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International Networks BrabantStad - An outline -

Welcome! This is an information booklet about the five cities of BrabantStad: Breda, Helmond, Tilburg Eindhoven and s’Hertogenbosch, which gives an insight into their creative industries and their international networks. Be inspired!

About BrabantStad……………………………


About Cultural Capital 2018.……………


About us……………………………………………


The 5 cities of BrabantStad………………




Building up a network………………………


Networks mapped!........................................


Atom model – under construction……… p.31


About the project BrabantStad: is an alliance of five cities in the Province of Noord-Brabant, Eindhoven, Helmond,‘ s-Hertogenbosch, Tilburg and Breda, which form together a network coalition in order to achieve sustainable growth in the quality of life in the BrabantStad area from economic, spatial, social and cultural points of view. Therefore, the five cities work closely together involving and linking their municipalities, social organizations, creative industries, cultural and educational institutions. These networks and collaborations and, the additionally good relations to neighbouring countries such as Belgium and Germany, enables each of the cities to provide a better social and creative environment for their population. The relations between the cities themselves lead to new initiatives, projects and improvements on different issues such as infrastructure, education, housing, health care, culture and sports. The network and variety of different ideas and inputs intend to bring the province closer together and, furthermore, provides a new and more lively and social city life. However, the cooperation between the five cities has just started and will be further developed and promoted in the future. As one major reason for this development can be seen BrabantStad’s bid of becoming European Capital of Culture in 2018. The conglomeration believes in its potential as province, but also in the unique creative and cultural strengths of each of the five cities. Although the creative potential of BrabantStad is relatively high, international networks supporting the region’s representation are not vividly present. However, the International Networks can help BrabantStad to become more widely recognized as well as obtain the title of European Capital of Culture. A group of seven students of International Leisure Management in cooperation with the Dutch network organisation Colin aimed to gain insight into the most captivating and charismatic creative international networks of BrabantStad in order to strengthen area’s international image and representation. After in-depth research of the international networks, the group intends to present the findings visually in a creative approach. The visualisation of the international platform will be implemented in three different forms, deriving from different aspects of international networks. Representing a platform for communication and exchange worldwide, a special BrabantStad-Network Website will be designed. In order to demonstrate the networks in a more tangible way, a model will be constructed, based on the idea of an atom, connected among each 3

others, but still modifiable. Especially the flexibility will be of a higher importance, as the networks can be seen as organic, always changing, moving and finding new ways of getting together again. In order to give an overview of the project, its development and outcomes, this booklet will serve as short summary for both, the Website and the model. Nevertheless, the booklet itself represents also one form of visualisation and, by documenting the work in progress also can be seen as a symbol for the development of networks itself.

The aim of becoming Cultural Capital 2018: The Title “Cultural Capital” can only be received by innovative cities, characterised by a vivid cultural life, a strong involvement of their inhabitants as well as the support and cultivation of its national and international networks. Keeping in touch with the world and being both, open-minded and creative, is the precondition for every city to become cultural capital. The cities of BrabantStad have already begun to work on different levels for the international networks of their area. By strengthening already existing networks, building up new connections and, most important, promoting and cultivating both, the cities of BrabantStad form an interesting and breeding ground for creativity and development. “I think that it can be a huge success. BrabantStad, the brand and the status, are very unique. It is the most contemporary brand in the Netherlands and even the whole Western region of Europe. Noord-Brabant is unique in this development of new breeding places, support of artists and festivals. All these aspects of design, art, technology and culture are all represented in one region.” Peter Rijntjes from Graphic Design Museum Breda

“(…) most important is, that art networks are further and further expandable and do not have any boundaries. We just have to keep in touch and expand and profile ourselves.(…)The interesting about networks is the possibility to get to know other countries and perspectives, working attitudes, traditions etc. This is also something we want to visualize within our exhibitions and projects.” Dennis Elbers from Graphic Design Festival Breda

“I think we should assume BrabantStad is going to be Capital of Culture in 2018. It definitely has potential but BrabantStad should send out one image to the inhabitants and companies in Brabant. BrabantStad contains a lot of creative knowledge and production possibilities.” Jeroen op ten Berge, Director of New Business and Partner of GBO in Helmond


About us: The project group consist out of seven students of the NHTV-International University of Applied Sciences, currently studying International Leisure Management with a focus on Management in Creative Industries. As final assignment, the students were asked to support the work of Colin by researching and visualising the most important networks of creative industries in the region of Brabant. As the international networks, the group consists out of international students from the Netherlands, Lithuania and Germany: Danielle Smeets, Jora Smit, Elke Versteeg, Magdalena Wiener, Andrius Genys, Maike Bokma, Verena Ueberbach.

