Placemaking: Inspiration from afar

REMIX Global Summits tackle the big ideas shaping the future of the arts, the creative economy and creative cities. Designed as a forum where creative leaders from different sectors can exchange insights, ideas and work together towards common goals, the Asia Pacific chapter, held in Sydney in June of this year, delivered on its promise.

Speakers for 2015 included Twitter, Virgin, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Etsy, Yahoo!7, MCA, Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian, Intel, Australian Museum, The Guardian, Google, ACMI, Foxtel, Westfield and Blippar, however the audience members were just as inspiring.

One pair I met where launching new instant moving pictures app ‘Phhhoto’ in Australia, another told me of their lucrative roving global cultural event business, whilst a friendly young guy sitting in front of me in the audience was here from Sacramento, California, to soak up the concept of Vivid whilst researching his next event.

We got to talking and he introduced himself as Tre Borden, a creative consultant working in the public domain and activating his city through artistic vision and collaboration.

“Ah, you’re a placemaker,” I surmised.

The term was foreign to him, but instantly accessible, so I invited him to Newcastle to conduct a skills-share workshop that same week. Here we were, two strangers, united in our pursuit towards a common goal, just getting shit done!

I’ll eventually get to some blog posts that delve further into the learnings from that cultural exchange (and the REMIX speakers themselves), but for now, I wanted to share Tre’s articulate reflection on “placemaking”!

Here’s an excerpt –

[Placemaking] is made possible through the commitment of entrepreneurial, typically young and hungry creatives with the buy-in and support of public and private sectors. The experimental nature of these projects often has no clear pathway to implementation, let alone guaranteed results. It takes innovative partnerships to articulate a vision and a creative approach to funding to make them a reality.

The results of these partnerships often exceed expectations, but you can’t help but wonder what would happen if some of these efforts were to receive more resources and attention – resources that are often funnelled to more traditional projects that limit public engagement and struggle to express our current culture.

The multimillion-dollar question is how do we bring together young innovators who have the energy, time and motivation to act boldly and the experienced civic and business leaders who can offer the expertise and money to ensure these cultural projects reach their full potential?

I highly recommend you keep reading Tre’s full article here.