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Digital Placemaking Category

What is Digital Placemaking?

by Bristol+Bath Creative R+D
Digital Placemaking aims to enhance and deepen the relationship between people and places. We believe the best examples of digital placemaking are co-designed by different kinds of communities, using digital technology and creative solutions to improve or enhance the public experience of place.

Digital Placemaking aims to enhance and deepen the relationship between people and places. We believe the best examples of digital placemaking are co-designed by different kinds of communities, using digital technology and creative solutions to improve or heighten the way we experience place.

Many of us already move seamlessly between digital and physical worlds in our day-to-day life. Think Google Maps, wearable technology or playing Pokémon Go in the park. These are ways that digital technology can make things easier, more enjoyable and more accessible. But the flip side is that if it’s not done right, digital technology can also make things more confusing, alienating or overwhelming.

In the first Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Pathfinder, we’ll be bringing together new talent, university research and cutting-edge industry and inclusion practice, to address industry-wide challenges by making innovative work for the real world.

We will be asking: What experiences will interest the audiences of the future? How will those experiences — whether reading, listening, watching, performing or participating — enhance their lives? How might technology in public spaces affect our cities? Our region? And what can we do to make our cities better places to live?

Digital connectivity (the pipework of cables, antennae and signal transmission) is now a key part of civic infrastructure — like transport, water and energy. But our future cities aren’t just about essential services, commerce and population control.

What we’re really interested in is: where does culture feature in the new digital infrastructure?

We want Bristol and Bath to be the first city region in the world where creative and cultural work is a key part of the network infrastructure.

From our first Bristol+Bath Creative R+D Pathfinder, we are looking for three types of outcome. Firstly, we want to work with companies to create new experiences for the future audiences and lay the foundations for further development. Secondly, we want to develop the cultural infrastructure so that ongoing creative work is commissioned. Last but not least, we want to make the potentials and pitfalls of the emergent ‘smart internet’ more visible and available to the wider creative industries.

As well as inclusive and sustainable production, the Digital Placemaking Pathfinder will focus on emerging technologies — for example 5G, hologram, motion capture, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, robotics, projection mapping, location-based content, augmented and spatial audio.