N.I.C.E. Exhibition 2014

The window of the city Messehalle in Essen showing the title of the N.I.C.E. exhibition

From temporary street lofts to public energy stations – The N.I.C.E. Award identifies opportunities for the future. The European exhibition presenting the short-listed projects opened the 3rd Forum d’Avignon Ruhr in Essen.

Creativity is a very popular topic in Europe! 108 projects from 22 countries applied for the European award for cultural innovations. A selection of ten projects from Germany, Austria, Slovakia and Spain were opened to the public at City Messehalle Essen in June 2014.
The exhibition includes, among others: Beautiful Trouble, a bestseller including a web tool box for training programmes on artistic interventions and creative communication; URBANAUTS Street Lofts, a 4-star hotel project with vacancies from Vienna; Querdenkerfabrik [ID]factory, a research institution examining innovation skills as an interdisciplinary key qualification in practice; Kasárne, a multi-genre centre with a cultural park in Košice; LxFactory, a large factory from Lisbon, which was reconquered by urban life; and RLF (Richtiges Leben im Falschen), a political cross-media art project with the involvement of ARTE, Suhrkamp and UFA. Makers are the ones who show the society what’s possible, such as Reinhard Wiesemann. For him, innovations are an elixir of life: “They make your life more beautiful and fulfilling!” Wiesemann is one of the ten creative project makers that were nominated for the award. He saved a monastery from being dismantled. “The Unperfekthaus is a public interim space of possibilities and generates spillover effects in other areas. More than 1,000 artists and company founders from 18 countries are currently testing and running creative projects that have an effect on more than 100,000 private individuals and entrepreneurs each year. The Unperfekthaus itself is an intervention with individual projects, and at the same time it is an institution that’s always available.”

“Special guest” at the N.I.C.E. Exhibition 2014 in Essen was the Robert Bosch Foundation.

Since 2013 it supports sustainable and participatory urban development through culture with the international pilot-programme “Actors of Urban Change”. Programme Manager Dr. Martin Schwegmann presented other European examples for the dedication of cultural players in urban renewal at the opening of the Forum during the N.I.C.E. Exhibition. “Actors of Urban Change puts social innovation in the focus, in all its dimensions,” explains Martin Schwegmann. “The main focus is on the development of the young artists’ potentials beyond the limits of sectors and the incorporation of such in daily life.”
Such effects are also generated by the sculpture “Stein mit Vollausstattung” (stone with full equipment) in the inner city of Dortmund, which was also nominated by the international jury. It is a public and participatory art project with a duration of four years, enabling the interaction of the technical aspects of renewable energies such as wind and solar energy and art in public space.
The sculpture invites people to linger, offering free 230-Volt connections, free WLAN, a charging station and a safe deposit box.
“A great sense of experimentation and implementation dynamics leads to innovations that can be experienced. This process needs massive support,” explained member of the jury Prof. Kurt Mehnert of Folkwang University of Arts.

The N.I.C.E. Exhibition in Mannheim: For ten years now, the Mannheim “Nachtwandel” (a sort of “Long Night of Culture”) takes place in the dockland and trade area “Jungbusch”.

The aim is to fill vacated spaces, backyards and squares with life. In cooperation with N.I.C.E., the City of Mannheim hosted the N.I.C.E. Exhibition in October 2014 and brought the shortlisted, innovative projects from Berlin, Essen, Lisbon, Košice, Dortmund, Bilbao, Oberhausen and Vienna to Mannheim!
For ten years now, Mannheim is putting a strategic focus on the cultural and creative sector. The Musikpark Mannheim is one of the most important competence networks for the musical and creative industry in Germany. According to a city ranking carried out by the business consulting agency Roland Berger it is among the top ten most creative cities in Germany.

Each of the short-listed projects for the N.I.C.E. Award is presented on an easel
The exhibition was first presented during the 3rd Forum d'Avignon Ruhr 2014 in Essen
The N.I.C.E. partner Mannheim hosted the N.I.C.E. Exhibiton in october 2014 during the festival "Nachtwandel"
The exhibition was presented in the underground parking of the Musikpark in Mannheim