Guimarães, as European Capital of Culture, can and should be a catalyst for social, economic and urban change. Guimarães 2012 offers an opportunity for the city to play a high profile and at times leadership role in positioning culture and creativity as tools for transformation and progressive urban futures. Guimarães can demonstrate how culture and creativity improve confidence, diversify the economy, connect communities, and positively enhance public space.
Moreover, as a relatively small city, the opportunity exists to identify and act on the specific opportunities and challenges faced by small cities everywhere. Here Guimarães will champion culture and creativity from a smaller city perspective, developing platforms, tools and ideas that will resonate for small cities everywhere.
The City programme is our urban laboratory, our ideas factory, our explorative tool for a future city where culture and creativity are to the heart of the economy and community. It is divided into three parts: Creative Landscape, Creative Exchange and Creative Futures.
• Descobrir Guimarães (Find Your Guimarães)
This is a disruptive signage project of site-specific interventions that challenge residents and visitors to look again, to take alternative routes and to reinterpret the city in new and novel ways. It will create alternative ways to navigate through the city, using physical and digital signage, installations and platforms for people to upload and contribute their senses of space and place. It will deepen people’s relationship to the city, challenge traditional senses of place and encourage the co-creation of a new possibility for the city.
• Pop Up Culture
Guimarães will become a stage, platform and canvas for re-interpretation and creative expression. The urban fabric will be re-used through a programme of pop up activities – from contemporary pop up retail in old shops to art in unusual places. Pop Up Culture is our way of demonstrating new uses for old infrastructure, of diversifying the retail offer, and of showing that in a city that is confident and open, everything is possible and nothing is out of place.
• Ideias Urbanas (Urban Ideas)
This is our dream factory for a future city; our space and platform for re-modelling the city through collaborative maquettes, planning for real and calls for ideas. We will develop new models for an alternative city, piloting social innovations, testing new thinking on how we plan, manage and regenerate our cities.
• Laboratório de Empreendedorismo (Entrepreneurship Lab)
This positions Guimarães as a regional hub for emergent creative talent and business. A series of network, showcase and support activities, this enhances collaboration for small creative businesses, nurtures the local creative ecology and stimulates a culture of entrepreneurialism across the city and region. It is also the project that builds competency and aspiration for local people – with a series of ‘Life Choices’ activities that engage young people to think creatively about their future; and a Talent 2012 development project for local people to meet, greet and engage visitors in creative and engaging ways.
• On/Off - Laboratório de Criatividade Urbana (On/Off - Urban Creativity Lab)
This is our meeting place for creative people and projects. It offers work and play spaces, social areas and different creative platforms and experiences. It is an intersection for creative practice, where local, regional and international creative practitioners congregate, co-create and develop new creative futures. It is the place to hang out, the place to be creative. And you can’t miss it – the On/Off bus will take you there!
• LCD - Laboratório de Criação Digital (LCD - Digital Creativity Lab)
This is the space devoted to creativity, experimentation and multidisciplinary collaboration in the field of digital arts and with a view to creation, training and research at the intersection between art, science and technology in Portugal and Europe. We will build digital capacity and confidence in the arts, and we will explore how creative practitioners can play a leading role in digital development for the whole city.
• Laboratório de Moda (Fashion Lab)
Guimarães is, traditionally, a city of textiles, a city where design and materials come together. This project embraces the textile history and identity of Guimarães and the wider region, celebrating innovation and developing new ways to ensure sustainability and competitiveness in the industry. This programme fosters regional talent and champions innovation and competitiveness in the textile and fashion sector. It includes activities that bring traditional textile firms into collaboration with emergent fashion talent; showcases textile excellence and new distinctly Guimarães fashion sensibilities at home and abroad; symposia that plan for a new future for textiles in the region; and exciting textile art projects that dress the city with a creative identity.
• Cidade Participativa (Open City)
Guimarães 2012 will pioneer thinking on open city-making – in governance, planning, infrastructure and engagement. By commissioning leading thinkers on ‘openness’, platforming symposia on open city-making, and piloting ‘openness collaborations’, this is an opportunity for reflection and exchange on key elements in open city-making.
• Small City Network
Guimarães 2012 will play a leadership role for small cities in creative city-making and cultural planning. A network of small cities will be convened – to include partner cities in Brazil, northern Europe and Asia. This will involve up to six themed meetings in other cities and a final conference in Guimarães.
Guimarães 2012 will broker collaboration for innovating companies and organisations across the north of Portugal and link them to pioneer innovators in other parts of Europe. This is a platform for developing innovation by mediating talents, businesses and organisations. An international meeting will bring together digital innovators, talent scouts and industry leaders.