The transformation of our economy and society towards sustainable development is the central challenge of our time. This requires the establishment of sustainable economic and social visions, values, practices, and cultural techniques – in short: a cultural change. Actors in the cultural and creative industries, art production and sustainable design already acquire transformation skills during their education. A diverse research and practice landscape has now been established in North Rhine-Westphalia for this purpose, ranging from a multitude of art and design courses, faculties and universities, state-wide support structures for the creative industries as well as local independent art scenes and municipally controlled cultural institutions.
A transformation towards a sustainable economy and society requires a pronounced need for transfer, exchange and learning between science and practice. In order to be able to unfold the existing transformative potentials and competences for this process, "free" and hybrid spaces for cooperation, encounters and experimentation, that promote a collaborative design of innovation processes must be created. Therefore the researchers will develop a transdisciplinary transformation and cooperation platform within the transform.NRW project. The project's focus is on making the transformative power of art, culture, design and sustainability accessible to already ongoing processes of change. The centrepiece of this platform will be a digital hub for design interaction, where best-practice examples, methods, and toolkits can be shared and developed further in experimental spaces. The platform also serves as a working, learning and experience space and will be developed through intensive feedback and test cycles in the context of actor networking, analogue design processes, workshops and a symposium. In this way, a structured, transdisciplinary transfer of knowledge and methods for sustainability transformation will be created.
The researchers of the Wuppertal Institute are implementing the project in collaboration with the Faculty of Design and Art of the University of Wuppertal (BUW) and in cooperation with 14 partners from science, business, municipalities, art, design, and culture.