Street Values (Straatwaarden) is a research project initiated by the Reinwardt Academy in Amsterdam and Sustainism Lab, carried out in cooperation with the Lectorate of Play & Civic Media at the Amsterdam Univeristy of Applied Sciences. I was involved as one of the researchers in the project, contributing to the research ateliers and writing a chapter in the final book.

Over the last few years, many institutions in the fields of art, culture and heritage have seen their surroundings change considerably. Their position as cultural authorities is no longer taken for granted; societal changes as well as changing expectations of audiences have led them to reconsider their role. How can they remain relevant as institutions in the 21st Century?

In that context, Street Values looks at the relation between heritage and placemaking and the role that heritage professionals could take in a network society. Starting point is the socially sustainable ‘sustainist’ perspective, developed by Michiel Schwarz. Could citizens be given a greater role in the production of heritage? Or, the other way around: can heritage professionals make heritage productive in the context of civic issues? The project has lead to a publication in the spring of 2017 presenting the main findings as well as an agenda with input for the future development of the heritage sector.

People involved

The project was run by Riemer Knoop and Nancy van Asseldonk from the Reinwardt Academy and Michiel Schwarz from Sustainism Lab.

Research Ateliers

The changing relationships between heritage, space and community and civic organization were explored in three research ateliers, each centering on a different theme: placemaking, commons and co-design. Various actors from the sectors of heritage, social design, the arts and civic organization presented their experien- ces with opening up the ‘making’ of heritage to broader audiences, and discussed what that shift meant for their profession.

#1 Presentaties & Downloadables Atelier: Placemaking

#2 Programma Atelier: Commons

#3 Straatwaarden Atelier: Co-design uitnodiging

Publication

In the summer of 2017 the project was concluded with the publication Straatwaarden. in het nieuwe speelveld van maatschappelijke erfgoedpraktijken. (Streetvalues. Inside the new playing field of societal heritage practices). Most of the book is in Dutch, but a few chapters are in English.

The book can be downloaded here.

Chapter: Heritage as Platform

This is the full text of my contribution to the book:

Heritage as platform

Over the last few years, many institutions in the field of art, culture and heritage have seen their surroundings change considerably. Their position as cultural authorities is no longer taken for granted; societal changes as well as changing expectations of audiences have led them to reconsider their role. How can they remain relevant as institutions in the 21st Century? That question emerged as one of the central themes of the Street Values project.

Throughout the three research ateliers in which experts from the cultural and heritage sectors shared their experiences, a possible answer was found in the approach of ‘heritage as a platform’ – a term brought into the discussion by Joost Beunderman. ‘Heritage as a platform’ means that heritage is approached as a ‘focal point’ for the assembly of citizens around all kinds of social and cultural issues, in an open process.

Heritage plays a double role in that trajectory. First of all, it can be understood as a ‘setting’ in or an ‘activator’ around which a public could be organized, either by professionals or by members of the public itself. In its simplest form, heritage is then more or less used in an instrumental way as a symbolic place or practice that people can identify with. It is this shared (or sometimes contested) symbolic meaning that allows people to start discussing an issue or working together towards a common goal. Heritage then literally becomes a platform or a stage on which all kinds of societal activities can be played out.

Secondly, heritage itself is not a given in this process: what we consider as ‘heritage’ also emerges as the outcome of the encounter between members of a public, who through their interactions may come to a collective appreciation of cultural places, objects or practices – again: guided here by experts or otherwise. Combining these two perspectives, heritage as platform can be understood as a practice in which heritage is used to set the stage for or even provoking social interaction towards a communal goal or around a particular theme, while at the same time through these interactions heritage and collective meanings are being (re)produced.

It is an approach that matches the shift from heritage as a ‘sector’ towards heritage as ‘vector’ that functioned as one of the starting points of the Street Values research project. Heritage, in this vision, should no longer be organized as an inward-looking sector that uses its own logic and professional expertise to classify and conserve particular buildings or practices as end in itself. In contrast, heritage could be understood as a vector: a force or ‘course of direction’ that could be applied to all kinds of cultural and societal issues, pushing them in a particular direction. Heritage as platform, then, could be understood as the production of symbolic settings or ‘dramaturgies’ (more on that later on) that provoke citizens to convene around a shared or contested set of meanings, and work collaboratively towards a societal or cultural goal or theme, producing new shared experiences and meanings in the process.

