Urban cultural policy and the changing dynamics of cultural production.
Contemporary approaches to urban development have largely positioned the cultural industries as an extension of knowledge-based service industries or as an amenity to boost consumption and attract skilled labour. There is a significant theoretical and policy gap around material cultural production and its intersection with dynamic urban manufacturing and maker economies. The cultural production-urban manufacturing interface is particularly pertinent in light of contemporary cultural shifts that have accelerated the consumption of manufactured products imbued with aesthetic- or sign-value. This research intends to study material cultural production as a spatialised network of collective activity, involving various participants across different sectors (e.g. ceramics, furniture, textiles, jewellery) and professions (e.g. designers, machine operators, fabricators), that enable ideas to materialise into innovative commodities. The aim is to uncover cross-sectoral commonalities and synergies in terms of working practices, infrastructure, and institutions (e.g. mixing and matching input suppliers; designers and producers working across sectors or communities of practice) that underpin a regional system of production and confer advantages that enable cultural product makers and manufacturers to survive in high-wage, service-oriented economies. This PhD project is funded by the Australian Research Council through the Discovery Project, Urban cultural policy and the changing dynamics of cultural production (DP170104255).