’s opinion that “Kids need to learn how to nail a nail.”

The main beneficiaries of BAZA project is Sobole youth.

By joining BAZA they will learn how to:

  • Research
  • Conceptualize
  • Use tools and construct
  • Collaborate in teams

Also they will gain new knowledge about:

  • Local heritage
  • Cultural knowledge and diversity (gaining knowledge from overlooked countries/cultures)
  • Environmental awareness
  • Sustainable design (longevity)
  • Development for local economy

Photo ©️ Holis, Julia Karczewska

The how

We already have our potential local partner, it is Sobole Foundation (Tomek and Gosia).

Other stakeholder might be: Ms. Jolanta Bilska, local primary school, parents, designers and architects. As for the test pilot of the project: it can be done in the summer of 2019.

Regarding our involvement: all team participants are looking forward to come back as team leaders at BAZA summer program. Also, we are all ready to develop the content and the steps further, if we can find the local stakeholder who will own the project and be prepared to work with us.

Photo ©️ Holis, Julia Karczewska

The long-term goal is for the locals to stay or at least regularly return to Sobole, for other people to visit and discover rural Poland, and if opportunity arises, stay to make the region economically and culturally wealthier.


Holis 2018 was co-financed by the Governments of the Czechia, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia through Visegrad Grants from International Visegrad Fund. The mission of the fund is to advance ideas for sustainable regional cooperation in Central Europe.