My name is Elena Preda, artist, and barista at AM. Social Space. Destil Creative Hub hosted me in Tirana, Albania.


To understand a bit of the local culture;
To meet people passionate about art in general;
To get some inspiration from the local community through the design elements used in Destil, or outside of it;
To exchange knowledge in terms of working with local products and less harmful to the environment.

On the first day of the experience exchange, I met Era, Engxie, and Noua. They are part of the Destil team and they work on social media, accounting, event scheduling, and meetings. On the same day, they gave me a small tour of the center of Tirana. While walking on the marble pavements in Skanderbeg Square, I found out that the marble and
some rocks surrounding that square are collected from every city in Albania. Although some have different colors and textures, they form a whole ensemble that moves you visually.
On the second day, Era gave me a tour of the space that includes the cafe, the co-working room, the conference room, and the space at the bottom where cultural events are held, such as the one in which I, also participated.
On the third day, I went to the National History Museum where I was greeted by the antiquities pavilion where I saw ceramic objects from Maliq and Kamnic, and objects from the Illyrian culture (Head of Artemis influenced by models from the Hellenic culture) while the last pavilion is dedicated to the national liberation of the anti-fascist war and also includes a significant photography archive of different kinds of Albanian demonstrations like the Italian invasion of Greece.
On the same day, I participated in the first day of the second edition of the independent book fair, where 33 independent publishing houses participated, at which point I found myself overwhelmed and amazed by the large number and the uniqueness of the published artists.
Here I was useful by arranging books/magazines on the tables and talking to people interested in the event. I was pleasantly impressed by the diversity of art and design styles of the artists with whom Boulevard Destil collaborated in various events. On the fourth day, I visited the Forget Me Not installation, an AR installation by Sou Fujimoto’s
“Cloud” that interacts with the public. Also on the same day, on the way to Destil, I took advantage of the weather outside and admired the typical Mediterranean vegetation.
During the two days when participating in the art book fair, I was able to be useful in arranging the books in the space and communicating with the visitors and the publishers. Although the time was relatively short, I believe that this experience added many memories and beautiful images to my “mental iCloud” both related to how things are happening and take place in Destil and outside of it, thanks to people’s lust for creating communities and shaping ideas.