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This panel explores how we use our urban living spaces to pursue creative activities that can improve our environments and lived experiences. It also proposes that we re-think informal creativity as collaborative, and the influence of micro-sites on relational creativity.
What do people get out of creative practice when they are not paid to engage in creative production? This question has been discussed in a number of fields, from anthropology to art history, and geography to media studies. It is also a common question considered in popular media, from journalistic investigations to documentary films. Yet each kind of investigation has its own problems and pitfalls. Can we solve the problems of individual disciplines by taking an interdisciplinary approach to this question? Creativity is often understood as an independent quality, modeled on the figure of a lone genius pursuing excellence in a technical or competitive field. Yet the majority of instances of creative practice in our everyday lives are in fact relational or collaborative. Around the world, people devote a significant amount of time and energy to the pursuit of non-professional or unpaid creative practices, most often conducted in groups. This panel proposes that we re-think informal creativity as collaborative, and the influence of micro-sites on relational creativity. A collaborative work has relevance for contemporary social issues including isolation, the disappearance of regular and well-compensated work, and how we use our urban living spaces to pursue creative activities that can improve our environments and lived experiences. What does it mean to engage in arts practice as a group of amateurs? The answers to this question will have implications for how we think about building life-worlds, socialization, and how to live well and happily across the life course.