Creative Hubs That Impact Their Communities

Creative hubs are still largely misunderstood and undervalued in terms of their impact on a community. Far more than yet another co-working space, creative hubs support the wider creative community, and their contributions are often dismissed.

A report by the British Council in 2016 entitled ‘Creative Hubs: Understanding the New Economy’, highlights that the worldwide phenomenon of creative hubs are not as appreciated as they should be. The reports claims that the positive impact on jobs, products, urban development and informal education tends to be obscured by a reliance on statistical assessments.

“…Hubs have become nests for freelancers and micro SME’s to gather, connect and collaborate,” a spokesperson said.
“They are lighthouses for forgotten areas of the city, gathering people in unused spaces and connecting previously invisible communities.”

Creative hubs vs coworking clusters

Distinguished from the more traditional working spaces, hubs are very different from what is termed ‘clusters’, which is a co-location of like-minded businesses. In contrast, hubs are defined as “place, either physical or virtual, which brings creative people together”. Hubs therefore provide space and support for networking and business development as well as community engagement. Their purpose is to provide the services the creative entrepreneurs may not have had access to if they were working alone.

A spokesperson for the British Council praised creative hubs, saying they have an impact on “jobs, new products and services, talent development, regional talent retention, informal education, urban regeneration, research and development, new networks, innovative models of organisation, quality of life enhancements and resilience.

“By supporting hubs, we support the wider creative economy,” they added.

Factoria Cultural Matadero, Madrid

Established in 2014 in a repurposed industrial building, the working space is one of 55 projects featured in the Golden Lion-winning Spanish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Factoria Cultural operates as an incubator for creative industries housed in a hall within the matadero Madrid contemporary arts centre.

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The former slaughterhouse and market complex is owned by Madrid City Council, and so any changes made to the original architecture needed to be reversible. This presented a challenge to Madrid-based Strategic Spaces, led by architect Angel Borrego Cubero.

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In order to accommodate the required 120 desks, more floor space was needed, and so additions were incorporated to use the space more creatively. This included a raised platform housing further workspace beneath the room’s high ceiling, and a freestanding podium with large steps that can be used as seating during presentations.

Nova Iskra Incubator, Serbia

Initiated by NGO Kulturni Kod, this incubator was set up as a unique meeting point for emerging creative professionals and forward-thinking businesses. Its goal is to help promote and support entrepreneurship and career development which it does through activities organised in four key areas: coworking services; education, professional development and training; project incubation and consulting; and creative services for clients via its Nova Iskra Studio offshoot.

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The multi-functional space was established on the premise of supporting young creatives from various different fields, such as design, architecture, interiors design and visual communications. Professionals from these fields would have access to resources for their individual work, as well as taking part in projects and programs developed in partnership with major international companies, schools and institutions.

Betahaus, Berlin

Part of a collection of creative hubs across Europe, the Berlin coworking space was the first location to open in April 2009 in Moritzplatz. Betahaus was designed for people who want to work on their own personal projects, while also exchanging ideas, knowledge and inspiration with others. Currently with 500 members, the Berlin Betahaus is a community of startups, entrepreneurs, corporate teams and freelancers, all who cooperate and collaborate to varying degrees.

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Adelaide Creative Community Hub

The Adelaide Creative Community Hub competition is a partnership between Bee Breeders and the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. This competition seeks to explore the possibilities for architecture to act as a stimulant - generating exciting public spaces that help establish a creative environment/atmosphere in the city of Adelaide.

Participants are welcome to design a permanent building, or temporary and transportable urban element that would facilitate a specific set of functions. It could also be used to accommodate a group of people who provoke and evoke creative events that would support Adelaide in its efforts to becoming a truly ‘creative city’.

Open architecture competitions

  • Closest Deadline first
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    Selected winning projects have the potential to be constructed
  • Ideas competitions first
    Experimental competitions with the focus on pushing the boundaries of creativity
ideas COMPETITION
The Last Nuclear Bomb Memorial

Design a memorial that speaks to the cause of ending all nuclear weapons programs

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 15
Jan 27
Apr 21
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ideas COMPETITION
Toronto Affordable Housing Challenge

Design affordable housing solutions for Toronto

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 16
Jan 28
Apr 22
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project COMPETITION
Omuli Museum of the Horse

Reimagine a historical primary school into a museum for horses

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 14
Jan 26
Apr 23
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ideas COMPETITION
SKYHIVE 2021 Skyscraper Challenge

Fourth annual competition to redefine the modern-day skyscraper

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 17
Jan 29
Apr 23
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project COMPETITION
Sleeping Pods on a Cliff

Design a series of sleeping pods for a Portugal yoga retreat

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 18
Feb 01
Apr 27
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project COMPETITION
Tiny Kiwi Meditation Cabin

Design a meditation space in New Zealand

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 21
Feb 02
Apr 28
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project COMPETITION
Spirala Community Home

Create a community home for the Spirala Ecological Village

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Dec 22
Feb 03
Apr 29
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ideas COMPETITION
Berlin Techno Booth

Bring back techno music to the streets of Berlin by designing individual dance booths

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Mar 23
Apr 20
Jul 06
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ideas COMPETITION
Modular Home Design Challenge 2021

Design a modular dream home

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Mar 24
Apr 21
Jul 07
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essay COMPETITION
Essay: Modular Architecture

How modular design has impacted architecture?

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Mar 25
Apr 22
Jul 08
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ideas COMPETITION
Hospice - Home for Terminally Ill

Design a safe and supportive space for those struggling with a terminal illness

Prize: MONETARY AWARD
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Mar 30
Apr 27
Jul 13
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project COMPETITION
Romantic Cabin For Two

Design a romantic and secluded cabin for two in New Zealand

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Mar 31
Apr 28
Jul 14
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project COMPETITION
Monte d'Oiro Wine Hotel

Design a new hotel set within a beautiful Portuguese Monte d'Oiro vineyard

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + CONSTRUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Apr 01
Apr 29
Jul 15
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essay COMPETITION
Essay: Architecture of Illusions

Do you have something to say about illusions in architecture?

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN THE BOOK
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Apr 02
Apr 30
Jul 16
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ideas COMPETITION
MICROHOME 2021 - Small living, huge impact!

Design a new concept of small-scale architecture

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PUBLICATION IN MAGAZINE
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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May 11
Sep 07
Nov 02
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project COMPETITION
Legendary Bird Home 2021

Design a bird home to fund wildlife charities

Prize: MONETARY AWARD + PRODUCTION
Eligibility: OPEN TO ALL

registration deadlines

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Sep 07
Nov 02
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ARCHITECTURE COMPETITIONS

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