Press release


At the end of September 2013, the three-and-a-half-year-long European project Second Chance was brought to an end. This project was a joint attempt by the City Municipality of Ljubljana and the Museum and Galleries of Ljubljana to establish a new programme for the former Rog factory. RogLab, a pilot project aimed at developing and testing contents and activities that are foreseen in the future renovation of the Rog factory, emerged within the frame of Second Chance. Once revitalised (planned by the City Municipality of Ljubljana for 2014–2016), the factory, which had a great international bestseller with the Pony bicycle, will be transformed into the Rog Production Centre, aimed predominantly at people working in design, architecture and visual arts.

The main purpose of the Second Chance project, which started in 2010, was to ascertain, together with the participants, what sort of contents would be appropriate for the future Rog Centre. One of the main results of the project was RogLab, which has been in operation since October 2012. RogLab is a space for production, education and presentation, which aims at providing a hands-on answer to the question as regards the operation of a contemporary production environment for architecture, design and visual arts. RogLab is based on the close cooperation between partners (public and private enterprises, non-governmental organisations, cultural, research and educational institutions) and users, for both play an important role in its future development. The user’s experience, responses, suggestions and feedback will play an important role in RogLab’s future and with this also in the future of the Rog Centre.

In less than a year, RogLab has developed into a prototype creative, production and cultural-artistic space, which has hosted over 60 public events. Together with the economist Gregor Žavcer, we have developed the Startup.Design training programme, which provides support to creative people as they try to enter the market; the artist Marija Mojca Pungerčar introduced social contents with her art project Socialdress – Power to the People!; various student projects led to cooperation with a number of university departments; children workshops, such as, for instance, Dancing Drawn Robots with Stefan Doepner or Long Live Comics with David Krančan, were extremely successful; we also prepared several projects that would aid cycling culture with the Ljubljana Cycling Network; the role of design in public space was questioned by Ruedi Baur in cooperation with the Academy of Fine Arts and Design and his spatial installation in the Park of Slovenian Reformation; the Designers Society of Slovenia established a temporary shop of Slovenian designDOShop; and the public also considered the renovation of the Rog factory during the Urban Walks led by the Centre for Spatial Sociology at the Faculty of Social Studies. In cooperation with Second Chance partners, we established six cultural exchanges between Ljubljana-Venice-Nuremberg-Krakow and Leipzig. RogLab also regularly hosts courses for independent use of 3D technologies, counselling in the field of intellectual property, product development and the development of business models and offers quick prototyping services.

In December, the results of RogLab’s work will be presented at the prototype exhibition  co-financed by the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Slovenia.

Rog Centre – a change of renovation plans
The current social economic conditions have influenced the planned renovation of the former Rog factory and the future Rog Centre’s programme. In 2013, the City Municipality of Ljubljana abandoned the public-private partnership and limited the renovation project solely to the renovation of the former Rog factory. With the change in the project the construction of the hotel and apartments has been abandoned and the underground parking has been reduced. The construction of the annex for the large exhibition hall was also abandoned. Apart from economic reasons, the change in Rog Centre’s programme was also influenced by the results obtained through the research and development project Second Chance, in which over 300 participants cooperated. The new Rog Centre will be predominantly a production platform, which will provide spatial, technological and expert support for creators and companies in the fields of architecture, design and visual arts. The centre will provide common workshops with various technologies as well as an exhibition, working and multipurpose area, which will be changed into smaller or larger units depending on the needs. The new public production space will be based on open content and responsiveness to the actual needs of the target areas and the challenges of contemporary society. The ways of managing and using the future Rog Centre are currently being tested through the RogLab pilot project.