Making Cultural Infrastructure: planning for production

Across the Anglophone world, the term cultural infrastructure is emerging in discussion around planning for culture in cities, yet being used in radically different ways. In this workshop we will debate what constitutes cultural infrastructure, asking what strategies it implies and how its implications differ between political and cultural climates.

Drawing on the publication of its report ‘Making Cultural Infrastructure‘, Theatrum Mundi will delve into the idea of infrastructure, whose varied, sometimes conflicting, definitions suggest different ideas of the relationship between the  and cultures of cities. We will forward a definition that implies investment in underlying, often hidden infrastructures for the labour that produces new cultural forms, as opposed to high profile buildings in which the arts are displayed and stored.

Drawing on in-depth work studying and designing artist workspaces, Assemble and We Made That will illustrate what this looks like on the ground, revealing the structures, technologies, and supply chains that underpin the making of culture in cities. In doing so, we will argue together that manufacturing, industry, and culture are closely linked, requiring urban planning and design very different to that of the Bilbao model of cultural regeneration.