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Research departmentDYNAMICS OF ECONOMIC SPACES

The research department focuses on the complex interplay between economic activities and learning, on the one hand, and spatial and institutional structures on the other. The department dedicates much of its research to analysing the significance and impact of knowledge and how creative processes are organised. Knowledge enables social action and underlies economic activity, too. This is reflected in the department's empirical research agenda which aims to systematically compare economic innovations. In this context, special attention is given to the processes whereby innovations unfold and to the way such innovations are regionally embedded.

Researchers also analyse new forms of organised creativity, as well as highly volatile types of work. They are particularly interested in how creative endeavours remain adaptable, despite the uncertainty that is inherent to creative processes. The scholars apply the concept of “valuation”, which is widely used in the field of creativity research, allowing them to study the social construction of values and the emergence of markets.

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Ongoing Lead project

The lead project focalizes digital online platforms as well as their relevance for design processes in the fashion industry. Thus, it addresses the question, to what extent creative collaboration can be digitalized. All platforms have in common that they enact specific interfaces between the ‘concrete’ and the ‘virtual’ world, at which human actions are translated into data and vice versa. The lead project analyses how different specialized digital platforms are used in design processes, and which spatial patters and divisions of labour in creative work emerge as a consequence. The advance of digital platforms into a formerly more analogue industry like fashion bears the potential to fundamentally change spatial arrangements of creativity-based value creation, to the benefit or at the expense of established creative centres. more

News
01. September | 2020

Increasingly, universities are offering teaching not only on their home campus or online, but also in international branch locations. These "Offshore Campuses" are often designed as glamorous science cities that are marketed commercially. With the names of well-known universities as brands, they attract students. A scientifically sound overview of the number, location and origin of these institutions at city level has not been available until now. Now, the Junior Research Group "TRANSEDU" of the Leibniz Institute for Research on Society and Space (IRS) has presented an overall data collection. more info

News
16. October | 2019

Cities are routinely eulogized as harbingers of progress and emancipation, as the locus of innovation and creativity. And, in fact, the historical record of cities in engendering artistic, scientific or societal creativity from the ancient Greece polis over Renaissance Florence, Modern Art Paris to New York’s ‘Warhol Economy’ is impressive. More recently, though, discords began to mingle with the harmonious choir praising the allegedly greatest invention of humanity. The fixation with the unique affordances of urban places, as the critique maintains, has systematically impoverished our understanding of creativity in the periphery. To rectify this urban bias, a veritable stream of research initiatives has been launched more recently to push the focus of scholarly debate on creativity from center to periphery, from the urban to the rural. In addition to an international conference in Berlin on November 21 and 22, the issue is addressed in a special issue of "Industry and Innovation" guest edited by Gernot Graber (University of the Built Environment and Metropolitan Development, Hamburg) and Oliver Ibert (IRS and Brandenburg University of Technology, Cottbus). more info