Another interesting “cultural space” development is Redmond’s Vision 5 project. It was unveiled at Redmond’s recent Feedback Festival, the city’s very fresh approach to engaging citizens in the development of their Arts Master Plan. The Vision 5 development’s mission is to become the Eastside’s most dynamic and affordable art community. Yes indeed…many, many artists of all disciplines live on the Eastside. Westsiders…you know you’re curious…so I’l be lookin’ for you at the open house. As Bellevue moves forward with a new Comprehensive Plan, Transportation Plan and an update to the Cultural Compass, I thought I’d share the 2009 research study I conducted with esteemed colleagues, Shelley Farnham and Kate Wells-Driscoll. Given all of these regional development, the results of our study are more relevant now than ever. Our arts/tech incubation study was part of a larger effort to inform our respective community building efforts. We gathered useful data about the current uses of industrial/office space, technology, existing studio and work spaces, housing needs, collaborative interest and preferences to advance creative and technical innovation goals. Our target community was most interested in knowledge sharing, collaborative opportunities and incubation space. Our study results identified a regional need for flexible office space, creative live/work housing and art/tech/media incubation resources. This data greatly informed the design and programming of the Real Estate Strategy and Analysis for BRINC: The Bel-Red Incubator & Live/Work Lofts.
ABSTRACT At the intersection of art and technology there is an emerging community of innovative, creative, and entrepreneurial individuals and groups with unique requirements for educational resources, collaboration opportunities, and work and living spaces. In order to better understand this emerging community of technology creatives we distributed a questionnaire, requesting information about current creative uses of technology, existing studio and work spaces, and preferences and needs to meet creative goals. We found that this community is largely comprised of individuals who have careers in technology, but were pursuing artistic interests. They were particularly seeking knowledge sharing and collaborative opportunities, with many expressing an interest in shared or membership-based incubation spaces for access to other people. They reported that time was more a constraint than financial limitations. Based on our study results, we provide recommendations for the development of resources to help meet these. “We found that the targeted community of technology creatives is largely comprised of individuals who have careers in technology, but were pursuing creative interests in the domains of visual arts, maker projects, and entrepreneurial projects. The open-ended responses to the questionnaire provided a rich image of creative technologists who worked in the software industry (software engineers, web designers) but who were actively interested and pursuing projects that incorporate more physical computing: wanting education and access to electronics, metalworking, microcontrollers, prototyping machines, and so forth. In other words, people who used technology for more ephemeral digital software in their day jobs sought to incorporate technology into more physical projects in their creative pursuits.” “They were particularly interested in knowledge sharing, networking, and collaborative opportunities, with many expressing an interest in a shared, membership based incubation space for access to other people. Those who did collaborate indicated their collaboration groups tended to be 3-5 people. Even those who worked primarily on solitary projects expressed an interest in shared spaces because of exposure to knowledge and conversation around creative projects. These results are consistent with reports of the creative process described by Gardner in Creating Minds , where he illustrates that even solitary writers such as Tolkein were creatively inspired by regular meetings where they describe their works to each other.” “For this population of technology creatives, lack of time and education were the greatest constraints in their creative pursuits, not finances — which is distinct from other types of artists. Many reported they already had a space for independent projects, and were particularly interested in collaboration spaces for access to peer education and discussion.”