Budapest ÚjbudaCulture and cultural heritage
CUP 4 CREATIVITY - Cultural Urban Platform to nurture creativity and fight digital loneliness
"We should overcome the major challenges of the 21st century with cutting-edge innovative tools. Culture belongs to everyone and combined with technology it has the immense potential to link people together into strong and meaningful communities that will counterbalance the wrongs of modern individualistic societies."
Isolation, a major stress factor in itself, turns into digital loneliness when amplified by digital communication: an illusion of companionship obscuring degraded social contacts and skills, often leading to mental problems and poor cognitive performance. The 2018 EC Policy Brief on Loneliness describes the growing phenomenon of adults losing their social connections and feeling lonely, and lists the use of digital communication technologies as one of 3 key factors. Data from European Social Surveys shows that 7% of adults are affected, and the adult population of Hungary is among the 3 loneliest ones.
Cultural and creative activities on the other hand decrease social isolation and have major potential in mental well-being and endurance. Fighting digital loneliness with culture through advanced technologies is a concept never tested at urban level. It revolutionises the perception of urban culture and introduces creative activities as valid forms of regular mental training, reproducing the recent success of the body fitness movement.
CUP 4 CREATIVITY integrates passive consumption with creative contribution, lowers access barriers and involves people exposed to digital isolation into community-sourced activities. By sparking dormant creativity, residents of Újbuda also become mentally fit and shielded against contemporary urban stress factors. At the same time, they become connected, encouraged and anchored contributors of the Újbuda community and embrace its social and cultural identity.
The main process is community building, exploiting the same technologies that intensify digital loneliness: an online cultural community is created, gradually involving its members into attractive online and real-life cultural events, creative activities and shared adventures, taking advantage of contemporary digital, immersive and AR/VR technologies.
A coherent selection of online/offline creative spaces are developed, operated and tested to boost cultural activities and creative interactions of the cultural community:
- (1) A Cultural IT Ecosystem providing an online interface to reach out for target groups and facilitate online/offline networking;
- (2) A technology-enhanced Art&Tech Centre functioning as a cross-disciplinary, immersive, digital creation place for our users and also as an active exhibition space for New Media Creations;
- (3) Decentralised Cultural OpenLab workshops open for amateur creators and bottom-up cultural initiatives; and
- (4) Several so-called Creative Corners implemented and tested at employers, cultural and commercial service providers, to establish accessible points of entry into the CUP ecosystem.
- Budapest, District 11 Újbuda;
- 2 public service providers: Központ Culture, Pedagogy and Media (KÖZP), Újbuda SMART11;
- 3 NGOs: Eleven Blokk Visual Art Foundation (EBLOKK), Cultural Eleven Association (KULT11), Hungarian Contemporary Architecture Centre Foundation (KÉK);
- 5 SMEs: SOART Innovations, Popcode Developments (PCODE), BURST (Bright Urban Solution Team), Kreater-group (MEET), ALLEE Center;
- 1 theatre association: MUSz;
- 1 communication services company: BT ROC (BTEL).
The overall objective is to improve life quality in Újbuda through increased mental well-being and attractive urban environment, built on a flourishing cultural and community life. Our expected results are:
- A Cultural IT Ecosystem providing a complex, sustainable, community-sourced digital networking space, facilitating outreach, connecting, marketing and co-creation.
- New physical cultural facilities serving sensitization to high-end culture and digital arts.
- A cultural community representing at least 10% of working age Újbuda citizens, the majority of cultural institutions and CCIs, as well as representative corporate and commercial players, actively using either online or physical functions of the platform.
- A comprehensive monitoring system providing quantitative and qualitative information to maintain content quality, mutual trust and interest of users, and to support business and operational sustainability.
- August 2020: finalising the project team, kick-off meeting with the partnership and conceptualisation of the Art&Tech Centre
- March 2021: laying the first stone of the Art&Tech Centre, the beginning of the year-long complex reconstruction of 10 Bercsényi.
- September 2021: the opening of decentralised FabLabs and Creative Corners, the organisation of the first workshops in the framework of Cultural Mentoring Program.
- January 2022: launch of Cultural IT Ecosystem after 16 months of planning, developing and testing.
- March 2022: the ceremonial opening of the Art&Tech Centre
- May 2023: a report is published on business case and operational & sustainability framework of CUP 4 CREATIVITY.