Date: Friday, 2 June 2017, 04:00 pm
Location: at the Berlin Representative Office, Robert Bosch Stiftung Französische Straße 32, 10117 Berlin
  • Charles Landry, Richard von Weizsäcker Fellow, Robert Bosch Academy
  • Paul Spies, Director of the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin
  • Charles Saumarez Smith, Director of the Royal Academy of Arts


If we had no cultural institutions, but had books, media, pictures and objects what would we do? Would we create libraries, museums or art galleries in the form we know them now? Their essence in their origin was learning and research. Is that still their central feature today and tomorrow? Are there now other priorities as our attention fragments and is sucked into our mobiles? Yet there remains a yearning for purpose and meaning. Is it bridging the social fractures? Being the cement in a polarizing world? Being a gathering place for chance encounter? Creating the rituals that satisfy the spiritual? Exuding a sense of civic generosity? Indeed what is the look and feel of the civic spaces of tomorrow? More airy, more open, but what else? 

How do you combine the desire for anchorage, possibility, connection, learning and inspiration?

Charles Landry is a world-renowned expert in city dynamics and planning and inventor of the Creative City concept, which he developed in the late 1980s. In 1978 Charles Landry founded Comedia, a highly respected globally oriented consultancy working in creativity, culture and urban change. His latest project is ‘The Civic City: Urbanity & citizenship in a nomadic world’ which brings together his work over the last decade including the concept of ‘civic urbanity’, ‘creative bureaucracy’ and ‘the management of fragility’.

Paul Spies graduated in Art History and Archaeology at the University of Amsterdam. In 1987, he founded D'arts, an art-historical consultancy. In 2009, he was appointed director of the Amsterdam (Historical) Museum. Since October 2015, he has been director of the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin, consisting of five museum locations. He is also chief curator of the Berlin exhibitions at the Humboldt-Forum, due to be opened in 2019.

Charles Saumarez Smith is Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts. He was trained as an architectural and cultural historian at Cambridge University and the Warburg Institute, has been the Director of the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery, and is the author of a recent book about East London.

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