 

Platforms: a way of opening up

What that rather abstract approach of heritage could mean for institutions and practitioners became clearer through a number of examples discussed in the Street Values ateliers. The Van Abbe Museum’s Steven ten Thije for instance explained how his museum had started to change its role in society. The Van Abbe now sees it as one of its main missions to be relevant to the city of Eindhoven and its residents, rather than present itself as an introverted, context denying white cube. The museum aspires to be a place that provokes discussions around conflicting values in contemporary society. It wants to become ‘a cultural archive’ of projects that activates discourse around all kinds of issues, rather than a sanctuary for aesthetic endeavors far removed from the complexities of everyday life. In other words, the art exhibitions and other activities at the Van Abbe can be understood as a platform that will open up the process of meaning-making to the audience at large.

The term platform, introduced by Joost Beunderman in an earlier atelier session of the Street Values Ateliers, is used to refer metaphorically to a particular way of ‘opening up’ the processes of meaning production, inviting or provoking contributions from the ‘people formerly known as the audience’ (Rosen 2006). This approach can be compared to the logic of the numerous online platforms that have recently emerged, from app markets to social media networks. Rather than providing a standard service to consumers, these platforms invite contributions from participants. They offer a basic infrastructure and simple protocols as rule sets that enable citizens and businesses to create their own app or organize their own community. It is this openness that enables them to blossom, provoking unpredictable contributions, making themselves relevant for a broad variety of actors. Take an app store or a blogging-platform such as WordPress: within the rules set by the managing organization, people can use these tools to produce and distribute their own apps or online publications.

Translated back to the cultural sector: a platform approach means that institutions design a specific context with a particular set of rules inviting audiences to take part and make it relevant for them. The degree of participation could vary, from inviting audiences to contribute or co-design, to provoking reactions or discussions based on curated work, to the use of art or heritage as a starting point for societal change or even activism. Now, to a certain extent that is of course business as usual for cultural institutions. Every act of storytelling has always been an interactive experience, in which meaning is created by the audiences, carefully provoked by exhibitions, stage productions, concerts and other events put on by cultural institutions. What is different this time around is that this process is being opened up – in varying degrees – and embedded more closely in the everyday lives of citizens or society at large.

An interesting example of this approach was brought up in the Ateliers by the Museum without Walls, an initiative in the Transvaal neighborhood in Amsterdam. Initially, the founders were thinking of setting up a somewhat traditional museum or gallery space in honor of architect Hendrik Berlage, by reverting one of the houses on a central square in the neighborhood to its original 1920s style. Neighborhood residents did not appreciate that idea very much. The initiators were seen as cultural authorities that wanted to insert their elite project in this neighborhood, further propagating the process of gentrification that had already started there. As a result, the Museum without Walls started to shift its approach, inviting all kinds of neighborhood organizations to contribute to their programming. And rather than using one single location that should reflect Berlage’s heritage, they now aimed to activate the whole neighborhood around this idea. As one activity, they organized a nightly walking tour that was to celebrate the 110th anniversary of the neighborhood. The Museum without Walls organized the publicity around the event, but invited all kinds of local organizations to contribute their own activities. In the terms of this research project: the museum without walls acted as a platform that other organizations could further adapt and make use of. In another activity, an exhibition was staged in the windows of the neighborhood’s houses. Its visibility in the public spaces of the neighborhood engaged many residents.

Another interesting example came from Imagine IC, a heritage institution that sees itself as a network rather than as a museum. Imagine IC aims to activate discourse around and record cultural experiences that are relevant for various groups of residents that live in the Amsterdam Bijlmermeer, an area with a strong presence of minorities from amongst others (the former Dutch colony) Suriname and Ghana. In a recent project, they organized an exhibition on a period in the 1990s in which politicians and civil servants from the minority groups revolted against the city administration at large (Imagine 2015). At stake was the allocation of budgets that according to the protesters of that time denied the needs of their constituencies. Research for the exhibition was conducted in close cooperation with representatives of the local community. Public debates were staged around the exhibition, joined by activists that addressed contemporary racial issues in Dutch society.

