I think it’s only fitting to begin my first post with sharing my experience of what inspired me to create a blog in the first place.
I have recently completed an 8 week research project with Creative Cardiff, a network that aims to connect the creative community across the city. The opportunity to be a part of the project was provided to me by Cardiff University as part of an undergraduate scheme. I had absolutely no idea what to expect when I first applied for the research but I cannot tell you how grateful I am that I did!
I worked alongside a fantastic team to investigate the needs for a permanent creative hub space in Cardiff. The word “research” does not always have the most exciting of reputations, however, I am here to argue that this is certainly not the case. I was not sat at a lonely desk every day bored out of my mind but instead was surrounded by inspiring and friendly people, visited spaces and places across the city region, produced useful content for the network and felt like I was making a difference. There was so much going on every day it is impossible to record everything here, but I think that starting a blog will help to share all the exciting things going on in the city and beyond.
Defining a creative hub was an important part of my research, along with finding out what members of the creative community would want from one and how they would use it. It is generally a space where people go to work, to network and grow their business or idea surrounded by like-minded individuals. I was part of helping out with a pilot pop up hub that brought together people from across the city region into one creative space in the Wales Millennium Centre. This featured people from across the creative sector including freelancers, producers, composers, fashion designers and those working with arts and crafts and Virtual Reality technology. It was fantastic to see everyone building a community together in one place.
The project allowed me to meet more people in those 2 months and visit more places in Cardiff that I never even knew existed. I travelled further afield to Merthyr Tydfil, Caerphilly and Bristol to visit creative spaces and hub managers to gain a better understanding of what makes a creative hub work. My eyes have definitely been opened to all the fantastic things happening around me and I’m going to make sure I don’t miss out on any more!
I believe that where we work has a direct impact on our productivity levels, so if you’re in Cardiff and are bored of working from home or in a lonely office then get out there exploring all of the spaces to boost your creativity! Some of the hubs and studios I visited include the Sustainable Studio, Welsh ICE, Rabble Studio and Hwyl Hub. They are all excellent places to work and a warm welcome was received from all.
With every day came something new, whether this was meeting a new person, visiting a new space or interviewing those in the pop up hub. To bring my research to an end I created a research report and a poster which will be exhibited at a conference in October. It was a wonderful experience to be part of a project that benefited people and built a sense of community across the city. This work will continue at Creative Cardiff and I am excited to see what they will do next!
Take a look at the storify I created from the week documenting people’s reactions to the hub space.
Also, a talented photographer and recent graduate of Cardiff University, Eleanor Prescott, created a booklet detailing photos of the week long event.