The Presta-ria is foremost a “place to borrow.”It is a collective devoted to slow learning, where information and insight is shared and built upon by community members over time.The structure becomes a place to simply borrow tools but also evolves into a place to borrow knowledge.
It begins with the collection of donated tools and machinery from the greater area. These tools can be used on-site or checked out much like a book library. Borrowing is free of charge and based on a “trust-builds-trust” mentality. The expectation is that these tools will instill a greater culture of material reuse within the community. Users cannot merely borrow on the basis of trust, they must also find a way to contribute to the operation. For example they can donate more tools, provide building material, lead workshops, monitor classrooms and workspaces, or maintain assigned spaces on or offsite.
The building physically evolves over time. As rooms become obsolete or less-used, they have the potential to be refurbished, customized, and moved to locations off-site. This creates greater community engagement with the structures that are developed by users of the Presta-Ria and promotes the expansion of knowledge through the experience of physical creation. When rooms are relocated they are not simply dropped on a new site. Community members that take part in the Presta-Ria are required to help MAINTAIN structures and contribute to their development over time. This strengthens the idea of commoning though upkeep.
In a similar nature, smaller scale member driven projects have the potential to expand outward. For example, if a small group of friends makes a single bike rack for themselves, this might inspire others to make their own, creating a common building goal.
The main structure extends the space of the home, providing safe conditions for construction. Emphasis is placed on providing adequate ventilation, light, physical space, noise control, and machinery which are not always available in residential conditions. Sensitivity to the environmental impact of construction is key. All structures associated with the project aim to reduce as much consumption as possible (in terms of electricity, water, and air) in efforts to both promote sustainable building practices and cut-down on monetary expenses.