In another project, Imagine IC explored the culture around street soccer. Together with local youngsters, an exhibition was organized about the tricks, conflicts and unspoken rules of their soccer games. In the exhibition, players told about their experiences, but also gave their views on the design of public spaces. They stated for instance that they did not like the official street soccer pitches in the neighborhood, because these are too much preprogrammed for playing soccer according to the official rules and do not leave much room for interpretations of the game that are more aimed at playing tricks. Here we see how the platform-approach opens up the process of heritage-making to a broader group of actors. Imagine IC set the stage in which local youngsters were given opportunities to come to a shared understanding of their everyday activities like playing street soccer, turning the outcomes of these conversations into intangible heritage by means of an exhibition.

Many more examples discussed in the Street Values ateliers followed similar lines of argumentation. In the Turner Prize winning Granby Four Streets project, artists led the regeneration of a derelict neighborhood, and restored local pride. In the Dutch province of Groningen (REF), archeologists have started to work in close cooperation with local residents, taking their expertise serious, and encouraging them to tell their own stories about their findings. In the formerly industrial area Cruquius in the east of Amsterdam, local residents have started a city lab to engage actors around its redevelopment, trying to apply the principles of a circular economy to sites of industrial heritage. And in Amsterdam West, The Beach (REF) is a foundation that has been present for many years, using an old industrial garage as a headquarters, organizing a broad range of activities that engages neighborhood residents and provides them with new skills.

 

A changing societal context for heritage

Whereas the examples in the Street Values project came from a broad range of cultural disciplines, the focus of the project was on the future of heritage and heritage professionals in a changing society. In particular, the ‘heritage as a platform’ approach was addressed as a potential answer to two important shifts facing the heritage sector that the project had taken as it points of departure, one more institutionally driven, the other related to societal changes at large.

To start with the first: both the institutional context for heritage institutions and the cultural sector at large in the Netherlands have undergone a number of important changes over the past decade. First of all, government has partially retreated from the sector, resulting in large budget cuts as well as in a government-set mission for actors in the sector to become ‘cultural entrepreneurs’, meaning they have to find new ways to produce their own income as well as to gain societal relevance.

This shifting position of the government has contributed to a nascent shift in the orientation of the heritage sector that could be summarized as a shift from ‘musealization’ to ‘activitation’, or from ‘sector’ to ‘factor’ to ‘vector’. Whereas the care for the historical environment used to be organized around the protocolized categorizing and upkeep of isolated architectural monuments (heritage as sector), more recently heritage has been approached as an integrated part of urban development (‘heritage as factor’). Heritage is seen as an important factor that can contribute to the process of placemaking, or the creation of a genius loci. As such it can create both symbolic and social as well as economic value, the latter by making sites more attractive for residents, tourists and investors. Articulating heritage qualities could help people to relate to places, help them to identify with these places and its cultural meaning, and to take ownership in them, as well as to make development more attractive, hence raising real estate values and generating income from leisure and tourism.

What follows from this shift is that strategies involved are no longer geared towards the preservation of historical icons as such, but rather at their activation, combining their symbolic values with new functions. In that shift, the definition of heritage has also broadened. It is no longer centered around monumental physical sites and buildings, but increasingly also includes landscapes and more utilitarian sites thought to be representative for particular (historical) social or cultural practices such as factories or housing. The process in determining what needs to be preserved has also changed. It is no longer seen as a scientific, objectifiable process in which particular cultural or art historic criteria can be applied. Rather it is now seen as a societal discussion about what we as a society want to remember and preserve for the future (Bals 2016; Frank 2013).

