designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand

following the success of manifesto’s florenc marketplace in prague, a second outpost opened this summer in the smichov district of the czech capital. designed by architects CHYBIK + KRISTOF, the most recent project offers a place for visitors and local residents alike to enjoy food, musical performances and cultural events. combining sleek design with sustainable materials and 100% renewable energy sources, the project regenerates a former parking lot to create a new destination for the city. comprising of 11 units and a generous outdoor dining area, the plan provides an intimate and welcoming space amid lush greenery.

 

 

on a recent visit to prague, designboom caught up with martin barry, founder of manifesto. against the backdrop of reSITE 2019 – an annual architecture and urbanism conference also established by the american entrepreneur – barry discussed the guiding philosophy behind the markets and his plans to open 30 new manifesto locations across the globe within the next five years.

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © alex shoots buildings

 

 

designboom: how do the manifesto markets link to the reSITE architecture and urbanism platform?

 

 

martin barry: let’s start with the differences. while reSITE has been a completely nonprofit cultural organization – my sort of philanthropic activity – manifesto is a fast-growing business venture. but, I do apply the same value structures relative to creativity and sustainability. both are focused on innovation in their fields and maybe most importantly, community. reSITE has created a global community who are changing cities by focusing on: climate change, regeneration, civic architecture and public space. manifesto is creating a global and local community, bringing people around the table to share food and culture, and giving people exciting places to go, get out from behind our screens and start a conversation. …and what better way to do that than with food?

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © alex shoots buildings

 

 

DB: what are your future plans for manifesto? where will the next project be located?

 

 

MB: our plan is to to expand manifesto and to open 30 locations in the next five to six years. I can’t tell you exactly where but we’re currently looking at 10 locations in EMEA, 10 in APAC and 10 in north america. so we’re exploring and we’re in conversations in all those markets right now.

 

it’s becoming a formula that we can easily apply and so all new places will always be built on these values. so cultural activities will always be a strong part of what we do. just as an example, this year, at the first two locations, we had 300 free events, well-known DJs playing, live bands and film. that makes us pretty big. we are a cultural institution for free public events.

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © alex shoots buildings

 

 

DB: what came first, the reSITE conference or manifesto?

 

 

MB: I had no idea that I would be doing manifesto. well, I didn’t have any idea I would do reSITE either… in my life and career, you know, I follow trajectories and let’s say that I follow the opportunities I see that are interesting to me and suit my value system. first I was working as a landscape architect in new york. then, when I came to prague, I didn’t know anybody here. so one way to get to know people was to create a community or network, to establish a small event. well, this small event (reSITE) is now eight years old and I’ve since moved my entire life to prague.

 

I think the impact of reSITE is also really strong. local residents immensely enjoy and we have speakers from all over the world, hong kong or seoul or LA. they were so happy that they got to know this independent network. that really resonates for me. 
we were talking a lot about regeneration and about rethinking cities, but I wasn’t doing it anymore, I left architecture. so that’s why I started manifesto, as a different way to build…

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © alex shoots buildings

 

 

MB: manifesto is a really innovative company. we are at the center of food and beverage, culture and technology. we supply the hardware and the software to all of our tenants. so we can understand the data ecosystem across all the markets, which helps us understand better what to offer and how to help our tenants grow. retail companies and real estate are struggling around the world. high streets are dying because those companies don’t understand who their customers are and how to serve them better. they’re creating boring, outdated offers. we instead create a very exciting place, a food and culture experience.

 

we lease the space. you can just take one unit or more. all you need to do is to make the food and sell the product. we do everything else, the cultural program, the marketing, the service environment. we provide the technology and aim to help our tenants grow their businesses. we incubated 20 businesses in prague in our markets and we’ve employed around over 300 people through these new markets. it’s an exciting model that we’re going to expand!

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

founder martin barry at manifesto smichov, prague

image © michael tomes

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © michael tomes

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © alex shoots buildings

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto smichov, prague

image © lukas pelech

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom   

manifesto florenc, prague

image © jakub cervenka

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto florenc, prague

image © jakub cervenka

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto florenc, prague

image © jakub cervenka

designboom speaks to manifesto founder martin barry as cultural markets expand designboom

manifesto florenc, prague

image © jakub cervenka

 

 

manifesto | practical info

 

manifesto florenc: sun-wed 11-20. thu-sat 11-22. 

manifesto smichov: sun-wed 11-20. thu-sat 11-22. 

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