RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2018

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154 The geography of creative industries revisited (1): education, place and knowledge
Convenor(s) Roberta Comunian (King's College London, UK)
Waldemar Cudny (University of Lodz, Poland)
Chair(s) Waldemar Cudny (University of Lodz, Poland)
Timetable Thursday 30 August 2018, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Room Bute Building - Lecture Theatre 1.40
Session abstract The three sessions revisit our current knowledge of the creative and cultural industries and their connection with space and cities. Moving forward the debate and the research, they explore new dimensions and articulate recent changes to practices in relation use of space or knowledge. In particular, the first session considers the new role played by universities, skills and education in supporting and developing the creative economy. The second session focus on the role of creative industries in regeneration and emerging new scenes. It looks also at the role they play in relation to festival and urban development. finally the last session focus on creative and digital work, with specific attention to social innovation and new co-working practices.
Linked Sessions The geography of creative industries revisited (2): regeneration, scenes and events
The geography of creative industries revisited (3): creative work, social innovation and co-working
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2018@rgs.org
Towards a geographical understanding of art scenes: Studying art schools through the lens of place
Silvie Jacobi (King's College London, UK)
While much writing on the geography of the art world emphasises the formation of global circuits, evidence is showing that globalisation of contemporary art production and circulation has specific under-researched local effects. Local effects have been reported for example through the DIY (do it yourself) initiatives emerging in different cities around the world (Relyea 2013) or through trust relationship between local gallerists and artists (Velthuis 2013).

This research studies the role of art schools for the development of art scenes, and discusses how members of the scene spatially construct scenes not just in reference to a specific place, but to an art world as a larger geographical system. "Who, if not the young artists studying in a city and the professors teaching them year after year, should define the local art situation?" I take on Madoff’s (2009: 239) argument as starting point to question the bias on art school’s local effect, and instead present how the spatiality of the scene is much more fluid, and less defined by physical geography but through an imagined one. Aspects of identification with place, artistic practices and livelihoods emerge, and most importantly how teaching and practice informs the relationship of an artist with place or places. Empirical perspectives draw from the case studies of Manchester School of Art (UK) and Leipzig Academy of Fine Art (Germany).
Contributing to the creative economy imaginary: universities and the creative sector
Simon Moreton (University of the West of England, UK)
This paper explores the relationship between the ‘creative economy’ and institutional practices within universities. Universities, as funders, urban developers, educators and research bodies, have a complicated relationship with the creative economy. They propagate its practice, ‘buying-in’ to the rhetoric and models of creative value – particularly through changes to HE funding – but also at a city-infrastructural level. ‘Third mission’ activities also play a role, seeking to effect change in the world ‘outside’ academia through collaboration, partnerships, commercialisation and social action. For arts and humanities disciplines, these practices have focused almost exclusively on the creative sector in recent years.

The paper draws on the recent creative economy projects at the author’s university, and considers how those specific experiences relate to broader shifts in the way universities have modified their function in relation to the creative economy. It demonstrates why – through shifting policy contexts, funding landscapes, and research practices - universities have been complicit in propagating the notion of the creative economy, strengthening particular constructions of the idea at the level of policy and everyday practice. It also considers how a focus on collaboration and alternative academic practice and institutional forms offers possibilities for developing a more critical and reflexive engagement with the concept.

The argument made is that the university sector continues to be an important agent in the shaping and performance of the creative economy, and that this needs to be critically explored if we are to produce a more diverse, equitable space for creative practice, citizenship and employment.
Creative clusters and the evolution of knowledge and skills: from industrial to creative glassmaking
Lauren England (King's College London, UK)
Roberta Comunian (King's College London, UK)
The paper aims to connect the emergent literature on resilience and evolutionary perspectives in economic geography with the existing literature on creative clusters. Focusing on the craft sector in the UK, the concept of resilience is explored as conceptual framework to explain the shift from industrial to post-industrial economies. Using two case studies of glassmaking clusters in Sunderland (North East) and Stourbridge (West Midlands) we consider the role of tradition and local knowledge as well as the importance of networks and infrastructure in supporting knowledge conservation, release and re-organisation in specific places that moved from industrial economies to new creative clusters. The findings highlight the new for more longitudinal and evolutionary perspectives in the understanding of creative clusters development.
Universities as Creative Hubs: Modes and practices in the UK context
Daniel Ashton (Winchester School of Arts, UK)
Roberta Comunian (King's College London, UK)
The paper critically reflects on the notion of ‘Creative Hubs’ from a higher education perspective. In recent years many universities in the UK have initiated projects to interact and connect with the creative economy locally and regionally. This chapter firstly reviews the literature on universities engagement with creative hubs. Secondly, drawing on an extensive desktop mapping of practices in the UK, it develops a framework to understand the modes and practice of engagement of higher education institutions in the establishment and management of ‘creative hubs’ within or attached to their institutions. This includes outlining seven types of university creative hubs, reflecting on different dimensions, and exploring the distribution and institutional aims. Thirdly, a common approach around “managed interventions” is highlighted to raise some of the tensions and areas for further debate and discussion. These include the relationship with existing research and teaching agendas, the extent to which they connect with existing forms of creative (hub) activity, and issues of inclusivity and accessibility?
Discussant
Jon Swords (Northumbria University, UK)
Discussant