In addition, a second broader societal shift is taking place. Citizens no longer obediently comply with institutional points of view, but have started to challenge them. The authority of cultural institutions is no longer taken for granted. Citizens have become more critical of their society’s institutions, and support for arts, culture and heritage needs a new justification. Partly as a counterweight to this loss of authority of traditional institutions (both inside and outside the cultural sector), we now see citizens taking up the tools of networked digital media to organize themselves around all kinds of causes. On the one hand, this has led to a new civic energy, or even a ‘civic economy’ (00:/ (Architectural Practice) 2012) in which citizens have taken numerous initiatives of social entrepreneurship. Examples can be found in all kinds of fields around new instances of the commons – the management or production of shared cultural or economic resources, managed through sets of social relations that put community value first rather than monetary profit. These range from energy production to care collectives; or, in the field of arts and culture, from community land trusts (CLTs: self-governing, not-for-profit bodies entrusted with social housing) that have regenerated neighborhoods, often initiated by (community) artists, to networks of amateur archaeologists building and exchanging a body of knowledge through online fora.

Put in a broader perspective, what we are seeing here is a democratization of (cultural) production. If the 20th century can be characterized by the democratization of consumption, set in a modernist mass-production paradigm, now new technologies and social practices have increasingly given ordinary citizens access to the tools of production, from publishing and campaigning tools, such as blogs and social media, to 3D-printing in fablabs.

Michiel Schwarz has coined this new cultural paradigm ‘sustainism’ (Schwarz & Elffers 2010; Schwarz & Krabbendam 2013). In his work, Schwarz describes this sustainism as a successor to modernism. According to him, the top-down universalist know-all attitude of the former era is giving way to an ethos that is more locally-rooted, collaborative, respectful of the human scale, and altogether more environmentally and socially sustainable (Schwarz & Knoop 2016).

Yet, the emergence of new digital tools and opportunities for collaboration do not by themselves lead to the empowerment of citizens in ever more open, pluralistic democratic societies. There are also a number of counter-trends building upon the same technological developments. On the one hand, large technology conglomerates have started to play central roles in many of the digital platforms that are to empower citizens (Van Dijck, Poell en de Waal 2016). And, secondly, these same networked technologies may also contribute to an ever more fragmented society, in which citizens organize in tribes of likeminded, using social media as echo chambers. This may undermine society’s public spheres: the sites where people of various backgrounds run into each other, learn about each other’s points of view, resolve their conflicts, and come to a common understanding.

It is here that the heritage sector and a heritage-as-platform approach could come in. Heritage institutions and professionals are well suited to play a role in a shift towards sustainism, applying heritage as a ‘vector’ – a force that could help bring the sustainist perspective about by designing heritage as a focal point around which local publics can be build. Two key domains that were central themes in the Street Values research ateliers immediately come to mind as spaces for intervention. First, heritage institutions could play a central or supporting role in the newly emerged placemaking movement, in which urban design is redefined as a collaborative process of various stakeholders, with a central focus on the production of local meanings rather than on a mere return on investment. Second, it could also play a role in the sustainist movements around the commons, in which various communities have started to collaboratively manage and share resources, as in many of the civic economy examples given above. Again, a heritage-as-platform approach could further drive these movements. Both directions would place heritage at the center of societal processes in which local meanings are produced and communities are formed from a sustainist perspective.

 

Heritage as design: from heritage to heritage making

So, how then could the activation of heritage provide new public spaces for collaboration, creating shared experiences and meanings as an antidote to societal fragmentation? And how could heritage – through a platform approach – contribute to the value creation that takes place in the civic economy, fostering new forms of commons?

These are big questions. To start exploring them the Street Values project has taken the idea of ‘heritage as design’ as one of its principles. Heritage should be understood as a design process, in at least two ways. First, it is about determining what it is that we find of value in today’s society and want to take with us to the future. As discussed above, this process is no longer seen as a top-down one in which established experts can apply a set of objective criteria. Rather, it is understood now as a more open, societal discussion about the production of meaning, as exemplified for instance by the approach that Imagine IC has taken. One particular take on this is that it is the role of heritage institutions – or at least heritage professionals – to design these discussions; to design meaningful frameworks of interaction in which these discussions can take place. Or, in the terms of the Street Values project: platforms that provoke discussions, invite contributions and provide sets of rules and a ‘dramaturgy’ to steer this process.

