Muzea Techniki

Big Stuff
Małe logo

Big Stuff 2019 will address the future of large scale industrial heritage in the face of a rapidly changing environment, where social relations, architectural and urban design, landscape environments, mobility infrastructures, and spatial functions are all being transformed, and where climate change adds another unknown to the preservation of historic buildings and machinery.

The conference is organized by Foundation for The Protection of Sielsian Industrial Heritage in cooperation with Silesian Museum in Katowice.

There will be a possiblity for publication in magazine “Architectus”, issued by the Faculty of Architecture of Wrocław University of Technology.
All conditions for authors are here: ARCHITECTUS EN. The texts would be anonymized and reviewed before.

Interested in presenting? Send a 500 word abstract to Alison Wain by 31st July 2019

Date of the conference: 11.09.2019 – 13.09.2019

Place: Katowice (Sielsia), Poland

Conference cost: 200 € / pp 

Big Stuff is a triennial conference focused on the particular challenges of preserving and interpreting large technology objects. The first Big Stuff conference was held in Canberra, Australia, as a gathering of people who grappled daily with the challenges of technology objects that were too big to fit in showcases, too big to be handled easily, routinely tested the limits of floor loadings and expense budgets, and brought up awkward questions of operation versus static display. Conferences focusing on industrial built heritage are a regular occurrence, but meetings that delve into the different ways to preserve, restore and display the machines that they once held are a rarer beast.

The first Big Stuff meeting was highly practical, with papers covering the details of significance assessment, maintenance, and handling methods. It also challenged received wisdom on the need to remove original nitrate doped fabric from aircraft, or the need to strip paint down to the metal and repaint it. The papers presented at the conference demonstrated that elderly materials, that would not function well in a service environment, are often just fine in a heritage environment, and keep the history and provenance of an object intact. The meeting clearly filled a gap in the heritage world, and in 2007 it was held again at the Deutsches Bergbau (German Mining) Museum in Bochum in Germany.

The first conference had focused on cultural heritage that, while large, was still movable, and indeed made to move – boats, planes and vehicles. The Bochum conference, however, focused on the super-scale heritage of the mining industry, where the machinery in many cases is also a building. This raises a different set of challenges, as while the machinery is no longer required to function, the original maintenance regimes and the operational income that made them possible are usually gone. A heritage income stream rarely brings in the cash to support permanent teams of painters, and in the outdoor environment the large metal elements of mining and smelting industries take on a colourful patina of rust – beautiful in its way, but not an authentic representation of the original life of the machinery, or a recipe for long-term survival.

The 2010 conference at the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, UK, had a strong emphasis on planning, and managing people’s expectations. These issues are not specific to large objects, but large often also means long-lived, with objects having multiple owners and changes in function and operating parameters. A lorry may be in one paint scheme, but be required for a display about an earlier phase of its life when it had a different paint job, different wheels or a different superstructure. How do you keep the history that makes an old machine special, but display it in ways that audiences can understand and relate to?

With the 2013 conference at the Canada Science and Technology, and Aviation and Space Museums, and the 2015 conference at the Centre Historique Minier in Lewarde, France, these threads came together, with detailed papers on conservation treatment and research sharing space with strong initiatives in risk management, planning, significance and new display development. The importance of drawing on experience, methods and innovations from other areas of conservation and heritage was recognized and the Big Stuff community began discussing how to define a distinct identity as well as connect with other communities of practice and knowledge.

Big Stuff continues in 2019, with the sixth conference being held in Katowice in Poland from 11-13 September. The theme is „Preserving large industrial objects in a changing environment”, and the conference will address the future of large scale industrial heritage in the face of a rapidly changing environment, where social relations, architectural and urban design, landscape environments, mobility infrastructures, spatial functions are all being transformed, and where climate change adds another unknown to the preservation of historic buildings and machinery.

Big Stuff seeks to bring together people working on large machinery in a variety of contexts, and the 2019 conference, like those before it, welcomes private machinery owners, volunteers and students, as well as heritage professionals and academics. Big Stuff 2019 will also continue the tradition of offering workshop experiences as well as formal presentations at the 2019 conference, with participants invited to consider the challenge of transforming a working industrial site into a heritage destination.

11.09.2019 Wednesday

Pre-conference excursion to Huta Katowice ironworks.

