CreaTures – Creative Practices for Transformational Futures is EU Horizon 2020 research project investigating the potential of creative practices in art, design, and related cultural fields to support positive eco-social change. The project responds to current social and environmental challenges and the urgent need to find new, more sustainable and nourishing ways of living and being together on our shared planet. The project sprouts from pilot research showing that creative practice has already demonstrated its transformational potential – for instance, by scaffolding people’s imaginations, providing equitable spaces for exploration and building new networks and capacities – but this potential has not been widely recognised.
The CreaTures Framework emerging as one of the main outcomes of our co-creative work and research (2020- 2022) sets out how creative practices can stimulate action towards eco-socially sustainable futures. Four curated paths through the Framework – Research, Policy Making, Creative Practice and Funding – offer a collection of resources charting the key concepts and terms, processes, tools for evaluation, and insights from various stages of creative practices.
The project involves three interrelated components:
- Observatory, identifying and mapping existing, fragmented and often hidden transformational creative practices.
- Laboratory, supporting new experimentation and direct collaboration with diverse stakeholders, by mounting several different scales and types of creative arts production.
- Evaluation, testing new and existing creative practices for their impact, in a systematic and concerted way.
These components are interwoven with a series of engagement events enabling broad access to the evolving outcomes of the project for different groups, including policy actors, scientific community, and members of the public.
The open-access, evidence-based and transdisciplinary framework resulting from these undertakings demonstrates effective paths to achieving sustainability, social cohesion, and peaceful co-existence at a time of rapid change.
Our research and practice have been led by the following questions:
- What are the specific qualities of transformational creative practices?
- How might artistic and transformational aspirations and aims be aligned in practice?
- What are the ways to measure and communicate the impact of such practices?
- How might we encourage and support future transformational creative practices from the individual to infrastructural level across Europe and beyond?
There are 11 partners in the CreaTures project, bringing together several organisations associated with creative approaches to transformation and sustainability. The CreaTures consortium involves creative practitioners working alongside researchers from social science, design, and sustainability science.