Second, heritage is about the activation of the past to create meaning in the present. Again, this could be understood as a design process. It concerns the (re)design and activation of places, objects and protocols so that they can be enjoyed and enacted upon by citizens. Not just in the sense of traditional design as an artistic or aesthetic practice, but again also in the sense of designing platforms that enable citizens to contribute to the creation of meaning, thereby making heritage productive in the context of social and cultural processes. It can therefore be useful to think of heritage as ‘heritage making’, as the design of a context or platform in which heritage becomes meaningful for a broad variety of economic, societal and cultural purposes.

To make this more concrete, the notion of ‘dramaturgy’ – introduced in the Street Values discussion by Joost Beunderman – could be helpful. Heritage making can be understood as a theatrical act: we need a stage with a particular setting and decors that bring about a particular mood, actors with defined roles, and a script or rather a set of protocols and rules that will steer the process.

An example of this approach can be found in the planning process for the Hoeksche Waard, a rural polder community just south of Rotterdam, site of a clash between the expansionism of the big industrial city and the traditional farming lifestyles of the Dutch polders (Hajer 2005). In the process, it turned out that it was quite hard to bring these two worlds together in a dialogue. A resolution was found by introducing a rather unconventional approach. Photographers were commissioned to register everyday life in the polder. The resulting photo-exhibition had two interesting outcomes. First, it gave the farmers a new perspective on their own lives. They had never had had much interest in the cultural value of the landscape of the polder, which for them was a mere resource, a production ground for their potatoes, wheat and other crops, that only now they started to see in a different light. Second, the set of the exhibition itself provided a fruitful ground for a discussion between planners from the city and the farmers from the polder, as for both parties it was an unusual setting that liberated them equally from their traditional roles and contexts, allowing for a much freer discussion.

What complicates the discussion on heritage design and heritage making, is the fact that different albeit related processes are at stake. On a basic level, heritage design strives to create symbolic value. This is the domain of traditional cultural institutions: through the production, curation, conservation and display of cultural objects such as heritage sites, museum exhibitions, theatrical plays and intangible cultural practices, audiences are led to identify with or relate to these objects, while in turn these objects and practices may become part of a larger narrative, for instance about local or national identities. Yet what is increasingly expected from heritage design is that it not just creates symbolic value but that it should transfer those values to other domains of society, for instance by producing social or economic capital. This is the case for instance when heritage is used in the (commercial) development of neighborhoods, or when heritage plays a role in stimulating a locally based civic economy.

It is also important to realize that heritage design can be highly contested, since particular groups may feel unrepresented or misrepresented in the symbolic realm, and when these values translate to other domains, such as the economic, investors may start to play a leading role, with repercussions for the symbolic production of meaning.

The other way around, discussions arise about the funding and profits involved in heritage making, especially when the symbolic value is transferred to other domains. For instance, if the re-appropriation of a heritage site leads to rising real estate values, who then should profit from the economic value that is created? Or if heritage making stimulates a civic economy and leads to a growth in public goods, such as health or the production of social capital, would it be possible to fund the heritage making from other sources then just the cultural budget?

 

What does ‘heritage of a platform’ look like?

 

To come to a more schematic understanding of the concepts ‘heritage as a platform’, ‘heritage as design’ and ‘heritage making’, the following model can be helpful. It is based on The Hackable City research project, in which a similar model was designed to analyze the process of collaborative citymaking (Ampatzidou et al. 2014; de Waal et al. 2017). It describes a process in which citizens are organized in collectives which operate within institutional contexts, such as local laws and regulations, and at the same time tap into resources provided by these institutions, such as subsidies or expert knowledge.

 

Figure 1 Transactions between individuals, collectives and institutions in heritage making (based on de Waal et al. 2017)

If we translate this model to the domain of heritage, we can envisage a similar process. This time around, ‘collectives’ or ‘publics’ of citizens are formed around the activation of heritage. Such an activation can take many forms: an exhibition, a discussion, a workshop, a performance, an experience, a reading group, etc. Examples discussed range from the photo exhibition mentioned above in the Hoeksche Waard to the decentered experiences of the Museum without Walls. We use the term platform to underline the idea that this activation contains an open invitation to the public to participate or contribute in some way.