12.09.2019 Thursday

09:00 – 13:00 Presentation panels with expert discussions (1)

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch

14:00 – 17:30 Presentation panels with expert discussions (2)

17:30 The end of the official part of the first day of the conference

19:30 – 22:30 Evening concert in NOSPR concert hall (snack bar during the break of the concert)

Full program for Thursday

13.09.2019 Friday

08:30 – 11:30 Sightseeing of Wieczorek colliery

12:00 – 13:00 Lunch

13:00 – 14:00 Sightseeing of Zinc Rolling Mill

14:00 – 16:30 Workshops in Zinc Rolling Mill

16:30 – 18:00 Presentation of working groups

20:00 – 22:30 Gala party in Maciej Shaft in Zabrze

Full program for Friday

CONFERENCE COST:  200 € / pp 

BANK ACCOUNT:  PL 64 1090 1522 0000 0001 4189 8752


  • Pre-conference tour,
  • Buses for the 11 and 13 September,
  • Lunch each day,
  • Evening concert in NOSPR concert hall in Katowice,
  • Conference cocktail party in Maciej Shaft in Zabrze,

To register, please fill out the form available online:

Big Stuff 2019 Registration Form

Buy tickets on-line (credit/debit card)

Option one 200 EUR
Option two 212 EUR

A limited number of rooms have been reserved at the Hotel Novotel Katowice Centrum, close to the Silesian Museum and the Philharmonic (NOSPR). Katowice also has a range of other accommodation available close to the conference venues.

To book room in Hotel Novotel Katowice Centrum please use the BOOKING FORM and send back via  e-mail (scan):

Hotel guarantees reservations made before 26.08.2019

The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage initiates and coordinates many cultural projects. For years, Polish culture has met with great respect all over the world, becoming our best brand, synonymous with the highest quality. Thanks to the success of our artists, it has become easier to strengthen cultural links and establish lasting contact between Polish and foreign artists, art institutions and cultural animators. The presentation of Polish culture is one of the most important tasks carried out by the Ministry and institutions subordinate to it.

The National Heritage Board of Poland is a state agency that gathers and disseminates information on heritage, sets standards for its protection and conservation, and aims to raise the social awareness on cultural heritage of Poland in order to save it for future generations in accordance with the strategy for sustainable development.

Katowice is the capital and largest city of Silesian Voivodeship. The largest urban center in the Silesian Metropolis, Katowice stands with a population of over 300,000 in the city itself, and over 2.1 million in the surrounding metropolitan area. Located in the middle of the province on the banks of the river Rawa, Katowice’s historical importance as Poland’s main industrial centre has been indisputable for decades.

Bound by the heritage of the region, its historical dynamics, its numerous cultures and the leading role of industry, and yet recognizing Silesia’s intellectual and artistic background, Muzeum Śląskie provides a space for dialogue with the past and the achievements of modernity to further explore Silesia, Poland and Europe.

Foundation for the Protection of Silesian Industrial Heritage

Oławska 15
50-123 Wrocław

0048 71 750 58 49

W dniach 11.09.2019 – 13.09.2019 r. Fundacja Ochrony Dziedzictwa Przemysłowego Śląska, Międzynarodowy Komitet Ochrony Dziedzictwa Przemysłowego TICCIH oraz Muzeum Śląskie w Katowicach organizują VII Międzynarodową Konferencję BIG STUFF 2019. Spotkanie poświęcone będzie zagadnieniom związanym z ochroną dużych obiektów poprzemysłowych i zabytków techniki w zmieniającym się otoczeniu.

Konferencje BIG STUFF organizowane są cyklicznie co 3 lata od 2004 r. Pierwsza konferencja odbyła się w Imperial War Museum w Canaberze, następne w Deutsches Bergbau Museum w Bochum czy Aviation and Space Museums w Ottawie. Po raz pierwszy wydarzenie organizowane będzie w Polsce, w Muzeum Hutnictwa Cynku Walcownia i Muzeum Śląskim w Katowicach.

Big Stuff jest miejscem spotkań osób angażujących się w ochronę zabytków techniki i przemysłu w różnych obszarach – przedstawicieli środowiska akademickiego, właścicieli i zarządców. Otwarty charakter konferencji powoduje, że jest ona areną wymiany myśli i doświadczeń specjalistów wielu dziedzin, których łączy praca na rzecz ochrony zabytków kultury technicznej.


NUMER KONTA BANKOWEGO:  PL 64 1090 1522 0000 0001 4189 8752

Opłata konferencyjna obejmuje:

Wyjazd studyjny przed konferencją,
Przejazdy autobusem w dniach 11 – 13 września,
Wieczorny koncert w NOSPR w Katowicach,
Przyjęcie w Szybie Maciej,

W celu rejestracji prosimy skorzystać z formularza dostępnego pod linkiem:


Polityka Prywatności | Regulamin Rejestracji Uczestników

Your cart is empty

Go Shopping
Subtotal: 0.00