Virtual Arts Centre of the Future
01/06/2005 - 31/12/2006
Has been finalized

The challenges and opportunities of digitalisation and e-culture for cultural institutions are numerous, both in the area of the growing range of cultural carriers, art- and presentation forms and in the area of communication and interaction with the public. The main goal of this IBBT-project is researching and constructing a prototype for the “Virtual Arts Centre of the Future”. Kunstencentrum Vooruit functions as a pilot, but the model will be applicable and expandable towards the broad cultural sector. The aim of VACF is the development of three strongly integrated demonstrators: a web portal, a 3D digital platform and a decentralised collective Customer Relationship Management application (CRM).

Web portal
The web portal will offer cultural content in an innovative way and stimulate both communication and participation. The focus will not only lie on the digitalisation of the existing production/collection, but also on the collecting and offering of digitaly born artforms. The major challenge will be the development of an interpretative layer which delivers content dynamically and tailored to the needs of various target groups. Moreover, all the actors involved will have the opportunity to provide their own content and interact with each other (through the fostering of an online community). This will allow all participants to play a participating/creation-enabling role as well. Based upon all input, far-reaching personalisation can be achieved. In addition, the cultural institution is provided with the opportunity to learn more about its public and is able to increase the public’s involvement with the institution.

Customer Relationship Management application (CRM)
Improved knowledge about the public, and the possibility of personalised communication this entails, is also the aim behind the development of an innovative CRM application. In order to be applicable to the entire cultural sector, the CRM application will be developed according to the ASP model. Currently CRM tools are not often used in this sector. In addition, the sharing of data between the different cultural actors will enable collective marketing. Data mining on this data will, besides a more efficient communication, also lead to a more refined knowledge of current cultural participants and possible also to the detection of new target audiences.

The 3D-platform is aiming to immerse the visitor into an interactive exhibition platform as well as to create a social meetingplace for virtual art experience. Projects will be put on display where e.g. projects will be offered that can only exist within this virtual context. The platform will also allow several cultural institutionq to be linked together virtually. By moving through this virtual environment, the visitor builds up a cultural identity, which will generate useful data for both portal and the CRM application.

The integration of these demonstrators into one digital platform is the major innovative step of this project. Ensuring interoperability will be a primary objective in the development of the individual prototypes. Their development will be supported by profound user research. In addition, the legal framework and possible business models will be researched.

Partners: Kunstencentrum Vooruit; Cipal;; Innoxys; Workspace Unlimited; KULeuven – CUO; Universiteit Hasselt – EDM; KULeuven – ICRI; UGent – MICT