Coming from different backgrounds and heading for different directions the seven students are now working together for the BrabantStad project, developing a new network and cooperation platform for themselves. Besides of a further professional development, all group members are challenged to develop personally concerning their strengths, weaknesses and competencies. A professional platform for the research and communication with other involved parties is provided by the network organisation Colin.


About Colin:

, Creative Organisations Linked in Networks, is an organisation for the benefits of creative entrepreneurship and is initiated by NHTV, International University of Applied Sciences. Colin’s main mission is to advise, invite and guide creative entrepreneurs. They make networks visible, stimulate entrepreneurship and contribute to the exchange of knowledge between government, entrepreneurs and educational institutes. By means of projects, meetings and toolkits Colin inspires, connects and informs the network in order to contribute to a further development, growth and professionalising of the creative industries in Breda and Tilburg. Since Colin is a "study company" of NHTV, they offer students a possibility to gain practical experience in the heart of the creative sector. Finally, Colin is an organisation for and by the creative industry and therefore keeps an easily accessible character. Everyone who is involved in the creative industries can appeal to Colin. Join the network!

About NHTV:

The NHTV University for Applied

Sciences developed since 1996 into

an international centre for higher education and thereby specialised on the following disciplines: Digital Entertainment, Hotel & Facility, Leisure, Tourism, Urban Development and Logistics & Mobility. Their aim is it to combine research and practical thinking in order to increase the productivity and professional development of their students. NHTV offers eleven applied Bachelor programmes as well as a Master programme in the field of Imagineering and Tourism. NHTV has a strong international character and focuses especially on Imagineering and cross-cultural understanding. NHTV is located in Breda with more than 6,500 national and international students, and over 600 employees.


The 5 cities of BrabantStad: s’Hertogenbosch

's-Hertogenbosch is the provincial capital of Noord-Brabant with over 136.000 inhabitants. It was used to be known as the historical site where the southern en northern parts of the Netherlands united to conduct business with each other. ´sHertogenbosch has developed itself into one of the most creative cities of the province of Noord-Brabant. Due to ongoing investments in contemporary and historical aspects, the cultural profile of the city intensifies. The amount of breeding places and cultural expressions for promising young artists is increasing and the cultural level is sustained by diverse organizations, foundations and museums. S’ Hertogenbosch uniqueness consist especially out of ceramic design. Eindhoven

Eindhoven is the largest city in the south of the Netherlands and the fifth largest in the country. The Eindhoven region has over 725.000 inhabitants. During the past few years, Eindhoven has developed into one of the most known high tech hotspots in Europe. Besides an excellent place for investments, it is also the place to start up innovative businesses, to study, work and relax. The Technical University in Eindhoven (Tu/E) ranks among the best in the world. Additionally, the Design Academy and the Philips Design Centre are located in the city centre of Eindhoven. Looking at all the above-mentioned aspects, Eindhoven is seen as THE city of innovation and design in the Netherlands. Especially famous is Eindhoven for Design, Light Art and Technique.


Tilburg Tilburg is the sixth largest city in the Nether-lands, with a population of 201.936. It is notable for its creativity, innovation and guts. The city has plenty of various street cafes, shops, distinctive and diverse architecture, art, culture, music and open spaces. Streamlined high-rise buildings give Tilburg a distinctive, modern skyline. Nevertheless, this skyline is still punctuated by some of the old factory chimneys, reminding of the era in which almost everyone in the city earned their living in the textiles industry. Tilburg is now most known for its festivals, fairs and textile design productions.

Helmond Helmond is located in the southern part of the province Noord- Brabant, with approximately 86.343 inhabitants (in 30. June 2008). Helmond, which has a glorious textile- and metal past, had undergone a real transformation in the last years. Nowadays, Helmond is a city with many surprising sides: high-valued living areas and architecture, a centre of the modern creation industry, and a dynamic gateway to the green “Peel” region”.

