June 21 is the longest day of the year, and it seemed that way for Professor Andy Pratt. He began first thing in the morning doing a keynote presentation for ‘Open house world wide conference: Smarter cities, smarter thinking’. Open House is the organisation of 21 world cities that organise ‘Open House’ weekends that allow people to see inside buildings that are normally closed to the public. Over 1 million visitors participated in last years programme. See: http://open-city.org.uk/splashpage.html
This innovative idea, started 20 years ago, which has turned into a movement, was conceived by Victoria Thornton who chaired the event.
Andy used the opportunity to discuss the developments of creative cities and the creative economy, and open innovation. His paper was called ‘Open City: towards the creative city’. The conference took place on the top floor of the headquarters of IPC media, the ‘Blue Fin’ building behind Tate Modern. See: http://www.openhouseworldwide.org/conference/index.php
This is one of the many ways in which knowledge is transferred from research and academic programmes such as CMCI’s MA Creative Cities, to the wider community.
At lunchtime Andy attended the launch of the AHRC Creative Hubs programme. CMCI’s Andy Pratt and Rosalind Gill are key members of one of the 4 hubs, called ‘Creative works’ based in London. The programme is funded by AHRC to the tune of £15m; and as the Chief Civil Servant from BIS the UK government department which funds university research, and shapes industrial strategy, this is a critical programme that the Government and AHRC have really high hopes for. The Creative works hub will be launched in September. Rosalind and Andy’s group of projects represent one of the most significant research funding projects ever received by Arts and Humanities at KCL. These projects, comprising of a third of the hub, are under an umbrella called ‘Place, Work, Knowledge’. More details will be released at the launch later this summer. The AHRC launch took place on the top floor of Millbank Tower affording yet another fantastic panorama of London. The AHRC programme is the leading initiative for the UK Research Councils that focuses on creativity and knowledge exchange: CMCI is proud to be playing such a key role, and in line with CMCIs aims and objectives it is producing both world leading research and impact in the wider community.
After that Andy caught the later evening train to Strasbourg where the next day he was giving a paper at an important international conference on ‘Intermediaries, Brokers, Gatekeepers and Prescribers: Key Actors of Artistic Creation’. The conference included the participation of many of the key founding figures of contemporary theorisations of the cultural industries, students will recall from the core course those such as Bernard Miege and Pierre-Michel Menger, plus Luc Boltanski. Amongst a range of international presenters, Andy was joined by fellow British presenter, Keith Negus from Goldsmiths, another key name from the field; notable expert on Fashion and the cultural industries, American Diana Crane, also gave a keynote paper. However, this conference was in main a great opportunity to hear from a group of French scholars who have been working on a large publicly funded research programme over the past 3 years, called IMPACT, to reflect on these core issues. Participation at events like this ties in CMCI to the international debate on the creative industries. CMCI is well embedded in world leading research in this field. It is one of the great benefits of our students that they have such access to world-leading cutting-edge ideas.