The cultural association, Mejeriet, was the center of students’ projects in the program Digital Cultures. The task was to identify ways in which physical meeting places can work together with new digital production, consumption, and experience patterns. This was also part of the larger pan-European cultural project CCSC. "The student projects held a high quality throughout and resulted in many feasible ideas," says project developer Katarina Scott at Future by Lund.
As part of the larger pan-European project CCSC, Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities, students from the Digital Cultures program at Lund University under leadership from Mikael Askander were given the opportunity to work with real challenges from Mejeriet in their projects.
Mejeriet opened its doors in 1987 and is a culture hub featuring a variety of ventures, such as a cinema, musical activities, stand-up events, and rehearsal rooms. In recent years, new digital habits have influenced and altered the behavior of visitors and cultural creators. The students at Digital Cultures were therefore tasked to develop Mejeriet’s business development model and take into consideration the interplay between physical and digital meeting places. The overarching question was to identify how the physical meeting place for cultural creators can work together with digital meeting places and create something new.
The student projects were deemed very successful.
– The quality of the presentation was the highest I have experienced when it comes to student projects, says Katarina Scott, project developer at Future by Lund. Everyone came up with relevant proposals that could be achieved if time and money were set aside. There were also many elements that could be developed in combination with each other.
The students were studying their first semester of the three-year bachelor’s program Digital Cultures. They were divided into six groups and each group had to develop a solution based on their respective assignment. The presentation took place in the beginning of 2020.
– The collaboration was great, says Mikael Askander at the Department of Cultural Sciences. Our students were admitted to a project management course with a focus on collaboration and creation of meeting places both in person and online. The learning outcomes for our students were huge, not least in terms of project management experience. Some of the ideas and suggestions included a new app for and about cultural institutions in Lund, a café adjacent to Mejeriet, a media workshop and a digital mailbox. Some suggestions were realized, such as artists making guest logins to Mejeriet’s Instagram account.
Mejeriet was also positive about the outcome.
– The Digital Cultures program has given us valuable perspectives on parts of Mejeriet’s business development - such as, our communication with students, Mejeriet as a physical place and changes in young people's cultural habits, says Marcus Lampe. We hope that we have been able to showcase to the students the reality of places like Mejeriet, as well as the challenges and limitations of these places. The students identified areas for development and came up with good suggestions and ideas for improvement. A perspective we have considered is the importance of an attractive meeting place in Lund that functions also apart from public events. During summer we opened a new area at Mejeriet named Stallet, where you can play boule or board games, listen to DJs and enjoy the food and drinks. We will also consider the suggestions on improvements to our website when we launch an updated version.
Katarina Scott at Future by Lund wishes for the collaboration to continue.
– The project was done during the students' first year and yet they came up with elaborate and well-thought-out solutions. I would like if a long-term collaboration between different cultural institutions and the Digital Cultures program can be established as it provides cultural institutions with insights and a connection with the next generation, while simultaneously prepares them for life after graduation.
In the larger EU project CCSC, Cultural and Creative Spaces and Cities, Lund Municipality leads an Urban Lab, which focuses on creating engagement and collaborations. Mejeriet, Stenkrossen and Science Village are local partners together with Future by Lund. In the project with Mejeriet, Future by Lund was involved as the project organizer.
Translation: Ben Dohrmann