Breda Breda’s urban area gives home to approximately 170.000 people. The city centre of Breda has developed into a pleasant shopping and leisure area offering much for local residents and visitors alike. The centre acts as the economic, recreational and cultural heart of the city; a city which has received praise all around for its pleasant living and working climate. Given that two hundred companies are earning a living with design in Breda, it is profiling itself as one of the main cities for graphic design in the Netherlands. In this context, several events and a museum were initiated.


Building up a network: Networks in the nowadays world of globalization are getting more and more important. They are operating on different levels, starting with family and friends and reaching up to professional business men and companies. Networks serve people for various motives all around the world to cross boarders, share ideas and experience new possibilities. However, building up a network mostly requires time and energy especially they always have to be seen as dynamic structures. Still, the outcome is high and can consist out of the exchange of ideas and knowledge or new cooperation and business ideas. Companies are already increasingly using business social networks as a means of growing their circle of business contacts and promoting themselves online. Since businesses are expanding globally, social networks make it easier to keep in touch with other contacts around the world. Specific cross-border e-commerce platforms and business partnering networks now make globalization accessible also for small and medium sized companies. However, Networking gains also increasing importance in the arts and creative industries. Artists, companies and organizations are now challenged to cooperate and communicate through new ways, by using network platforms and fairs. Thereby one can often access to already existing, but not communicated networks and contacts. Following maps will give an overview of the already existing networks of the cities of BrabantStad worldwide and throughout Europe. The networks are reaching from France, Spain and Germany, to India, Japan, USA and South Africa. The lines are representing, depending on the colour, the different sectors of creative industry: Creative Business Services and Design, Traditional Arts & Culture Performers, and Media and Entertainment & Audiovisual Arts. Networks Mapped! is also one form of visualization. An interactive version can be seen also at the website. Thereby it becomes visible to which extend the creative industries in BrabantStad are already connected to the outside world.


Networks mapped! Breda: - Europe -


- Worldwide -


‘s-Hertogenbosch: - Europe –


- Worldwide –


Tilburg: - Europe –


- Worldwide –


Eindhoven: - Europe –


- Worldwide –


Helmond: - Europe –


- Worldwide –


Visualisation: Website: The website has been chosen for visualization of the networks due to technical reasons. As mentioned in the report networks are ever changing component in the current global and diverse creative society. The website serves as a tool or a platform for cooperating and exchanging existing networks and information. It can be accessed at any time and any place in the world, which makes the website even more attractive knowing that BrabantStad international networks reach oversees and other remote parts of the globe. Furthermore, the website can be used as a virtual space to connect other potential networks and inform parties involved about changes. Yet again it is essential to mention that networks tend to be organic and dynamic, and can change over night, thus to alter networks on the website is easier than in any other tangible product. Due to time constrains and limited budget, the website indented for this project is realized in the first phase. The website currently contains the following elements: v Introduction to the project v Atom motel v Map s of the international networks v Research report v Important contacts The website was launched on the 15th of December, 2009 and will be maintained by Colin until further notice.


Atom Model: As a three dimensional way of visualization, an atom has been created. The model of an atom has been chosen, as the form and character of the atom represents different aspects of networking; it can be seen as building block of life and relationships and thereby links to the importance of networks in society and business as a basis for success and well-being. Furthermore, the atom is dynamic and therewith represents the organic and flexible consistence of networks. Finally, atoms are connected with each other, building up a whole. The model of the atom will explain the consistence and character of networks in a visual way. The connection to the area of BrabantStad is made, as each of the cities is represented by one atom, growing out of the map of BrabantStad. The model will link the cities and visualize the international networks of BrabantStad, to create awareness for the cities involved and their connection.

First drafts

A variety of materials


The shape pf BrabantStad

The map of BrabantStad

The final model


- Websites - Literature v Richard L. Florida: "Cities and the creative class" v Charles Landry: "The creative city : a toolkit for urban innovators"

Thanks to NHTV, Colin, Simon de Wijs, Arjen van Eijk, John Lippinkhof, Han le Blanc, Ton van Gool, Marnix Baert, Ad Vlemmix, Dennis Elbers, Peter Rijntjes, Joost Heijthuijsen, Frank Kimenai, Maaike Delemarre, Jos Kuijsters



Gemeente Helmond



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