WHAT IS THE OPEN LAB?

In the framework of Bucharest’s bid to the European Capital of Culture title, we provoke the citizens of Bucharest to become active participants in the city’s life, through cultural experimental projects that test intuitions about the invisible city.

We are guided by the following principles: collaboration in creation, co-participation, digitisation. We open dialogue with the people of Bucharest through collective processes, promotion of trans-disciplinary initiatives, decentralisation of culture in the city and the use of mobile, temporary structures.

We function as a physical space, accessible at ARCUB – Gabroveni Inn, an interface for navigating the projects that partially anticipate the programs in our bid, as well as a resource for initiatives that answer to these principles.

We act in the city, close to its communities, in cultural and non-cultural, temporary and permanent spaces.

Bucharest’s creative mind have the occasion to experiment with their own visions regarding the city and see them come through to fruition, as part of the Ideas ACCELERATOR. Addressed to artists, researchers and cultural managers, the ACCELERATOR is an open call that does not conform to established formats and proposes new perspectives and actions with a long term impact on Bucharest’s future, as well as the region’s. Read more…

Initiated on June 7, together with the Bucharest Community Foundation, the Generator is the second instrument in the frame of our urban culture OPEN LAB. As a means to empower citizens, Generator aims to give a push to an experimental series of cultural projects in Bucharest’s communities, by actively involving neighbours as culture generators. The Generator is a direct result of identifying needs and cultural opportunities in our city’s neighbourhoods, through the “Exploring Cultural Ideas and Needs in Bucharest Neighbourhoods” study, elaborated by the Centre for Public Participation Resources.

The Generator is one of the instruments that actively sustain citizen participation in urban development. The open call encourages Bucharest communities to propose community projects that answer neighbourhood needs. Involving communities and their needs in a conscious and active way that overlays the city’s cultural strategy is crucial for a sustainable urban development. The micro-grants fund destined for initiative groups offers up to 2.000 Euro financing for each of the ten winning projects. Creative ideas transform the community for the better. Read more…

Explorer

With the help of the independent cultural sector, of local and international experts and, least but not last, of the citizens of Bucharest, EXPLORER analyses the invisible present time of the city. Through unveiling invisible places in the city (as part of a series of guided urban tours) and through discovering personal histories in Bucharest’s neighbourhoods (as part of an collaborative emotional mapping experiment), Explorer traces the invisible map of the city as it appears right now. Read more…

Activator

Thought as an exercise to imagine Bucharest in the future, when culture will be visible to all, Open Lab experiments with the ACTIVATOR in an urban space transformed in an open cultural platform in which actions and art performances happen beyond the conventional space, while citizens of Bucharest become active participants in the cultural life of the city.