Only a 35-minute walk from the city centre - or a quarter of an hour by bicycle, streetcar or car - there's an industrial district that had fallen silent. In interwar Latvia and in the Soviet era, this was the location of the famous VEF electronics factory. Telephones and radios sold throughout the USSR and beyond were born here, as was the well-known Minox camera. Now - since the summer of 2010 - this is the arts centre Totaldobže. There are residencies for artists, vast spaces for exhibits, evening lectures, and a rush or remarkable creativity. With over a thousand sqare metres of space, Totaldobže has a host of ateliers, including those of Blankblank, Ilze Vanaga, Nils Vilnis, Sabīne Vekmane, Anda Lāce, Daiga Krūze, and Kristaps Zariņš. The summer café is attractively strange, located on the factory roof and featuring poetry slams on summer nights. They've already achieved cult status. The arts centre retains its industrial atmosphere - there's still small-scale manufacturing here, with some former VEF employees now employed in far smaller enterprises. Artists make use of some of the original features of the factory, like the massive freight elevator. In perfect working order, it allows the artists to realize their dreams on a grand scale.
Run Rabbit Run Bicycle and Dutchbike are across the street - these are bicycle workshops with verve.
Keywords: The VEF culture factory, Riga’s creative quarters