What is important here is that these platforms are typically designed with a particular dramaturgy in mind that offers citizens a particular experience, provoking them to join in. This participation again can take many forms, with varying degrees of openness, depending on the goals of the project. It can range from co-creation to taking part in a discussion, from inviting the audience to contributing their own experiences or knowledge to offering a more passive experience of listening to stories.

Equally important is that participants will gain new insights, knowledge, skills, and experiences that are meaningful to them. Although this process can be started by various actors, including citizens themselves, it is to be expected that often institutions or networks will be involved through initiating or contributing to the process. They can provide the context for the platform, design the rules of engagement, (co)design the dramaturgy, or bring in archival objects, expert knowledge and (financial) resources. In turn, these institutions will be able to learn from the platform experience as well. Activities may be recorded and reported, and perhaps the experiences or objects that participants have brought in will find their way back to the archives that these institutions manage, as happened in the example of Imagine IC described above.

The goal of this platform approach is to create various kinds of values, from symbolic values and the creation and re-alignment of personal and collective narratives, to the creation of social and economic capital in a way that matches broader societal developments, such as the shifting attitude of citizens versus their institutions in a networked society.

 

Roles of professionals

 

One of the recurring discussion points in the ateliers of the Street Values project was that a shift to ‘heritage as platform’ also brings about new roles for professionals. When we follow the scheme above we can easily deduct many relatively new roles, as well as some more familiar ones.

 

Figure 2 Roles in heritage citymaking

To begin with, heritage as design revolves around the creation of the platform. Experience designers, architects, storytellers and others can play important roles as the ones who stage the dramaturgy of the central platform experience. Once a platform is established, audiences need to be engaged. In many cases, the platform allows participants to build new skills. This is where the role of educators emerges, professionals that help the process of capacity building in the audience.

Often, we will find that platforms stand in close relation to old or new heritage institutions. That means that there is a role for professionals as curators, agenda setters or experts, bringing in their expertise and resources. And the other way around, the experiences that are produced within the platform environment can be recorded and archived. What makes the process even more complex is that often ‘heritage as platform’ will be evoked to produce value beyond the symbolic domain, for instance by acting as a catalyst that could bring about anything from an increased sense of place to social change. This calls for institutions to adopt a mediating position, or even an activist one.

In one of the Street Values project discussions, Lodewijk van Roij, who is an advisor for the Cultural Heritage Agency (RCE), remarked on the desirability of a role change for heritage professionals. At present, many are employed as civil servants for local governments, and in their work they are often caught up with practical matters such as the paperwork around permits. With regard to the promotion of more integrated approaches to heritage in area development, he wonders how the symbolic production, i.e. the articulation of significance, should be organized, for instance in the process of placemaking. The heritage professionals themselves lack the time or the knowledge to create these frameworks, Van Roij pointed out, and parties like project developers are unlikely to spend too much money on this. Residents and local historic societies do have lots of knowledge about local experiences, but often their voice is still lacking in the debate. Heritage professionals could play an important role here, Van Roij argues. They could facilitate the process, get all the stakeholders around the table – or design the dramaturgy – that should lead to meaningful exchange. At the same time, they could also act as mediators who should translate the outcomes into solutions and plans, and develop support for this in political arenas.

Such a vision automatically raises a new debate: if institutions are to embrace such a platform approach, where does their responsibility or duty end? Is it enough to just open up the archives, creating a platform that citizens can use to do whatever they want to do with the archival material? Most often it will be more productive to not just open up an archive, but also to create a dramaturgy in which engaging with the archival material becomes truly meaningful. Then again, this could mean that audiences need particular skills or capacities that require developing. Or the other way around, a particular community with existing (local) knowledge could be engaged around a given theme or issue. Does all of this mean that institutions need to provide capacity building for their audiences? Or, one step further: do they need to start seeing themselves as social change agents? And to what extent do they actively need to subscribe to a sustainist, or other particular vision on society? After all, if heritage is indeed understood as a vector, a vision is needed as to which societal direction it should be applied to.

