The concepts of creative economy, cultural industries and creative occupations have evolved significantly over the last two decades. In the early stages, considerable credence had been ascribed to creativity as a paradigmatic self-help model capable of economic regeneration, urban renewal and community building. As the socio-economic environment remained turbulent, however, policy makers, planners and cultural critics, growing increasingly self-aware of issues around gentrification, race relations, and inequity, have nurtured an evolving skepticism of the “creative city” model and its promise of tangible prosperity. In light of these developments and the shifting nature of creative work in cities, the workshop developed for the University of Nancy's Villa Artem project seeks to critically investigate the role of creative incubators in urban regeneration by: (1) examining the material and symbolic impact of creative incubators on the built environment, (2) comparatively assessing the catalytic potential of the typology within a broad range of urban scenarios, and (3) compiling a catalog of best practices related to both instrumental and less entrepreneurial manifestations of the type within wider strategies of urban regeneration. In the process of assembling a comprehensive and systemic overview, the workshop will test a set of criteria by which to measure the performance and impact of creative incubators within the contemporary urban contexts, and speculate about methods of building new and inclusive models.


Nancy, France, 2016


Workshop Lead: Anya Sirota


Collaboration: Patrick Beauce, Alienor Morvan


Teaching Assistant: Taylor Montgomery



The workshop was made possible through the support of the Ecole Nationale Superieure d'Art de Nancy, the University of Michigan Experiential Learning Fund, and Taubman College of Architecture + Urban Planning.