Highlights of the conference on creativity & technology.

“The best way to predict the future is to create it” — this idea was a core inspiration of “Create IT” conference, dedicated to the theme of creative industries and modern technologies. The conference was held on May 19th at eventspace. 

Having taken part in it, we brought inspiration and new ideas to the team. Our short review is devoted to theses of the conference.

Tim Williams

Tim Williams

The conference was opened by Tim Williams, the leader of the EU-Eastern Partnership Program "Culture and Creativity". He talked about the rapid growth of the number of microprocessors and the growth of technological sphere. Tim also shared his philosophical predictions about the development of culture and technology by 2050. As he said, the world departs from a system when one person is competent in one sphere. We are moving towards a world in which everyone will be a multi-disciplinary professional. Thus, the sphere of creative industries is the sphere of the future.

Andrew Erskine

Andrew Erskine

Andrew Erskine, an expert at Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy, started his talk with the definition of the "creative industry" - a term, which is connected with advertising, architecture, art, film, music, television and other sectors. The creative economy is based on how people use their creative thinking and imagination, so creative industries are the main driver of innovation.

What moves creative industries today?

  1. Job. The nature of our work is changing, we are striving to create a sufficient number of jobs. Creative industries are precisely the sphere in which creation of new competencies is growing rapidly.
  2. Global trends. For example, the growing popularity of cryptocurrencies, environment pollution, etc.
  3. Digitalization. Everything that has not yet entered the digital sphere will soon be there. The real potential lies in the digitization of what is not digital yet.
  4. Increasing fragmentation. What was previously represented in a "single" copy or a limited number can now be copied and distributed, as well as personalized to suit the needs of specific small groups of users.
  5. Combining knowledge from different spheres. People with different skills and knowledge come together to create new products.
  6. Users. The needs of users are changing rapidly. And end users are the key engines to creative industries.

In future:

Culture and creativity — in cities (not in countries)!

This is indicated by cultural and creative tourism, understanding of ecology and the integration of various organizations and institutions within the city.


Julia Bespleplennova

Julia continued the conference with a story about the hybrid space. This was the success story of the project #nevicata14 — an experimental pedestrian configuration of Castello Square in Milan. The project attracted public’s attention, received support and was successfully implemented. 

#nevicata14 is the free space of Castello Square with the equipment for public use of the area: various types of seats, structures protecting from the sun, platforms for public events, lighting elements, signs, toilets, etc. Everything is supported by a functional wi-fi service, a website that provides easy access to all active services, social channels that allow maximum dissemination of content and communication with the residents. #nevicata14 has a system of services — physical and digital — to support the use of the area: calendars, applications, lighting technology, media library, integration with the major service platforms of the city. 

#nevicata14 is a project at intersection of architectural, communication, technological and social solutions.

More detail can be found via links below:

Jill Cousins

Jill Cousins

Jill is the executive director of Europeana Foundation. Europeana is the European digital platform for cultural heritage. Since 2008, they digitized several million pieces of different cultural heritage sites across Europe. Europeana is available in three languages — French, German and English.

Image from www.europeana.eu.

Jill spoke about what Europeana offers today:

  1. Open data of high quality. Europeana cooperates with more than 3000 museums, libraries, galleries and institutes throughout Europe.
  2. Frameworks and API. The project offers an API for working with data to develop projects in the field of creative industries.
  3. Inspiration. Europeana contains a large amount of data in the field of art and culture to inspire people around the world.

Arek Keshishian about TUMO

Arek Keshishian

Arek represented TUMO, the center of creative technologies in Armenia. The center was founded in 2011 and today students are offered more than 100 different types of classes for self-study, more than 3000 workshops per year, more than 120 classes for training. Tumo is sometimes called Alternative Yerevan. 

Training in the center is organized in four directions: animation, game development, web development and digital media. Attention is also paid to dancing, sports and music. Lessons in compulsory discipline are held twice a week. The training cycle lasts two years. 

The main center of Tumo is in Yerevan, in 2013 the center was opened in Dilijan, in 2015 — in Gyumri, as well as in the city of Stepanakert in Nagorno-Karabakh. In this video you can see how the center TUMO looks from the inside, how the classes are held and hear the feedback of students and teachers. 

On the official TUMO channel on YouTube you can see examples of the work of the students of the center.

Андрей Янчуревич

Andrey Yanchurevich

Andrey Yanchurevich is a creative director at MSQRD and contractor producer at Facebook. The main idea of Andrei’s monologue is “do not let the future leave you behind”. 

At the Q&A session, Andrei was asked about MSQRD application, which, according to the speaker, is used as an emoticon for communication and sending messages. Emoticons are used for emotional coloring of the text, so this comparison seemed strange for applications with masks. Andrew replied that after analyzing user preferences, they understood why people actually use the application — for communication. Therefore, partnership with Facebook and integration of functionality into the messenger was the best solution for all parties.

Gunita Kulikovska

Gunita Kulikovska

Gunita is the founder and CEO of Vividly App — VR tool for visualizing interior or building design. 

The presentation was not focused on the presentation of the "Explicit App" or the success story of its creation. Gunita tried to convey the main idea — Your company is YOU. 

Gunita shared the idea that real creators are people who want something so bad that they can't sit still. In any case, you need to try and do — You win or you learn. Gunita also actively participates in various conferences, holds presentations and speeches. In one of them, she talks in detail about the possibilities of virtual reality in architecture.

Gunita Kulikovska

Virtual Reality and 360°

In addition to lectures, the organizers arranged some workshops. For example, you could go to learn creative coding, visual experiments in the form of glitch, develop business models at the intersection of culture and technology, or manage cultural organizations and creative people. Unfortunately, they all took place at the same time and you could only attend one. We chose for ourselves a workshop with the mysterious title "Expansion of Reality". 

It was dedicated to Virtual Reality and 360° video. Dmitry Sorokin, founder of the virtual reality gallery in Minsk, was conducting the workshop. He began with the history of VR, said that the first development was back in the 60's.

He divided the creation of VR-content into two types:

  1. Camera + Smartphone. But this is 360 ° video, not yet a full-fledged virtual reality.
  2. The metaverse. To create and view special helmets are needed. It is created by such companies as TvoriLytroOtoy and 8i.

Image from giphy.com.

At the workshop, you could watch a movie created in virtual reality or try to create it yourself. It looked exciting. This is a completely new environment, VR can take us anywhere. But why are we still not in it? The obvious answer is the cost of helmets. Of course they will become cheaper, but still far from the moment when they replace the TV in every house. 

But there is another unobvious problem that stops the spread of VR. And these are not tools or a lack of developers. The problem is the lack of a visual language for virtual reality. For example, we all can imagine how the menu looks like in mobile applications or games. Usually, these are icons and text. But you can not make it that way in virtual reality, all objects around are similar to real objects, rather than to flat icons.

Image from unrtd.co.

Virtual reality is not just games. It is actively used by designers of clothing and accessories, artists. It is great for designing and sketching in architecture or to show the customer the first sketches. 

There are comics in VR, where you can go through the frame and get into the world of the character. Even serious filmmakers do not pass by new technologies. This year in Cannes a film from Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu in virtual reality was shown for the first time. And those who happened to see him, said that they watched the future of the cinema. 

So, step by step, VR will penetrate into our life. Now this language is just emerging, but it is even more interesting to observe the development of such a mysterious virtual reality.