The answers to these questions will differ from institution to institution and from project to project. Not all roles and values in the platform approach have to be realized by a single heritage institution. On the contrary, it is more likely that this will take place in networks of organizations, professionals and citizens. Already in 2010, the Dutch Council for Culture signaled an opportunity for such a network approach in its report Netwerken van betekenis. (Networks of Meaning) (Raad voor Cultuur 2010). While this report sketched out a vision for the then e-Culture (‘digital culture’) industry in the country, its lessons can easily be applied to the cultural sector at large. One of the most important arguments in the report was that cultural organizations should not only formulate their own main missions, but also define the position they could take in various networks, in relation to other actors, both fellow institutions and collectives of citizens. For instance: an institution that sees archiving as it main mission should also define the ways in which it can contribute from its archive to platforms that mobilize collectives around issues. And perhaps it could even go one step further and define what social role it would see fit for itself, and how it could contribute to the organization of a platform to support these particular goals.

As a conclusion from this argument, we can safely state that the approach of heritage as platform leads to a new perspective for institutions. From their core competencies and cultural as well as societal missions, institutions should be asked to articulate what role they want to play in broader cultural and societal networks for the production of meaning. What are the core themes an institution wants to address, to the production of which values would it like to contribute, and which collectives does it want to activate? How can it contribute what kind of resources? And what other network partners are necessary in this process? As argued here, placemaking and the activation of the commons could be embraced as important societal goals. The heritage-as-platform model sketched above is meant as a first step to explore the directions heritage institutions and professionals can take to embrace these goals.

 

References

00:/ (Architectural Practice), 2012. Compendium For The Civic Economy. What our cities, towns and neighbourhoods should learn from 25 trailblazers, London: Trancity Valiz.

Ampatzidou, C. et al., 2014. The Hackable City: A Research Manifesto and Design Toolkit, Amsterdam: Knowledge Mile. https://issuu.com/instituteofnetworkcultures/docs/hva_hackablecities_def_paginas_cove

Bals, V., 2016. “To live is to leave traces. Illegale placemaking: de rafelrand van cultureel erfgoed?”, in: N. van Asseldonk, ed. Straatwaarden. Atelier #1 Placemaking. Reader. Amsterdam: Reinwardt Academy, pp. 17–22.

Dijck, J. van, Poell, Th. & de Waal, M., 2016. De platformsamenleving. Strijd om publieke waarden in een online wereld. Amsterdam: AUP.

Frank, S., 2013. “Urban Commons and Urban Heritage”, in: Urban Heritage Seminar Series. Gothenborg: University of Gothenburg.

Hajer, M.A., 2005. “Setting The Stage. A Dramaturgy of Policy Deliberation”, in: Administration & Society 36 /6, January 2005, 624-647. http://www.maartenhajer.nl/upload/HAJER%20Setting%20the%20Stage%202005.pdf

Imagine 2015: ‘Zwart Beraad: Erfenis ern actualiteit van een politieke beweging’. http://www.imagineic.nl/pagina/zwart-beraad

Raad voor Cultuur, 2010. Netwerken van betekenis. Netwerken in digitale cultuur en media, Den Haag.

Rosen, J., 2006. ‘The People Formerly Known as the Audience’. Pressthink.org. http://archive.pressthink.org/2006/06/27/ppl_frmr.html

Schwarz, M. & Elffers, J., 2010. Sustainism Is The New Modernism: A Sustainist Manifesto, New York: D.A.P.

Schwarz, M. & Knoop, R., 2016. A Sustainist Lexicon: Seven Entries To Recast The Future – Rethinking Design And Heritage, Amsterdam: Architectura & Natura Press.

Schwarz, M. & Krabbendam, D., 2013. Sustainist Design Guide: How Sharing, Localism, Connectedness And Proportionality Are Creating A New Agenda For Social Design, Amsterdam: BIS Publishers.

Waal, M. de, Lange, M. de & Bouw, M., 2017. “The Hackable City. Citymaking in a Platform Society”, in: AD Architectural Design, 87(1).

 

For more information, see:

http://www.amsterdamcreativeindustries.com/project/straatwaarden