Pan-European Diagnosis and State of the Arts / Definition of an international benchmark

One of the key objectives of our project is to generate a greater added value, profitability, visibility and economic return of European archives, through the identification and implementation of new business models and activities.

For such purpose, two pieces of research have been carried out during the first semester of 2020 with the result of two reports that are launched today:

1_ Pan-European diagnosis and State of the Arts on new business models applicable to archives.

To read the report please click here.

2_Definition of and  International Benchmarking. A piece of research to identify good practices and new trends in the management of cultural institutions that could be a source of inspiration for the archives.

To read the report please click here.

To read more about the State of the Arts and the Benchmark click here.

Face-to-face-meetings go digital…

Under the current circumstances it is not possible for the project partners to meet in person – so we sadly had to cancel our planned encounter in Malta in the beginning of April and instead met virtually in our home offices spread all over Europe – from Spain, Portugal and Malta in the South, to Austria and Hungary in the Middle and up to Norway in the North – even reaching into the US to our stranded exhibition designer.

Regular videoconferences of the Steering Committee on a monthly basis had already been in action before the pandemic crisis and we are keeping it up, as it is a great way to keep everyone in the loop, discuss project relevant issues and make important decisions – and on top of it: it’s always nice to see each other once in a while (this time our Irish colleagues were also able to join us)!

Summary and impressions from the Artistic Residence (Madrid, 17th – 21st of February 2020)

The week of our Artistic Residence has been full of interesting and noteworthy encounters, both on personal and professional level, of the twelve selected designers, that had been chosen by the project partners to come up with ideas for merchandise products based on archival documents.

Find herea concise report summarising the events and highlights of the Artistic Residence.

WP3 – Working with new Target Audiences, Activity 20: Case Studies

Following our survey in 2019 aiming at the silver generation and their personal experience with archives, we would now like to take a closer look at initiatives that archival institutions are offering to senior users: for example as voluntary workers or involving them in micro tasks like identifying and describing items in pictures or similar.

The main goal of all of this is to summarise and evaluate existing initiatives and to come up with ideas, recommendations etc. for European archival institutions on how to reach and actively cooperate with the target group of senior citizen – the Silver Generation, also considering making use of the knowledge and interest in (local) history, motivation and availability of this specific audience.

Find the questionnaire here .

More information on the above named survey of 2019 and some first case-studies can be found here.

Artistic Residency in Madrid – Final Day

Friday morning commenced with the finalisation of previous day’s group co-working exercise and the presentation of the same on the beautiful roof terrace of Loom Princesa:

Group 1 – Ángel Merlo, Diogo Bessa, Hansjörg Schwab and Dorá Rea Kövér chose the Spanish manuscript “Samples of Jelly of bones for troops foodstuff” for the design of the adolescent’s product, coming up with a collection of fun ideas such as a Ranger belt filled with sweet pills simulating the ones in the manuscript or different jars equally filled with sweets similar to the original pills.

For their second product, they chose the Maltese manuscript “Relic Containing Fragment of Jesus’ Manger, 1710” and came up with ideas for a series of physical products, like a jewellery box, a pacifier with the design of the relic, or a facefilter-app using different filters related to the relic:

Group 2 – Siegfried Gruber, Maria Astrup, Mário Fonseca and Zsófia Neuzer chose a photopraph from a Portuguese archive, displaying the “Lisbon 25th of April Bridge”.

The team came up with a variety of street fashion T-shirt-designs playing with the iconic shape of the bridge as well as relating to the relevance of the date – 25.04. (1974 Carnation Revolution – national holiday of Portugal) and using the colours of the Portuguese flag in different combinations.

The second design was based on a Maltese manuscript “License to Fortunato Vella to practice the profession of a pharmacist, 24 September 1770” including a small manual of herbs used in the 18th century. The group picked up on the beautiful floral framing of the document and transferred it to a modern time first aid kit:

Group 3 – Catarina Silva, Clint Tabone, Kristin Bø and Olga Toral Gambín chose a manuscript from Hungary: “Front page of István Lülik`s Slovenian-Hungarian” alphabet book. The designers came up with a series of ideas targeting adolescents: using the letters and the specific font for stencils, stickers, temporary tattoos etc. or for digital messages.

The second design idea was based on a manuscript from Portugal “Book of Marinharia, by Joäo de Lisboa, 1560” including beautifully illustrated maps. The group used the different cartographic symbols for a collection of paper napkins, flags, paper plates, tablecloth etc. under the motto “Navigating the party” (the whole collection based on recyclable material).

All presentations were delivered with as much enthusiasm and positive energy that characterised the whole week of the artistic residence!

A big thank you to all the designers and of course our hosts from the Spanish State Archives for this exceptional experience!

Group photo of the designers and representatives of the project partners.

Artistic Residency in Madrid, Day 4

The first three days had focussed on the already prepared designs, prototypes and ideas of the individual designers – on day 4 our hosts had planned a different approach: the 12 designers were split into 3 groups and given several “hidden treasures” from our participating archives to choose from and use as basis to elaborate ideas for two merchandising products each- one aiming at a general audience, the other targeting teenagers.

The groups had time until noon to draft and sketch some first ideas that were meant to be elaborated and presented the next day.

The afternoon was then again given to 2 inspiring visits:

1. Renowned designer Alvaro Catalan de Ocón welcomed the group in his new design studio, giving highly interesting and personal insights into his prized design projects, such as the “PET Lamps” – an ambitious and fruitful project that mixes the reuse of PET plastic bottles with selected traditional weaving techniques from different corners of the world in order to create unique handmade lampshades:

In the vicinity of the ACdO-studio lies the spacious complex of the “Matadero Madrid – Centre for Contemporary Creation”, the city’s former slaughterhouse and cattle market – one of the most singular industrial establishments of early 20th-century Madrid architecture, transformed in 2006 into a vibrant centre for contemporary arts.

Our designers had the chance to visit two exhibitions by organised by DIMAD (Madrid Designers Association):

  • “Fresh Product” displaying the year’s best products designed by Madrid designers or produced by local businesses.
  • “MARCA” a collection of objects for daily use, the result of collaboration between selected designers and manufacturing companies located in the province of Turin. The project is promoted and supported by the Turin Chamber of Commerce, in collaboration with the Piemonte Agency.

Artistic Residency in Madrid, Day 3

The third day saw the final presentations of the designers from Spain, Olga Toral Gambín and Ángel Merlo, who already delivered finalised prototypes:

and from Portugal by Ana Catarina Silva, Mário Jorge Fonseca and Diogo Bessa :

To end the day, the group visited 3 exhibitions at the Fernán Gómez. Centro Cultural de la Villa within the frame of the Madrid Design Festival 2020:

  • Exhibition of the shortlisted projects for the “Toca Madera” competition for young professional designers
  • Exhibition devoted to Patricia Urquiola – focussing on her work as a designer, showing her works for industrial production, occasionally for craft production and frequently for the cross between them both.
  • Exhibition “I work! Because that´s what I´m like”

Artistic Residency in Madrid, Day 2

The second day of our designers’ gathering commenced with the presentation of the product ideas from Malta, by Clint Tabone:

… and from Norway: presentations by Kristin Bø and Maria Strøm Astrup.

Afterwards Ms Cristina Alovisetti Ruiz-Ogarrio, General Manager at the Museo Nacional del Prado Difusión shared her experience in handling the communication and dissemination of such a big and internationally active institution.

The day ended with another shopping exercise in the Thyssen-Bornemiszda Museum shop: